Last year, I wrote an article for The Wildlife Professional entitled “Working in a World of Wounds.” In that article I introduced “eco-grief,” “eco-anxiety,” and climate grief as concepts we must consider in our conservation workplaces. The American Psychological Association describes eco-anxiety as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.”1
In the article, I wrote: “The label we use isn’t as important as how we respond to these feelings. Faced with overwhelming challenges in response to natural disasters, endangered species, habitat loss, ocean acidification, feelings of hopelessness, dread, anxiety, and grief are normal.”
This is a real thing for many young people. Pushing it aside is dangerous for personal wellbeing and company culture. In this article, I’ll give you a few ways to move forward with this information. I’ll offer some ways to acknowledge these feelings, overcome overwhelm and navigate these challenges. I am going to do my best to balance the negative and positive. Since it is difficult to parse out feelings of “eco-anxiety” from burnout and overwhelm, I am taking a broader approach to the topic here.