Here we share with you our tips to remind you that looking after ourselves is just as important as our fight for a sustainable and equal future.
With worries about the pandemic, job security, social injustice, and the climate crisis too — it isn’t surprising if people are feeling overwhelmed. Often we turn on the news and it can feel as though the negativity of it all is tearing away at us, making it even harder to maintain good mental health.
We have spoken before about our tips on how to look after our employees mental health, but what about eco-anxiety in particular? What can we do when we see stressful news stories like the recent ocean fire in Mexico?
We recognise and agree that it is important to know what is happening in the world. It is vital to know the facts and see what is happening to the world around us. The world that we live in. Without knowing and educating ourselves how can we make necessary changes? How can we do better?
Yet it is also really important to look after ourselves with care, too. It is important to know our limits and do what we can to avoid burn-out and mental ill health.
Don’t Forget About The Positives
At the start of this year, the team felt the weight of the news and everything going on in the world. It felt as though there was so much bad that it became hard to see the positives. We then subscribed to The Happy News, and having this quarterly newspaper arrive through the door brings a needed boost of positivity.
Reading about good things as well as the bad has brought out a needed sense of balance. There are so many good things happening that we often don’t hear about, as the bad and harmful events are the ones that make it to the news much more often. Reading about positive events too can be a needed reminder and give us all a boost.
Happy Eco News can be a good way to bring positive news stories to your week. Seeing the good things that are happening does not only help us to want to push further in our own sustainability journey, but is a reminder that change can happen and is happening. That things can be done and are being done. Remembering to look for the positives is really important in maintaining good mental health.
Have A Break
If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling or spending more time than needed reading the news then take a break. Limit it to a certain amount of time a day or have a day each week to disconnect. Have a day or time set aside that is for quality time with people you love, or doing something you enjoy.
In the time that you might be over-consuming the news or being on your phone, try something such as mindfulness or journaling. Both of these activities can calm the mind and look after our wellbeing.
Don’t overthink it. Sometimes we might do something that doesn’t help the environment. This is okay. The goal doesn’t need to be to never use plastic or to be vegan or to not sometimes buy from fast fashion. Sometimes we can’t avoid these things and no matter how much we do, we cannot do everything.
We might not always 100% live up to our values. This is also okay. As long as we try to make some changes, and try to live by our values as much as we can, then we are doing something. That we do make some changes, that we do focus on sustainability. But we do not have to do so perfectly.
Accepting this can be really important, so that we don’t feel guilt or shame when we eat meat or buy new.
We are all on our own sustainability journey.
Talk to people! When the realities of the climate crisis feel too much then talk it over with a friend. If we isolate ourselves then we can feel overwhelmed more easily, and our mind can focus on the negatives. If we talk it over with other people we can think of solutions more easily and we can be reminded of how we all care, how we all want to make a difference.
Joining eco-groups could be a great way to do this. Working at a local-level to help the environment is a great way to meet people and make a difference at the same time. Engaging in beach cleans, for example, is a great way to do this.
On the 30th of July we are holding our very first net-walking event. This event is a great opportunity to talk to other like-minded people whose focus is on sustainability. It is a chance to get outdoors and connect with nature while also meeting new people. For more information, and to book your spot, head here.
Connect With Nature
Making sure to get outside every day or finding somewhere green to go for a walk can be a great reminder of what its all about: protecting the beauty that is all around us. There has been much discussion on the health benefits of getting outdoors. Research suggests that getting outside can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
To read more about the benefits of getting outdoors, head to our blog where we discuss how time in nature can help to motivate us.
Looking Out For Ourselves Too
This blog isn’t to say to forget about the climate situation, to only read the good news, or to abandon our values. Not at all. It is about finding that balance. How important it is to make a stand, to take action, to encourage change — but to look after ourselves too. If we don’t look after ourselves too, we can end up feeling overwhelmed and burnt-out.