Top Tips to battle eco-anxiety

We can't help with a global pandemic but if Climate Change concerns also keep you up at night our tips will help turn anxiety into action...

A survey by environmental charity Global Action Plan revealed one in three teachers is seeing high levels of climate anxiety in students, while just over three quarters (77%) of students say that thinking about climate change makes them anxious.

We understand your concerns so the University of Leicester has loads of ways to turn your anxiety into positive action:

1. Get informed

Don’t use not social media posts or mainstream media for your information!

ACTION:

Do our MOOCSustainable Futures online coursejoin our instagram eventsMore online content coming soon!

2. Live more in alignment with your values

The impact of individual actions can be very small, but changing your lifestyle to be more compatible with your values can help with eco-anxiety: eat less meat and dairy, drive less and stop buying and disposing of so many items. We live in a throwaway society: we consume much more than we need and it’s not making us happy.

ACTION:

Calculate your individual carbon footprint

3. Don’t feel ashamed - focus your efforts on changing systems, not yourself

Recognise that individual actions are not actually capable of solving climate change. While changing how you live and travel may help you by letting you live more closely in accordance with your values, you shouldn’t feel ashamed for not being fully able to comply with these. You can have a much more meaningful impact by working with others to lobby governments.

ACTION:

Engage with politics. Let your MP and local councillors and mayor know that you think action on climate change is important - you can even stand yourself!

You can also write to your bank or pension provider to ask if you can opt out of funds that invest in fossil fuels and engage with other organisations to ask what they are doing to be more sustainable.

4. Find like-minded people

Recognise that you are not alone.There is a variety of support groups, societies, counsellors and the Students Union available for you to get involved in.

ACTION:

Attend a SU Student Sustainability Project Group meeting (virtual meetings coming soon)

Join the Plan-It Change SocietyRead or write for the student-led Impact Newsletter

5. Talk about the changes you make

Talking about your experiences is important – the challenges as well as the positives – and bringing other people along with you. Talking about the practical things people can do in their day-to-day lives gives people some sense of control back, which can really improve people’s well-being.

ACTION:

Normalise considering the effect of your every actions and decisions with your friends and family.

6. Do a Sustainability Project

The University offers many opportunities for you to do something practical, either as part of your course or extra-curricular. It will also enrich your CV!

ACTION:

Check out our project ideas pageApply for a SEED project

7. Protect and nurture local green spaces

Getting involved in community environment projects may help your mental health while also being good for the planet.

Green spaces absorb carbon dioxide, cool urban areas, reduce flood risk and provide valuable habitats for wildlife. In a diverse city like Leicester, nature is all around us and, if you are worrying about the environment, turn this anxious energy into positive action.

ACTION:

Find nature in your parks, gardens and any green space for at least 10 minutes a day (ideally not staring at your phone!).Join the Gardens & Grounds volunteer programme

8. Stand up against inequality

Climate change is a social justice issue. Being against plastics but turning a blind eye to gender, racial or other discrimination is short-sighted.

ACTION:

  • Raise your voice against inequality on campus.
  • Make sure you vote in the Student Union Elections
  • Get involved in campaigns
  • Join relevant societies
  • Be aware of other's experiences.