How to alleviate Eco-anxiety

On Monday we introduced “Eco-anxiety” as our key term of the week. Eco-anxiety refers to the fear, grief and despair of further ecological and environmental ruin based on the current and predicted state of the environment and climate change.

Eco-anxiety is very real, and can take a huge toll on your mental health if not addressed or handled early on. A lot of people’s Eco-anxiety is rooted in the belief that the eco-friendly changes they make are pointless because of the rate at which humans are destroying the planet and its natural resources. This belief, in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and many of us feeling very isolated can further inflame one’s Eco-anxiety. Typical symptoms include existential dread, guilt or shame about your carbon footprint, obsessive thoughts about climate and the environment, overwhelming anger or sadness over the loss of natural environments or wildlife.

If you’re someone that’s already began integrating more sustainable, eco-friendly practices into your daily life the best thing to do would be to stick to those practices. You could refine them as time goes on, and as you get more comfortable adopt new one’s too. It’s vital that you’re patient with yourself and that you don’t get caught up in the guilt trap because that will only fuel the anxiety even more.

If you haven’t started making small changes to your lifestyle yet, stressing about it won’t change anything. Firstly, you need to observe your life and your lifestyle. What are you buying in excess? Where are you able to replace plastic with a natural, biodegradable material or fabric? What are the things that you can begin re-using or re-purposing?

Some of the most common and simple changes include switching from a plastic water bottle to a steel one, using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, using a steel razor instead of disposable one’s, using fabric grocery bags and of course switching to a steel or biodegradable straw. Once you’re comfortable with these small changes you could start changing your skincare, haircare and menstrual care products to more natural, earth-friendly options.

Switching up your menstrual care products to a plastic free, biodegradable and certified organic option is guaranteed to make a significant impact. A conventional pad can take 500-800 years to breakdown and the packaging contains up to four plastic bags worth of plastic, and this is besides the negative impact it can have on your health due to all the chemicals in the pads. At Sheba Feminine, we put you and the earth first. All our menstrual care products are certified organic, biodegradable and take up to 6 months to breakdown. We use no chemicals so they’re 100% safe for you and the environment. Our packaging is made of recycled cardboard and all our products are completely plastic free.

The key is to begin with very small, practical changes. It’s critical to not make yourself feel overwhelmed, because as soon as this happens you’re more than likely to revert back to your old ways as they’re comfortable and convenient.