English Speaking Therapists in Barcelona

Coping with Climate Change

Coping With Climate Change

Climate change is implicated in unprecedented natural disasters around the globe. The results of the  2018 Pew Research Center survey  showed that the majority of people in surveyed countries say climate change is a major threat to their nation. It’s seen as the primary threat out of eight potential threats people were surveyed on, in 13 of 26 surveyed countries. Results suggest that more highly educated people, women, and younger people are the most concerned. The Extinction Rebellion is a new movement focused on forcing government action on climate change and Greta Thunberg continues to campaign via School Strikes which have spread around the world. Globally, citizens are waiting for their governments to take the appropriate measures to reduce emissions to improve the future outlook.

Many feelings arise in response to the threat of climate change including fear, anger, helplessness, shame, anxiety and grief. 

It is important for all of us to manage this wide range of emotions so that we can reduce our distress, function in our lives and take action where we can.

Things we can do include:

Taking action by becoming involved in climate change groups, lobbying our governments, and making environmentally responsible choices and role modelling these for others in our community. The Spanish Extinction Rebellion site can be found here. There are also many stores in Barcelona where you can shop sustainably.

Read about the Barcelona City Council’s initiatives for a Sustainable Barcelona here

Use Green Points to get rid of oil, batteries and other waste in a responsible fashion.

Other information about buying in bulk, sustainable clothes shopping, eating and sleeping sustainably in Barcelona:

My Green Closet, Plastic Free Supermarkets, Exploring Barcelona’s Sustainable Food Scene, Buying in Bulk in Barcelona.

Google sustainable Barcelona or ask for help on Facebook forums in Barcelona.

Look for the helpers and the changers and the positive news. Follow Greta Thunberg.  Share positive developments on your social media feeds. Cultivate hope.

Check out  Positive News and the Good News Network

Taking breaks from the news, emails or life by having digital detox days.

Cultivating positive experiences so you cultivate feelings of joy, playfulness, passion, expansiveness, satisfaction or excitement. These feelings are suggested to buffer you against stress. Do things you love, or enjoy. Spend time with positive people. Find time for laughter and jokes. Do anything that is fun and makes you feel good.

Check out the Greater Good In Action practices for cultivating positive feelings like awe, gratitude and connection.

Recharge. Rest. Take breaks. Take time out. Find time to practise mindfulness by being present with a cup of tea, gardening, going on mindful walks. Take breaks from whatsapp groups, news and social media.

Keeping healthy routines. Exercise and prepare and enjoy healthy meals. Spend time in nature and with family. Get enough sleep.

Prioritise activities. Say yes to fewer things. Save your energy.

Think about issues in a useful way. “From little things big things grow.” “Change takes time.” 

Be with emotions. Pay attention to your body. Cry when you need to. Acknowledge uncomfortable feelings and sit with them for a  time, validating that it is normal to feel the way you do. Take an attitude of compassion and gentleness toward yourself and others. Know that you are not alone and many people in the world are struggling.

Practice Mindful Self-compassion 

Read this article on What Different Countries Are Doing Around the Globe to Tackle the Crisis.

If you need a place to explore your feelings and develop some of the strategies mentioned above, or if your feelings of anxiety or depression are impacting your daily life, get in touch with Therapy in Barcelona.

*Adapted from Australian Psychological Society’s Coping with Climate Change Information Sheet

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