Tips from an ecotherapist on how to combat climate change-induced anxiety

Are you feeling anxious about our rapidly changing environment?

Eco-therapist Kathryn Dietzway has tips on cultivating a better and mutually beneficial relationship with nature.

“Creating a healthy connection with nature is one way to take care of the Earth,” said the New Orleans-based therapist. “When we have that healthy connection with Earth, we tend to naturally find ways to take care of Earth.”


Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy by Joanna Macy: here

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: here


Play in the background as you go about tasks, or perhaps listen as you journal about what you love about this Earth. Sound Bath in the Forest:


“It’s important to engage in self-care practices even in the face of ecological crises,” said Dietzway. “If all of the folks who care about Earth burn out early due to a lack of self-care, where does that leave us?”

“Self-care is vital to lifelong activism and healthy functioning as a human being,” she added

Some nature-based practices for self-care can include:

1. Spend frequent time unplugged in nature (in your backyard, a local park, or walking around a neighborhood.)

2. Practice mindful connection with nature by noticing what you see, smell, hear, feel and taste.

3. Find a local trail to walk in a forest environment--forests are linked to activating the body’s relaxation response.

4. Take off your shoes and feel the grass on your bare feet.

5. Spend 10 minutes mindfully connecting with a tree. Notice its branches, colors, roots, etc.

6. Practice deep breathing while outside: inhale for 6 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds.

“Once we have taken care of our minds and bodies and have come to a place of calm groundedness, this is when we can have the conversation of ‘what can I do for Earth?’ You want to try and refrain from asking this question when you are in a state of panic or shut down,” added Dietzway.

Christopher Harress

Christopher Harress |

Climate change reporter on the east and Gulf coasts.

The Reckon Report.
Sign up to receive the Reckon Report newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday.