Navigating Climate Emotions

Learning about the climate crisis can sometimes feel like a double-edged sword.

Facing the reality of the situation is essential for humans everywhere to step up and take action to avert disaster. It can feel empowering to be informed and know you’re working on the world’s most urgent problem.

However, on some days, being aware of the climate crisis can feel painful, lonely and bleak. You might have a setback or a challenging conversation with someone, or just feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. We get it.

While it might not feel ‘productive’, finding your way through these emotions is an important part of tackling the crisis.

Talking to a friend or joining a local climate action group can help you feel supported. We promise there are lots of other people who are going through the same thing.

If you know of any brilliant resources that you think belong on this list, please email us.

Here are some wonderful projects to help navigate climate emotions:

The Work That Reconnects

The Work that Reconnects helps people move through pain and hopelessness into gratitude and action. It is based on the teachings of Joanna Macy, an experienced practitioner in the field of climate emotions. 

Many have found her book Active Hope transformative when it comes to dealing with climate anxiety. More on this below.

The Work That Reconnects facilitators offer workshops, retreats, study groups, webinars, courses, and facilitator development programs.

Modern Era Counseling

The media often foregrounds the economic, political and humanitarian impacts of the climate crisis. Less attention is given to the growing mental health crisis around the climate emergency.

Modern Era Counseling offers tools to support mental wellbeing, as well as direct support.

Active Hope

Active Hope is a book about finding one’s best response to the world’s current situation.

It offers tools that help us face the mess we’re in, without going crazy, and find our role in the collective transition.

At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It’s active.

When our actions are guided by clear values, the mess we’re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.

The All We Can Save Project

As Susi Moser writes in All We Can Save, ‘Burnt-out people aren’t equipped to serve a burning planet’.

The climate crisis has many folks feeling on the edge. It can be so hard to prioritise your own wellbeing when working on such an urgent problem. But climate emotions can be very strong and demand your attention, sooner or later.

Check out this shortlist of resources created specifically for navigating the emotional terrain of climate.

Climate Psychology Alliance

The Climate Psychology Alliance are offering support to people who are affected by the ecological, biodiversity and climate crises.

The CPA provides up to 3 free sessions of therapeutic support – usually by phone or online, sometimes in person.

If that feels a bit much, check out their excellent podcasts and many other resources.