Climate Anxiety & Ecological Grief

PERC supporters have probably heard the term “climate anxiety” before, and likely even experienced some themselves. Realizing that the world is likely going to be a very different place in the future than it was in the past, facing the loss of species we feel fond of, places we’re nostalgic about, or contemplating the climate-change related hardships

A red haired woman in a dress laying flat on dry cracked soil, seeming sad.
Climate change is a downer, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Laying in the dirt doesn’t help. Image: Shutterstock.

faced by people around the globe isn’t fun, and it can be downright distressing. There’s nothing wrong with feeling negative emotions in response to negative things, but getting bogged down in them makes us miserable, and doesn’t do any good. Fortunately, there are ways to combat these feelings.

Climate anxiety became “official” in 2007 with the publication of a paper in the journal Australasian Psychiatry entitled Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental changeIn 2017, the American Psychological Association put out a sixty nine page guide for mental health practitioners to help them get up to speed on this new type of anxiety, although it isn’t an official diagnosis (you can read that here if you want).

Advice for dealing with climate anxiety ranges from simple actions you can take in your home to reduce your carbon footprint, so strategies for coping with anxiety generally, and all sorts of things in between. Joining a group working to tackle the problem is a common suggestion (and if you’d like to join us here at PERC we’d be delighted – simply donate or sign up to volunteer!).

If you’re looking for something more concrete, try checking out this upcoming workshop!

Eco Grief Workshop Poster First UC Feb. 24 - reduced

Ecological Grief: A Pathway to Resilience, Self-Care and Earth Care
A workshop for difficult and uncertain times: April 3 & 4, 2020

How can we face the climate emergency and resulting suffering on Earth with clear eyes and an open heart? How can we strengthen resilience as we deepen our capacity to act for a just and sustainable world?
This introductory workshop provides a road map to metabolize pain into courage, compassion and creativity. Based on Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects”, we will offer a process to help experience our connections with each other and with the web of life, and to transform despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.
Bring your fears, your grief, your love, your rage, your compassion and your “not knowing”.

Friday April 3 rd : 7 pm – 9:15 pm & Saturday April 4th: 9 am – 2 pm — soup lunch included
First United Church, 347 Richmond Rd.
Suggested donation: $60 – $75
For ages 15 and older.

Register by March 27 th :

For more information contact Andrea Prazmowski:

Facilitators: Andrea Prazmowski & Robin Macdonald have combined experience in facilitating community grief care, restorative justice, yoga, collaborative environmental initiatives, gatherings in sacred space, storytelling and forest therapy experiences. Hosted by First United Church and partially funded by Embracing the Spirit, a granting program generously supported by the people of The United Church of Canada.


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