Languishing, Covid brain, lack of focus, anxiety, all things that are becoming more obvious. And in the middle of all that, packing to move. The good part is I am retired and can take my time staging. Normally I would have some excitement looking forward to the “newness” of it all. The harder part is change and aging where fatigue becomes a factor, and then the languish of the last 15 months.
Let’s get back to the languishing issue. This is not a word I associate with because I’m a “doer,” a thinker, a helper. Languishing means failing to make progress or be successful, to become feeble, weak or enervated. It is not depression or sadness but rather “the absence of feeling good about your life,” a sense of stagnation.
Humans are social animals and most need interactions to feel fulfilled. There used to be an eighth deadly sin called acedia, “defined as a want of interest in life.” Emptiness led people to fill their lives with unsavory vices, therefore acedia folded in with another deadly sin called sloth.
A key difference between languishing and depression is when depressed you may not even feel like leaving bed; the languished proceed by going through the motions in life, like your life is on hold waiting for something good to happen. One way some have found to extinguish their own languish is working on self and home improvement projects.
The pandemic has shown the needs we still have, such as in mental health. Depression is the No. 1 cause of burden to every country in the world. Mental health counselors have grown to a critical need. And the causes are many, but social unrest and instability is a root cause. Social workers in schools are being employed more now also. Joyless and aimless, stagnant, and empty, looking at your life through a foggy window seems to be the dominant emotion of 2021.
I hope some of these words help you navigate your own needs to better mental health. Understanding the why of your feelings is the start of healing. Even though I am still in “brain fog,” it does make me feel better knowing the “why” while doing a self-assessment on myself.
Ways to help yourself thrive: Access yourself; Savor and celebrate small things; Try “Sunday dinner gratitude;” Do five good deeds; Look for communities and connection; Find purpose in everyday routines; Try something new. And in all things, be kind!