Contributed by Carolyn Hart
When considering the state of the environment and the lack of effort being made to battle climate change, it’s natural to feel anxious and helpless about the future. Realistically, living with this level of stress isn’t sustainable. So it’s important to readjust your mindset. A sustainable mindset focuses on the things that remain within your control. Implementing small behavioral changes can go a long way in helping the environment and, at the same time, reducing your anxiety.
A sustainable mindset is especially important for people who want to take this energy and funnel it into something that can make a difference, such as a non-profit organization or a climate-friendly business.
If you’re ready to get started, the following tips can help you combat your anxiety and lay the groundwork for future success.
It’s vital to regain control over your mind. If your anxiety is extremely debilitating or causes dysfunction, begin by addressing the issue at hand.
When you struggle with issues related to your mental health, you need a strong understanding of how to calm yourself down without drugs. Having a few grounding techniques in your arsenal, and teaching them to those closest to you, will help you stay stress-free when you feel panic coming on.
A trained medical professional can diagnose the extent of your anxiety and determine whether you need pharmaceutical intervention. He or she can also help you identify the root causes of the climate-related stress you feel and assist you in removing them from your life.
When paired with behavioral changes, anti-anxiety drugs can help ensure that you don’t spiral out of control. Mood stabilizers keep you serene in your day-to-day activities, while tranquilizers can completely calm you when you feel an anxiety attack coming on. This means of reducing anxiety should always be prescribed and managed by your doctor.
Introduce eco-friendly solutions to your day-to-day activities. You’ll have peace of mind that you are staying on top of the things you can control. A sustainable mindset will reduce the stress you feel related to climate issues.
Take the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra one step further by eliminating waste altogether. A large part of this climate-positive process involves removing single-use items from your daily living and managing how much you consume. Although it may feel impossible to achieve, each effort takes you closer to a waste-free mindset.
The amount of energy households use has a major impact on the climate and environment. Although switching to solar power would make a tremendous difference, there are smaller, less expensive changes you can make.
- Avoid using your dryer unless absolutely necessary and opt for a washing line instead.
- Save water and energy by making use of a dishwasher
- Keep your lights off wherever possible.
Not only are these changes great for the environment, but they’ll take a load off your energy bill too.
As tasty as a hamburger might be, animal products account for 57% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Switching to a vegan diet or consuming significantly less meat could make a huge difference to this number. Following a meat-free diet can still be delicious. It will give you the added benefit of better health and a slimmer waistline.
And even if you don’t go vegan, take steps to reduce the amount of meat you include in your meals. Americans tend to eat more meat than necessary for a healthy, well-balanced diet. So look for ways to reduce the amount you’re including in your meals — be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Continually take steps to become an increasingly eco-conscious consumer. The things you buy have a direct impact on the demand for certain products and how much manufacturers produce. Look for sustainably sourced, climate-friendly, and locally made products. you’ll shift the demand onto more eco-friendly items.
Once you’ve begun to manage your own stress and implement behavioral changes, you might want to encourage others to do the same.
Start a non-profit
You can help raise awareness about climate change by starting a non-profit organization. It will take real steps to combat climate change alongside other people. A formal organization makes it easier to apply for grants and funding that will catapult your efforts to new heights.
When forming this organization, you’ll need to create bylaws that outline important matters, like how it is run, the financial undertakings, and day-to-day operations. These rules will also help donors take your NPO more seriously and consider contributions.
Start a business
Starting an eco-friendly business helps you reduce anxiety, keep yourself accountable, and make eco-friendly products or services accessible to others. No matter what kind of business type or model you choose, you’ll need to put your best foot forward when dealing with customers.
Market your business thoroughly by using social media and other digital platforms to your advantage. Create a polished and professional business card design to legitimize your business and build a stellar reputation among potential clients.
As you can see, a sustainable mindset has two aspects: Unlike anxiety, it’s a mindset you can sustain. And it results in a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle––not only for yourself but everyone you influence.
This is especially true if you’re starting a business or nonprofit to help improve the environment. Make small, yet significant changes. Make concerted efforts to educate the people around you. Humanity has done considerable damage. Only humanity can remedy it and work towards a brighter future.
Carolyn Hart has been a financial planner for nearly four decades. She has dedicated her career to helping her clients achieve financial health by assisting them in setting budgets, saving for the future, and pursuing investment opportunities. Her site CarolynKnowsMoney is her passion project to reach readers near and far to find financial stability. When she’s not working, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen baking up a storm.