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Dealing with anxiety over climate change
February 7, 2023

By Eleanor Emlen Healthy Roar reporters | Climate change is happening. It is making the Earth’s surface getting warmer, according to the NASA Climate Kids website.

One cause is that too much carbon dioxide and other harmful gases are getting into the atmosphere from cars and vehicles. Some signs of climate change include rising sea levels and melting glaciers, according to NASA Climate Kids.

Since climate change is affecting the environment, some people feel anxious about the change. Feeling anxious about climate change is called eco-anxiety, according to National Geographic magazine.

Healthy Roar reporters recently sat down with Emlen school nurse Dr. English and school counselor Mrs. Seltzer, to discuss how kids can deal with anxiety. The questions and answers below have been shortened and edited.

Question: What is anxiety and what are the symptoms?

Dr. English: Anxiety is a feeling of dread, sadness and worry.

Mrs. Seltzer: It’s a condition in your body where you feel a sense of nervousness and panic.

Question: What are the causes of anxiety?

Dr. English: Some causes would be not sleeping, having a big event coming up, illness in families, or being bullied.

Mrs. Seltzer: Sometimes someone who worries often could have anxiety.

Question: Is it normal to have anxiety? Why or why not?

Mrs. Seltzer: Yes, it is normal to have anxiety. It only becomes a problem when it affects your daily life.

Question: What should you do if you are anxious about something?

Dr. English: You can try to distract yourself from what is causing anxiety, For instance, you can play a game, exercise, dance, or sing.

Mrs. Seltzer: You can try to talk to someone at home or at school. Talk to a trusted adult.Be kind to yourself. Try to live in the moment and not think about what is giving you anxiety.

Question: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. English: A lot of us have anxiety. I get anxiety over heights. But I try to get out of my head and change my mindset. It can help with your anxiety.

>>Read the Winter 2023 edition of the Eleanor Emlen Healthy Roar here.

Illustration by Victoria, 7th grade, La Salle Academy.

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.

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