Mental Health Day: Ways To Cope With Eco Anxiety
For World Mental Health Day we wanted to write a piece dedicated to eco-anxiety. This is to have a deep fear of the environmental destruction that we are not only seeing today but will face in years to come. It is a topic that is discussed around the REV office very frequently and it is something that we all feel on a weekly or even daily basis. In this editorial we wanted to share the methods that help us to cope with stress and anxiety in the hope they will be able to help you too.
An introduction to eco-anxiety.
To feel the weight of the world on your shoulders is something that many of us feel on a daily basis. On top of all our personal stresses and struggles, we are worrying about the current state and future of our planet and for good reason. With temperatures rising, more fires than ever, more flooding, drought, and famines, it is illogical that politicians and heads of corporations merely choose to ignore the climate emergency our world is facing. To have eco-anxiety is to have a deep fear of the environmental destruction that we are not only seeing today but will face in years to come. It is a topic that is discussed around the REV office very frequently and it is something that we all feel on a weekly or even daily basis. Eco-anxiety can make you feel helpless about our beloved planet, but from our experience, the best remedy is action.
Wake up without your phone.
This one is pretty obvious we know, but for us it really does help and so this is your gentle reminder to wake up without your phone. Yes, news and emails are important but most of the time they can wait until we are at least out of bed and at our (working from home) desks. If like us you work in the digital and/or social world we think it is even more important to limit time on screen whenever possible and so cutting this out of your precious time in the morning is a great way to do so!
Watching the Social Dilemma documentary only reinforced this for us – they reported a 5,000 person study found that higher social media use correlated with self-reported declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction. Since watching this film, we have been turning our phones off from 9pm to 9am everyday and have noticed we are sleeping better and waking up feeling a little more upbeat!
Reconnect with nature whenever and wherever possible.
Spending time within nature, whether that is hiking, gardening (read our guide to creating a bee and butterfly garden here), or even just sitting outside lowers cortisol levels, which is our stress hormone. Being outside also encourages us to unplug, which can lower our heart rate, lower stress levels, and allows us to check in with ourselves away from technology. The Nature Fix is an amazing book recommended to us by Arizona Muse on our podcast which discusses the science behind how nature can make us feel happier and healthier.
Whilst we do what we can to fight climate change, we should also be spending time within nature to remind us just what we are fighting to preserve. If you live in a city, take moments to wander local parks and gardens, or dedicate weekends to venturing to the outskirts in the search of more space and greenery. If like us you’re in North East London, we recommend The New River Walk in Islington and Clissold Park in Hackney.
As a team we have been making a real effort to get outside first thing in the morning before we sit down at our desks. Coupled with waking up without our phones, we have noticed definite improvements in our mood and feeling generally more upbeat and motivated!
L – At the allotment with @taylorblair1
R – The New River Walk with @graceonsundays
Continue to educate yourself...but engage in the positive content!
To have eco-anxiety shows that you are facing the facts, which is the first step that our entire world needs to do in order to really make powerful change. We must turn our fear and stress into something positive. It is tempting to tune out from the news, but we urge you to continue to read and listen. This will enable you to have factual conversations with social media followers, friends, family, and co-workers who may not be as engaged as you.
But knowing all the facts whilst important, can be very worrying too. It is the hard hitting statistics and news articles that leave us feeling the most anxious. However negative the news around climate change can be, this also fuels positive and inspirational actions from individuals, communities and businesses who are dedicated to making positive impacts. This is what helps motivate and uplift us, both as a company and as individuals. See below our recommendations for educational and inspirational resources!
Kiss the Ground Movie – an uplifting and educational film about regenerative agriculture as a solution to climate change.
Seed Magazine – a great little ‘pick me up’, the stories in this magazine are inspiring and beautifully captured.
All We Can Save book – a collection essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement.
Zach Bush on Instagram – certified physician who specialises in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Stories Behind Things on Instagram – to learn more about conscious living, great for news articles, and sustainable fashion content.
Fashion Revolution on Instagram – for sustainable and ethical fashion resources and news about the industry.
Disconnect through cooking and nourish your body too.
We were recently discussing as a team how much we enjoy cooking and preparing dinner. We concluded that this is because it is the time in the evening where we step away from our screens and are able to let our minds wander and disconnect from the working day – it is a ritual. There is also something incredibly satisfying about preparing and enjoying a meal from scratch, not to mention nourishing our body with fresh, organic ingredients. As for recipes, we opt for vegetarian and have listed some of our favourite chefs and authors below!
Anna Jones for dinner-party-worthy vegetarian dishes.
Rachel Ama for simple and comforting vegan recipes.
The Naturalista by Xochi Balfour for nourishing plant recipes.
More Plants Less Waste by Max La Manna for waste-free plant based recipes.
Cooking with organic local produce with @corahilts
Enjoy a glass of wine, guilt-free!
A glass of wine really helps us to wind down at the end of the day and this is not something to feel guilty about! First because we always opt for organic and sustainable wines, and second because we believe in enjoying the little indulgences that help us to relax. Find some of our favourite organic wines here.
There is so much research indicating that stress is linked to the weakening of our immune systems and finding a nice way to treat yourself and wind down at the end of the day is key. Reading a book on the Blue Zones (where many people live to be over 100) there is research that some of the longest living people on the planet indulge in 2-3 glasses of natural, local wines every day. This isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you then santé!
Natural rose with @Taylorblair1
Support local and connect with your community.
By choosing where you spend your money, you can use the power we each have as individuals to stir the world towards a more sustainable future. We are huge advocates at REV for supporting local. Not only does shopping from small businesses help us to feel more connected to our community, but it means we are able to support the people who live and work in these communities too, rather than a large (and most likely unethical) cooperation.
Shopping locally is so easy too, simply choosing to enjoy a coffee from an independent shop as opposed to one of the big three is a great start. In our local shops we have had the pleasure of meeting many like minded people who share similar values to us – another benefit of shopping small! To learn about some of our favourite businesses local to us in East London, read our guide here.
L – Sustainable restaurant @westernslaundry via @jolene
R – Sustainable coffee to go @finandearth