5 Ways to Combat Climate Change Depression

Grace McGrath, a chapter leader at UNA-University at Albany, participated in the UNA-USA Virtual Blogger Fellowship to cover the UN Youth Climate Action Summit.

The UN Youth Climate Action Summit was a massive event  where young people got a seat at the table and spoke with those in power. Although it was a pivotal event, the experience of activism and marching can be draining. This dire situation can cause stress and anxiety.

At the Summit, young people pled for action to be taken NOW, and you could see the sadness behind these pleas, the fear nothing will happen. That is why I wanted to provide ways to combat climate change depression.

Focus on You

This may be hard to do, and I understand that, but you can’t fix the world’s problems on your own right now. When you focus on yourself and your own behavior you gain some control. Use your sphere of influence too – this could include your followers, friends, or family.

Try to Find One Positive Story About People Taking Action Around Climate Change

Not every country is taking action at the national level, but many are! And many more are seeing action at the local level. Many countries have made pledges to plant millions of trees and create councils that give young people a voice at the table. Reading stories like this will provide you with some hope, and that is a great start.

Join a Climate Strike or Climate Change Group

Everyone should be angry – our planet is dying! That is why you need to vent to people who support you. This can make you feel better because the people listening to you share your concern for the planet.

Volunteer in the Community to Educate People About Climate Change

Volunteering gives you a chance to spread the word. You can bring your passion with you too, which will show people how pressing this issue is. Most likely you will be able to convert people to your cause because you are part of the same community.

Have Someone in the Climate Change Movement to Look Up to

It could be someone in your own community, Greta Thunberg, or António Guterres. Having an inspirational person to keep in mind when you feel sad will be helpful for pushing through. You need to hold onto something positive and hopeful.


Climate change is overwhelming and awful to think about.  However, by taking action and focusing on one part of the picture, you can gain hope.  You matter and can make a difference.