Eco-Anxiety & Burn Out:

3 Strategies on How to Replenish, Rest & Recover

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Tree Bark. Hyalite.
Hyalite Canyon Tree Bark. Photo Credit: Heather White

Activism takes its toll especially on Gen Z, who suffers from anxiety, depression more than previous generations.

The news these days can overwhelm even the calmest people we know. Eco-Anxiety plagues many members of Gen Z (children born after 1997). The American Psychological Association defines it as “chronic sense of impending doom.” From climate change to a global pandemic, the chronic stress and overload is palpable.

Gen Z is all about social justice and action.

While tremendous excitement exists about the upcoming election, there is also a lot of work ahead. Even though we must take act, we also need to rest and recover -especially Gen Z who has engaged in public protest, strikes, and civic action in staggering numbers.

Moon over Bozeman. Photo credit: Heather White
Here are 3 Strategies to Help Avoid Burn Out:

1. Take a hike or a brief walk in nature.

Walking is medicine for the soul. It’s low-impact and peer-reviewed scientific literature shows that it help calms the body and mind.

This time outside is especially beneficial to kids, who need more unstructured outdoor play. Even teens need sometime to be outside and observe the natural world. As adults, we need to put down our phone as well and be present.

2. Meditate or Pray.

Charlie Knoles, meditation teacher and expert, told me something that changed my life. He told me that you cannot fail at meditation.

I always figured that my frogger mind, which leaps from item to item on my to do list as soon as I am still and quiet, meant that I was “bad” at meditation. But simply taking a few minutes to quiet your mind, focus on your breathing, and being thankful for the moment has tremendous benefits.

Prayer is a powerful tool to regain perspective, recharge, and reconnect with our higher power. Taking time out for five minutes as family to pray or be still and clear the mind can do wonders for your sense of clarity, purpose, and energy.

3. Journal.

Writing helps bring clarity to thoughts. In Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, she recommends taking 20 minutes each morning to write down all the thoughts each morning.

Every. little. thing. From petty complaints to to fragments of poetry, it’s a great way to clear the mind and connect to your creativity.

It’s also a wonderful activity to encourage your kids to try. Here’s a fun tutorial on how to make a journal for yourself or the special kids in your life. Even your teenager will likely think it’s fun.

Self-care is essential during these challenging times.

#wellness #climatechange #creativity #selfcare #wellness

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