Some of you may have seen the article by Adam Grant published last week about languishing. The headline was “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.” As I read the article, I found myself relieved, intrigued and sad all at the same time. Relieved to hear a name for the feelings and that I was not alone. Intrigued by the science of it. Sad that this is where we are as a nation and world-joyless, stagnant, aimless, empty.
The science is that psychology puts mental health on a spectrum from depression—despondent and drained—to flourishing—mastery and meaning. In the middle of those is languishing, not ill but not well either. Not functioning at full capacity, lacking motivation, and finding it hard to concentrate.
Sound familiar? It did to me. I notice these feelings in myself and have heard them from others. After we moved through the emergency phase of the pandemic, we have been living in a between phase; it’s not over yet.
But we are not built to be in transition for long periods of time. Liminal time and space aren’t supposed to last forever. It has seemed like forever. And, even as we experience vaccines, it can be hard to feel excited when we’re languishing.
So, what do you do? The article suggests naming it is helpful, and I found it so. Also do something absorbing and engaging, set aside uninterrupted time, and set small, doable goals for a sense of progress.
To encourage our spiritual flourishing, I would add spiritual practice (whatever that is for you), being in meaningful relationship with others and something greater than us–friends, family, a faith community, the Spirit of Life.
May you thrive in body, mind and spirit.
Blessings on your week.
P.S. There was no languishing last week during the OUUC auction! Thank you for the amazing response! What a wonderful outpouring of support for OUUC. Thanks to the magnificent auction team and all who participated.
P.P.S. One of the recipients of this year’s Raise the Paddle was the YWCA of Olympia for their racial justice work. The Y put out a statement this week about the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s case. It also includes ways you can support efforts for racial justice locally and nationally. You can find the statement here.