TURNING PANIC ABOUT THE PLANET INTO POSITIVE ACTION
WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER
I'm pretty good at spiraling. I've had moments of genuine, deeply felt panic after reading an article on climate change when I worry that I have only so many years left on this earth and nothing that I do matters and I'll never get to be a mom and how can I ever sit and watch T.V. when the world is ending and on and on and on until I want to dissolve. The sense of urgency that floods through me in those moments is crippling.
I know not everyone is like this. Some people can read the slew of news on climate change–some of it hopeful, some of it harsh—and take it in stride. But if you are a superfeeler like me, I'm hoping that the following ideas might help you worry less, be more.
Here's what helps me breathe:
THE FUTURE ISN'T A FACT
That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take actions based on scientifically-backed hypotheses. We should. There's not much room left for waiting.
But whenever desperation immobilizes us, we need to remind ourselves that predictions are just that: predictions. There's nothing we can ever do that is meaningless because every single action is of impact, be it good or bad. Work toward making a kinder impact.
YOU CAN ALWAYS DO SOMETHING
Because what's the alternative? You are alive in this moment. You can make changes. And it's okay to start small so long as you start. A revolution is as much about the little linkages as it is about the large leaps.
REMIND YOURSELF OF WHAT'S GOING RIGHT
It's not all doom and gloom. There is good stuff happening. There is change worth holding onto. Certain people are motivated by fear. Others are paralyzed by it. Recognizing what motivates you to truly act in a way that is meaningful will help you determine for yourself what you need to do to be mindful of your decisions.
BALANCE A SENSE OF URGENCY WITH A SENSE OF PATIENCE
Be patient with yourself. We aren't made to live in a state of constant alarm. Balance the moments of hard work with the space for internal reflection. Connect with other people who will help share in the heavy lifting.
My friend Ryan of The Beehive Collective often reminds me that all of our grievances are connected. Embody whatever it is you hope for on this earth. No matter what will or won't happen, you have this moment.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Love.