FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Eco anxiety in Perth

Bookgirl
Community Member

Hi, we are in the middle of a horrible heatwave here and its causing me a lot of anxiety thinking about the future and generally just stressing out about it all.  Just seems so insurmountable and i feel overwhelmed.  My 15 year old son gets angry at me for being pessimistic but its hard to be optimistic when its over 40 degrees for a long time.  I just feel like i am sinking right now.

53 Replies 53

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Bookgirl~

Welcome back. I hope your son is now doing better.

 

I guess in relation to how you feel at the moment htere are a couple of things you might consider. The first is of course I personally could not think clearly in 40+ heat, in fact I"d not be capable of doing much at all. If you are managing your daily tasks then you are doing pretty well.

 

I remeber that there have been times in the past where world events and the condition of the world have troubled you greatly, and maybe the heat is having the effect of strengthening those doubts.

 

I steer clear of the news, I get to know enough to be aware of what is going to affect me and my family locally but try hard not to take in more. I believe to be told day after day of all the horrible things in the world I can do nothing about simply created ever-increasing stress. It is not good for me.

 

So I concentrate on the sphere of events around me and in htat I probably can make some sort of difference, and when I do I end up feeling better about myself and things in general.

 

The media will deliberately feed your sense of worry and emphasize all hte bad and sensational, not the good, that's how they get ratings and advertising dollars as a result. Please don't play their game.

 

Croix

Bookgirl
Community Member

Thanks, my son tells me that i have though the world was ending on numerous occasions over the last 6 years and i should be heartened by the fact it hasn't. My psych thinks i have OCD and is going to help me with that.  I have managed to stop looking at the news so much. Again this is a compulsion i am dealing with. Mental health is so much fun isn't it? I recognise what i am doing but it is so ingrained it is hard to stop.  This week i have had a lot of stress with work and family members being sick and i am the main carer so i think my brain just overloaded a bit.  Appreciate the support.  

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Bookgirl

 

I admire you, trying so hard to manage the heat there. I'm not sure I could do it. As a gal who kinda changes into some highly emotional feral animal in unbearably hot whether, I can relate to how the heat can change people's nature.

 

Burning up in hot weather is one experience, burning out (due to a lot of stressors) is another. Combine the 2 and it can definitely become overwhelming. I've found that having people around to help me manage can make some difference. While it's your 15yo son who helps you manage to some degree, by the sound of it, it tends to be my 21yo daughter who leads me to become more conscious of how I'm feeling. Because she's a feeler too, she has been known to say to me 'You have got to calm down. I can feel what you're doing to me'. If we've got a kid who's a bit of an empath (able to feel other people's emotions), it can be come a challenge for them in a number of ways. I think it also helps if we've got people around us who like to wonder. Saying to wonderful people 'I need you to wonder what would make a difference to me' and then having them wonder, can mean finding the fast track toward what can make a difference. Wondering alone, about why we're feeling the way we are and what can make a difference to us, can become a highly frustrating, confusing and even depressing experience at times.

 

I find what Croix mentions to be completely relatable, managing differently in the heat while managing what triggers me, such as the news. In summer I tend to research the weather ahead of time. The days that I can see are going to be the hottest, I'll pick those days as being the days where I won't do all that much if I can manage it. My number one goal becomes about managing to stay as cool as possible. And as far as the news goes, I won't indulge in it unless I have to. With the news largely being about things we can't do anything about, I can't see the point in observing nothing but sufferance or enraging content. I think COVID helped me make up my mind on that one. The constant reporting on the death toll just became too depressing and upsetting, as I felt so much for the families who lost loved ones.

 

So hard, hey, when we're a real feeler and can feel so much of what impacts us.

Yes, my son just knows when i am down. I admit i am in a rough patch right now and feeling really down. My family get frustrated with me about me being so catastrophic and i wish i could think differently but i think at the moment i am really stuck in a destructive cycle due to climate change and hearing all the bad news constantly about it.  I worry about my son's future all the time.  I worry about how i can't save him from the worst of the world. I hate myself for not being present in his life. He told me once he wishes he didn't have a mum who was miserable all the time. I want to cry sometimes because my mum did the same to me but even going to a pscyh sometimes i just get overwhelmed and i hate myself for it.    

