Dealing with Climate Change Overload

Don’t forget to slow down, take a break and make time for something purely for yourself.

We are very concerned about climate change and how it is, and will, affect the world we live in.  How it will impact our every day lives and the quality of life our children will have as the grow up.  I’m very concerned about chemicals in our lives, how hormone disrupting chemicals like BPA are affecting the development of my children right now and how toxins in our couches, beds and pajamas are affecting the health of my children.  Jon and I find that working on issues like these affect every aspect of our lives. We address them at our jobs, with our activities at church and our volunteer work with our children’s activities.  We try to make healthy choices with everything we buy and use – when I go to the grocery store I am constantly looking for affordable organic foods, local products, non-gmo and natural products.  When I plan my trips, I try to chain them to reduce gasoline usage and when it gets cold out I try to balance comfort with energy savings.

This can get overwhelming.  Very overwhelming and fast.  Now throw in the holiday preparations, planning, gift buying (or making/obtaining) and trying to keep your impact on the environment down. Some things eventually become a natural part of your life, like the holiday lights we own are LED and recycling is just second nature.  But I get it.  Whether you have a job, stay home with children, volunteer, write or just manage a day to day life, it can all get overwhelming fast.
Woman reading a book in bed
Alicia Reading

We all need to remember to take a break and do something just for ourselves, to get away from it all.  I have always been an avid reader, I read everything my eyes see.  Sometimes it’s a curse, but it also means that I can read in any kind of conditions.  I read as I get ready for bed at night, even while brushing my teeth.  I like to read something entirely for fun.  Right now I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s “Memory of Earth”.   Before that I read “The Next Always” by Nora Roberts. You might notice that neither of these books have anything to do with energy and the environment. While I’ll occasionally pick up something like the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “Cooler Smarter”, which is NOT escapism and does NOT give my mind a break from all the issues of the world.

I think this is important, particularly right before bed, to move my mind onto something that is meaningless and very, very distracting. Sure, you could read deep meaning and life lessons into these books,  “Memory of Earth” is based on a planet where the “overlord” computer realizes that the population are on track to destroy themselves if something doesn’t change and “The Next Always” has as its setting the reconstruction of an Inn using all local labor and supporting local businesses. But honestly, I don’t read them for the message, I read them to give my heart and soul a break from the issues of the world.

Son & father playing Xbox on the couch
Jon and Timmy Playing Xbox

Everyone should have something they do that takes them away from everything.  Jonathan loves playing Lego Star Wars III on the Xbox with our children.  He can play for hours and is completely distracted from everything.  His other distraction is watching football during which he is so absorbed that nothing else matters. There are other distracting choices that may be healthier, like working out, hiking, bicycling, or things where you create things such as painting, crafting or baking. The important thing though is that the activity absorbs your mind entirely.  If you go bicycling and spend the ride contemplating about how you’re going to contact your legislators about the issue of toxins in children’s pajamas,  then it was not a good activity to release your mind. Consider a good movie (not a documentary) or having a tv show or two that you watch regularly, even if you have to DVR it or watch it online when it fits your schedule.

The issues and reasons behind living a green lifestyle are not going to be solved and go away. They are with us forever and we need to adjust our lives to save our planet and our children.  Therefore, you should have a way to take your mind away from it all and keep yourself sane and grounded.

What do you do to escape?  Share your suggestions with our readers in the comments below!

Happy Greening,


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