Tip #5 to galvanize climate action: rest is essential to climate action

At the start of a new year, it’s tempting to dream big, create ambitious goals, and jump straight into action. And if you have the energy and motivation for this, fantastic! But for those who haven’t hit the pause button recently and have been pushing on through, something else might be needed first. Climate work, in all its forms, can be rewarding, purposeful work. It is also hard work that can deplete and exhaust us and push us toward burnout if we don’t take time to rest and recuperate.

When we care deeply about making change happen, we can tell ourselves that we don’t have the right to slow down, that the world needs us to be working and making progress every moment that is available to us. And yet we also know that we are no good to anyone if we push past our own limits in service of the greater good. 

“Our well-being and mindset play a powerful role in our relationships with others… If we don’t acknowledge how tough this work can be, it can be easy to push ourselves too hard and damage our health. In the process, our relationships can suffer. Tragically, so too can our ability to have an impact, which is the very thing in service of which we have risked our health in the first place.”

– Except from Chapter 20: ‘When the going gets tough – how to recover from stress and burnout’ of Climate Change Coaching – the power of connection to create climate action


Taking time away to rest, rejuvenate and replenish your resources should and must be an essential part of climate work, so that we can bring our full selves to the work that we do. 

Here are some ways how:

  • Notice and name your stress (and fatigue) – this helps to create a fresh perspective and gives you the space to respond to it differently.
  • Complete the stress cycle – help your body to understand that it is safe with activities like energetic exercise (which also helps to metabolize stress hormones out of your system), getting out into nature, connecting with someone you really care about or just having a really good laugh
  • Eat plenty of colourful, in season fruits and vegetables to support your immune system and adrenal function, and top up essential vitamins and minerals that are commonly depleted by stress (like magnesium and B vitamins).
  • Develop a mindfulness practice to help get you out of your head and into your body and the present moment. 
  • Breathe deeply – this is a simple yet extremely effective way to signal to our body to switch on its parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system
  • Do something you love that brings you joy. It could be anything that is fun or fulfilling like hiking in nature, dancing, a new art project or playing an instrument – anything that helps get us into a ‘flow’ state is a powerful antidote to stress.

For more on how to sustain yourself while catalysing climate action, order our book “Climate Change Coaching: the power of connection to create climate action.”