Method or activity in detail

Mailing List
Name of the method
Dealing with Eco-Anxiety
Short description
Think of answers together to this question: What can I do, as a trainer/organization without any expertise in the field, to make youth workers and educators more aware and active towards eco-anxiety? How can my approach deal with different perspectives, and solidarity with people more affected by climate change while dealing with eco-anxiety?
Target audiences
13-16 years, 16-18 years
Minimum number of participants
Maximum number of participants
  1. Take home foods for thoughts to work with this phenomenon.
  2. Rise awareness about the importance of the topic.
Global Reference - Choose SDG's
13 Climate action
  • Material needed:
    • Projector
    • computer
    • papers
    • pens
    • speaker
    • timer – phone
    • songs of nature or eco-related signers
    • Each participant has a mobile phone
  • Venue to prepare:
    • pillows to sit on
    • some natural decorations if possible
    • big room so people can split around
  • Step 1: Intro to the topic (5min)
    • Earth Song [Michael Jackson] playing in the background 5 mins before the start,
    • The room is decorated with natural products

People are invited to sit on pillows

Introduce ourselves as facilitators shortly.

Trainer: We prepared this workshop to give you some food for thought. You as an educator/trainer and organization will be prompted to raise awareness among yourselves as participants of this session for the phenomena of eco-anxiety while being sensible with those affected by the matter.
So let’s discover together – this phenomenon.

  • Step 2: Research (10min)

There are two options / each participant look for information on their phones by themselves or:

Trainer: You’ll be divided into 4 groups.
These groups are going to research the topic of eco-anxiety using the internet.
For this task, you’ll have 7 minutes. We will show you by ringing the bell that your time is up.

Trainer: divide the group into 4 groups.
There will be papers and available pens if someone needs
(Meanwhile they are doing research, the trainer is preparing the video.)

  • Step 3: Video (10 min)

Trainer: Now when you did your research in your groups let’s watch the video together to give you a bigger picture of the topic

VIDEO PLAY – 4:16 mins: Students open up about eco-anxiety (Youtube)

Trainer: Now, we can see another perspective, from the global south, and see that there is already youth activism going on, we can join their fight.

VIDEO PLAY – 3:05 mins: Why the Global South is FIGHTING for climate justice – BBC My World (Youtube)

  • Step 4: Activity: How do you feel about the topic? (10 min)

The trainer puts paper with the question How do you feel about the topic on board.
Prepare pens and papers to be available if needed.

Trainer: After having done the research and watching the video, please take some time to think about the answer to this question to feel the topic. We will give you 3-5 mins.

During the musical background (from nature sounds like rain, birds..), the trainers stick the two labels with signs ‘I am eco-anxious” ‘I am NOT eco-anxious” on opposite sides of the room, by this an imaginary line where they will be standing to show their emotions. The trainers are actively checking if someone needs more time.

After everyone has had enough time to think about the topic, the trainer asks them to line up to position themselves according to their feeling towards the phenomena of eco-anxiety. Make sure that they know that being aware of climate change and its effects is not eco-anxiety, you can be informed and fight against it while taking care of your mental health so it doesn’t affect you on a personal level.

The group places themselves in line with the scale of -anxious- do not care/not anxious depending on their actual feeling after knowing the topic

The trainer splits participants into two groups and invites them to the next activity

  • Step 5: Speed dating (15min).

We place participants into two lines (line A, line B), facing each other (everyone has someone in front of them). The lines are created from the previous activity of the line so people facing each other are from a “different spectrum” of their answer to the previous activity.

– We start with line A, they have 1 minute to talk about the statement below, line B is not reacting after one-minute line B do the same – 2 mins per (1 min per person)
– For each new statement start is up to the second line (B starts for the second statement, A for the third, etc.)
– We ring the bell so they know when to switch/ move on to another participant to find a new person to talk to
– Participants have 30 secs to think about the question


1. The future is frightening for me
2. We fail to take care of our planet
3. I don’t know how to make a difference
4. I am confident in the change I am creating
5. I see that I’m not fighting alone
6. There is hope for making a better future

Participants share their feelings to get in the role/shoes of youth with this issue.

  • Step 6: Shake it off (5 min)

Trainer explains that we put you probably in the feelings that youth are facing – to be able to reflect on the feelings but also to be aware of this topic. Now is the time to shake this off and get out of these emotions and roles you might take in the previous activity

Trainer explains now we want you to exit the role of youth and shake it off!
Play music, shake and dance (Taylor Swift – shake it off song)

  • Step 7: Whole group discussion (15 min)

The trainer invites people to sit in front of the trainers in a group

1. How do you feel?
2. What can we do as educators/trainers/organizations to support people with these feelings (and how this support can include people already suffering from climate change in the Global South)

Other trainer is taking notes on a whiteboard so everyone can see what was collected.

  • Step 8: Closing – Mathapore of the horse Chestnut seed

Symbolic activity to close, for example, guided focus:

Trainer: Now let’s sit down, get into a comfortable position with our eyes closed. We will give you an object, place it on the floor in front of you. Still, with your eyes closed, bring your hands closer to the object. Be careful, it might hurt a little. Try to figure out what it is, and ask yourself if you already know it. Now you can open your eyes. It is the fruit of a tree called the horse chestnut. This strange fruit contains a very different seed inside. You can open it. It is a smooth seed, easier to handle, which can give birth to another tree. We know that what we talked about was a difficult subject, but we hope that the resulting seeds will be useful in creating a forest of awareness.

During the trainer’s speech, the other trainer is giving chestnut seeds slowly to every participant to their hands.


All of the debriefing should have occurred during the step 7 (Whole group discussion).


Ask the group the following questions:

  1. This session helped you deal with eco-anxiety?
  2. Do you fell more prepared to help people deal with this feeling?
  3. Are there any doubts/questions about eco-anxiety that were left unanswered?
Adaption for other target audiences

You can use the same materials and activities but direct to teach young people. Just changing the reflections and questions to create an individual reflection within the people you are teaching.

Additional document
Additional remarks

The activity is shorter with less than 15 participants.