The devastation wrought by Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season has delivered a harrowing start to 2020. While those of us who live in cities have been spared the unimaginable trauma of losing our homes to the fire, we’ve all been impacted by the loss of life, species and habitat.
With smoke blanketing Sydney and Melbourne for weeks on end, the climate crisis has never been more clearly on our doorstep. Such dire events coupled with the lack of meaningful policy to safeguard our planet’s future, can stir up a range of emotions including anxiety, helplessness, frustration, sadness and despair.
We all know that bushfire recovery is a long game for our communities and our environment. Taking care of yourself during these times of crisis is important too.
Be sure to carve out some time for yourself away from the constant deluge of crisis news stories. Prolonged exposure to graphic images and details can be extremely distressing and detrimental to our mental health.
Eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and some exercise too. Spend some time in nature to re-set and refresh.
Connect with others, reach out to your support networks for yourself or your loved ones if they need a little extra help. Accept that it’s okay not to be okay.
Help where you can. Volunteer or donate to the organisations that matter to you. Support the long-term recovery of bushfire affected communities by planning a Roadtrip for Good or taking a look at Buy from the Bush or Spend With Them.
You may have gone to one of our events with US-based climate activist and psychologist, Margaret Klein Salamon. Margaret’s upcoming book: Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth can help us as we struggle to comprehend the scale of the climate crisis.
Using facts, psychological theory, stories from the climate emergency movement and Margaret’s own personal journey, the book is a guide for transforming the deep pain and fear many of us feel in the face of the pending collapse of our natural world into personal action to protect the future of humanity and the planet.
As a network of people who care deeply about our planet and the natural world, we know it will take enormous work and sustained collective effort to not only help our environment and communities recover from the bushfires but to advocate for the necessary changes to address the climate emergency. We’re in it for the long haul.
Please take care of yourselves and each other. We hope to see you soon at one of our events or at the conference next month.