How to keep well in the face of climate catastrophe

The Amazon is burning.  The lungs of the earth are burning.  Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Russia are also experiencing wild fires.  The polar temperatures are the hottest this year than ever before.  Islands of plastic rubbish float in the Pacific & Atlantic Oceans and turtles are being strangled by micro-plastics.  Sea levels are rising as the ice melts and the biggest Hurricane ever seen has just flattened the Bahamas.  Thus, has been the evening news and social media posts from celebrities just in the last week.  The call to action……stop buying plastic, stop eating meat……..stop driving your car, stop turning on your lights….donate your hard-earned money to save-the-earth fund!

If modern life is not stressful enough, now it seems we are staring down the barrel of climate disaster and it’s a train wreck the average person feels powerless to stop.  This is not a blog about environmental issues, but rather a discussion on how we can cling on to hope despite all the bad news and not succumb to anxiety and depression. 

My teenage son looked at me after hearing one of these bulletins on the tv and said that he doesn’t think he’ll have children because the planet is doomed.  A devastating thought indeed.  I guess my generation (that is Generation X) at the same age, worried about World War III and a nuclear holocaust which wasn’t ideal either.  Nonetheless, post-millennial’s are worried about whether the Earth will sustain them and their children.

A bleak future is being painted and how much of it is accurate or otherwise is a big question, but whilst media outlets chase clicks, sensationalist headlines will remain the norm.  What can we do then to remain calm, proactive and support the younger generations to not lose hope?  With mental illness especially in children and teenagers on the rise, this is a critical issue which needs managing.  So if you have children, check in on them and see how they are feeling about this issue. From a natural medicine and lifestyle perspective, there are many tools available to improve our adaptation to stress and ameliorate our outlook. 

Never has it been more pertinent than ever, to look after ourselves than now.  After all, our internal and external realities reflect each other.   We can only be responsible for ourselves.

So what’s involved?  Here are some ideas:

1)       Start with cleaning up your own internal environment.  Detoxifying your body and emotions.  This will raise your awareness of making better food choices, decreasing your toxin exposure both in your food and your home, reducing harmful addictions and ultimately increasing your well-being and improving your relationship with yourself and others.

2)      Reducing anxiety by being present and mindful. 

Daily meditation practice may help you with this.  There are also herbs and nutrients to support your stress response if you are feeling overwhelmed.

3)      Creating hope by being proactive about conservation.  For example, reducing plastic waste by not buying over packaged goods, growing and cooking as much of our food as we can therefore reducing our reliance on food processing.  Helping in beach clean ups and other rubbish clean up initiatives and getting the whole family involved with these.  Creating sustainable packaging and manufacturing practices and increasing our use of sustainable energy.  If there ever was a time we needed new innovative ways to manufacture with less waste, package with less plastic and deliver by means using sustainable energy, it is now!  The aim is to stop worrying about the outcome and start getting busy in the effort to reduce our personal environmental impact. Let’s all pitch in and do what we can.

4)      Shift our consciousness to help the collective rather than pursue selfish interest.  Wouldn’t this be great!  However, in this context it means not worrying what the next person is doing, but focusing on doing the best you can do.  Hopefully it will catch on and others will be inspired to follow suit. The Ripple Effect is powerful and grows exponentially, so don’t be concerned that any change you make is just small in the bigger picture.

5)      Talk to someone. If you are finding it all a bit much, then seek out a friend, family member or a health professional you can talk to about it.  We are all in this together, so understanding how others are processing the information may be helpful. 

6)      Understand other points of view.  Despite what you believe, it’s important to respect how others are thinking and feeling.  Now is not the time for fighting each other on this issue but rather working together.  Don’t try and convince others, go about your efforts to reduce your footprint and give others time to catch on. 

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