The pandemic has put us in a constant state of limbo, it gives us glimmers of hope, and sudden shades of terror. It disables our ability to feel fully present in our lives, and takes away hopefulness from the future. Sociologist Corey Keyes first coined the term languishing as the "antithesis of flourishing." As she puts it, “Languishing is apathy, a sense of restlessness or feeling unsettled or an overall lack of interest in life or the things that typically bring you joy.” Sounds familiar? You might be languishing. Languishing is a series of emotions. It encapsulates feelings of hollowness, monotony and stagnation. The pandemic has resulted in us moving between feelings of disconnection, lack of motivation, bursts of energy, and the consequent lethargy to follow.
The first step in moving forward, is identifying your languishing and accepting that it exists. Second, we must give ourselves compassion and recognize the vast systems that are influencing this condition - you are not broken or flawed. You are in a global pandemic that has now lasted 3 years. Third, we learn to cope. Some ways to do that are to...
1) Take breaks outside often. Working from home is the new normal, but it hurts our mental health to be home all day. Step out every few hours with your mask on to get some fresh air.
2) Change up your scenery. It may help to find a new spot at home to work from.
3) Get dressed like you have to be somewhere. Take a shower in the morning and get dressed like you would if you were going into the office.
4) Give yourself moments of rest. If your rest looks like you guilting yourself for not being productive, then that is not rest. You need moments of true rejuvenation throughout the day.
5) Lastly, reduce your news consumption. This, of course, doesn't mean do away with it entirely, but reduce how much news you consume and substitute it with something that brings you joy.