How to Take Action on the BIG issue without Getting Overwhelmed
In my last blog, I talked about ditching climate shame, and how important is it that we become activists for big system changes because while it is important to change our own consumption habits, it can’t alone alleviate the crisis.
Greta Thunberg went to Davos in 2019 not to ask the billionaires to stop eating meat or using plastic straws, but to demand:
“…that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.
We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now – as in right now.”
We have the same innate power and ability to speak up as Greta and all the other people striking and speaking up like Vanessa Nakate and Oladosu Adenike.
If you feel like you don’t have the energy, or you don’t know what to do, I get it. Me, too!! The situation is totally overwhelming.
My aim is to do something every day to learn, create, or speak up for policy change. Sometimes I share a resource on social media or sign a petition. About 5 years ago it was the bigger project of divesting my retirement accounts from the “dirty 50.”
These days it’s outlining my new project Create + Climate. The aim is to help creatives of all kinds (artists, writers, business owners, coaches, healers, creative agencies, corporate social media departments, everybody) use their talent and platform to be an informed shame-free voice for change. I’ll be giving you targeted bite-sized resources and ideas for creating change your way every two weeks. Want to know more? Sign up here! It’s free!
What matters is creating a creative climate action habit.
If something is better than nothing when it comes to getting more exercise, writing, or staying in touch with friends, so is taking action on the climate crisis.
Drawdown.org is full of good ideas to inspire you. Some are personal, some are community and policy-related. Look for the ideas that inspire you, especially in your field.
If you love social media, start talking – respectfully and kindly so you don’t trigger other people’s climate shame – about ways to get involved. Research shows people do not want to engage if they feel bad; so make jokes, share cartoons, and frame things with love (we will do this as part of Create + Climate!). You can follow 350.org social for ideas or search your favorite platform for people to learn from and amplify.
You can do the same thing in conversations with friends and family. How we talk about the climate crisis with them matters. Here’s a great video for help framing how to talk. Check out this article and this one, too.
Want to get creative? Check out Inside the Greenhouse for ideas. Maybe you’ll write a play with your kids for their school, do stand-up, or create a Waste Labyrinth. Are you a therapist? This organization and this one might be interesting to learn about.
None of that appeals? What would excite you, fill you up, and/or give you hope? Google around. Follow your desire!
Afraid of getting sucked dry by volunteering, or caring too much and neglecting your health or your work?
When we focus on the story that we’re not doing enough, we feed shame and overwhelm. When we use Conditions of Enoughness, we accept our limits, our humanity, and realize that our actions are, by human nature, tiny. Important yes, vital yes, and tiny. Thus the world never rests on our shoulders.
If we don’t put limits on what is enough, that’s when we tend to sign up for more than we can handle.
Without a declaration of satisfaction, we could work 14 hours a day for the rest of our lives on the climate crisis and it wouldn’t be enough unless we are the person who invents a safe way to pull carbon from the atmosphere. But even she/he/they won’t be working alone!
Get involved slowly. Do one thing and see how it feels. Remember getting exhausted and quitting helps nobody, least of all you.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression because of hey everything, then it’s okay to do nothing. Take care of yourself for now. Or do a little and feel hope rise again.
Either way, I see your amazing brave heart and I bow to you.