Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
New York University Graduate and current strategist at thinkPARALLAX, Yvonne Cuaresma is the founder of The Climate Journal Project, which helps communities build resilience against climate and eco-anxiety. In this fireside chat, Yvonne talks about how to cope with environmental grief through writing and journaling.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Reflecting on her journaling experience, Yvonne is passionate about helping others think about climate in a positive light.
What does CJP do?
We’re an online community that focuses on helping people transition away from planetary grief. We create climate-focused journal practices and workshops that help deconstruct the climate crisis without leaving our community hopeless.
Why did you start the Climate Journal Club Project (CJP)?
At the start of CJP, it was really hard to see all my friends in finance getting promotions, while I was struggling to get a job in social impact. I moved back to LA into my childhood home and was surrounded by childhood memories. I found my diaries (now journals) and started writing in them again. I was questioning if I even wanted to pursue a career in social impact. This was the first time I was questioning it and I journaled to help me process my thoughts. I realized that writing in the journals helped me reflect and think through my answers.
We’re all trying to process climate change and I thought journaling would be a great practice to help people process and build resiliency against eco-anxiety.
What's the connection between journaling, climate, and mental health?
Internal healing is a big part of planetary healing for me.
I wanted to articulate my thoughts in a no-judgment zone—sometimes these climate issues don't bother me and sometimes they bother me a LOT.
People are more reflective about the "why" after we spend 5-10 minutes journaling. Writing out our thoughts helps us process our feelings and encourages us to think through if our actions align with our beliefs.
What’s the future of CJP?
We want to provide more solutions for people to take action against climate change. Other plans include launching a podcast, working with universities for in-person climate wellness, and potentially launching a climate wellness conference.
What does climate optimism mean to you and how do you balance that with our stark reality?
It's okay to be optimistic! If we continue to focus on what we DON'T have, we won't be focusing on what we DO have. The situation is terrible but there are a lot of good things happening in various industries such as tech, business, energy, etc.
Climate optimism will give us the energy to keep going. If we don't love this planet, what are we fighting for and what is motivating us?
Check out resources from The Climate Journal Club Project here!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!