How I Handle Climate Anxiety As A Climate Fellow How I Handle Climate Anxiety As A Climate Fellow
07 May 2024

How I Handle Climate Anxiety As A Climate Fellow Part 1

Climate Change is a stressful, anxious, and scary topic, and it is no wonder that most people are feeling climate anxiety as more and more news, studies, and updates are shared. It can be even more stressful when working within the field of protecting our home.

I am almost 2 months into my Fellowship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, as a Climate Fellow, working on Climate profiles for military installments’ INRMPs. For almost 2 months I have read, listen to, and written about Climate Change and their impacts across the United States. As stressful as it may be, it has been the most satisfying thing I have done yet in my career. I am helping military installments look at how climate change will impact their natural resources, species, and habitats, so that they can begin planning adaptation measures.

As I continue this journey, I want to make sure that I am taking care of myself along the way. There are so many tips you can find on the internet or books about how to deal with Climate Anxiety and I would like to share what I have been practicing. Hopefully shedding some light on the topic. I will make this a series and share one or two tips/ practices I am doing as the year goes on and give you some updates on the fellowship.

Number 1: Be Present

The future can be scary to think about, especially with climate change in the picture. It can make things more uncertain and unknowable. It is important to not just pretend it doesn’t exist or that its wont effect you, but rather channeling that energy simply to today. Staying present and focusing on what you can control. For me, I channel that energy into my daily tasks because I know the work I am doing today, will make a better tomorrow. But this can also be small things, like using a reusable water bottle, taking public transit, building more sustainable habits, or engaging family and friends in conversations about climate change. As small as you may think it is, that is far from the truth. Whatever it may be, just focus on what is in front of you.

Now this is just one of the many tips/ practices I hope to share within the next few months. As I share what I do please make sure to do your own research and find what works for you. Know that you are not alone with this feeling, it is okay to be scared and feel loss when you are within this field. I am going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from “All We Can Save”, a beautiful book on the climate crisis and our part in this journey.

“To see beyond what despair sees—to move from the feeling toward the possibility—calls for things we have in abundance: love, imagination, and a willingness to simply tend the world as best we can, without guarantee of success.” –Emily N. Johnston

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