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Bookgirl~

As you know I tend to avoid the news and stick to my own little sphere around me. Sadly that does not stop me thinking of all the catastrophic things that can go wrong, and acting as if they are about to do so.

 

One thing I find is a great help is there is someone whose judgement I trust, my partner. So if agonize over having passed a speed camera for instance and think of all the possible consequences, my partner simply reminds me "the cautious way you drive you never going to exceed the peed limit and be booked" -which when I think about it is true.

 

That's one of the advantages of not being reminded of the big global picture -good or bad. My thoughts are concentrated on smaller things where I can be reassured.

 

Are you lucky enough to have someone you are comfortable taking notice of and believing?

 

Croix

blondguy
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Bookgirl...Its always great to see you on the forums.

 

Croix and therising are spot on with how we can benefit by avoiding the news especially where climate change hysteria is concerned.

 

You are and have always been a strong person Bookgirl!

 

The news nowadays can be problematic as it can interfere with our well being. Our climate has always been cyclical. I understand your situation as Melbourne has 39C forecast this Saturday. My thought processes will be very limited during and afterwards.

 

you are not alone feeling anxiety and having that awful sinking feeling 

 

my kindest always

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

gloria10
Community Member

I completely get it! Going through a heatwave too (reaching 41 here). 

 

It's very stressful and attributes to low mood too.

 

How long till yours is over?

 

 

I think what makes it worse is that everyone feels a bit down about this and then things feel hopeless. It feels like there is nothing we can do and it will get worse and worse.  Then i worry about how i will cope and then i don't want to be here for it. Then i feel like a loser for not coping and terrible for not supporting my son through it. Its a vicious cycle.

Hi Bookgirl

 

Finding ways to manage skill development at a snails pace can become really challenging at times, for sure. Kinda like 'It took me 2 years to learn that, 10 years to learn this, 3 months to reach that conclusion, a lifetime to finally reach this or that understanding' etc etc. Would be so much easier if we were taught a lot of life skills in school, for an hour each school day. Imagine if one unit was used to learn how to breathe your way through stress, while regulating your nervous system. Imagine a unit where you were taught how to develop and listen to your inner sage (a wise and calming aspect) or your inner adventurer (an aspect full of joy and excitement). Just imagine 13 years of learning all the kind of stuff that'd make a difference in life. Instead, we come out the other end of those 13 years struggling to cope with life.

 

I've found one of the greatest benefits to having kids is it's forced me to have to develop skills. I imagine you'd agree, there's no choice but to develop skills in patience, problem solving, tolerance, open mindedness and so on. If we don't develop those skills specifically for our self, we do develop them for the sake of our child or children. How to see and feel the world differently is definitely a skill and one I'm still trying to master. Some days I don't do a very good job at it and can be easily triggered, yet other days I can really surprise myself. I think our kids have a lot to teach us. While my son teaches me to not take too much too seriously (he's a bit of a comedian with an incredible imagination and can therefor lead me to imagine the humorous or insane side of some challenges), my daughter is the one who's inclined to stop me in my tracks when things get too stressful or depressing for me. One of her typical ways involves her standing in front of me, putting her hands on my shoulders and saying 'STOP! Just breathe. I SAID BREATHE! Long slow deep breathes. You need to calm down'. She won't let me go 'til I start regulating my breathing. I've learned a lot from my 2 brilliant teachers over the years. I think sometimes we forget how to live and our kids can remind us in certain ways. At times, a bit of brainstorming as a group goes a long way. At 53, I'm still learning how to live, as are my kids. It's easier to work it out together at times.

 

Perhaps, in these times, we're in need of a revolution of some type. While the French are passionate protestors and revolutionaries, dating all the way back to the days of the French revolution (where the average person suffered terribly through poverty, depression and injustice while leaders lived in an offensive amount of luxury), we Australians are a little more complacent while simply hoping for change for the better. It's passion and intolerance that drives change and sometimes fury that keeps the passion burning. Give me a great leader to lead the way, give me a great cause to inspire passion and rebellion and I'll be there. I think we need a great leaders who provide a sense of hope and passion and vision of change for the better, in this world. Give me leaders who don't spout 'inspiring' messages that actually translate to hatred, fear, segregation/discrimination, resentment and more. Bookgirl, we definitely require good leaders in the way of the kind of changes we need to begin feeling in this world. Leaders who helps create great vision and passion are ones who generate great optimism amongst all of the people, not just select groups.