Last week, I was chatting to my sister and we were attempting to describe the “blah” feeling we have right now. In our conversation, we used a variety of words and metaphors to try to capture it. For example, I mentioned that everything seemed a little 'dull' and 'meaningless' - a bit like supporting your favourite sports team playing out the last string of games in an unsuccessful season. She was more articulate in her description, but neither of us could really pin down the feeling.
It turns out there is a good word for how we’re feeling - it's called “languishing”. I came across the name in a recent New York Times article: Feeling Blah During the Pandemic? It's Called Languishing - The New York Times (nytimes.com). The term was coined by the sociologist Corey Keyes and it describes the neglected middle child of mental health - the void between depression and flourishing.
The author defines “languishing” as a sense of stagnation and emptiness, and as we all keep on coping with coping, I suspect it describes how many of us feel with the "meh" state of our pandemic-coloured lives. Everything is a disheartening “C” and many of us don't even care about getting an “A” anymore.
Fortunately, there are ways out of languishing and the author suggests the concept of “flow” - the elusive state of absorption in a meaningful challenge or momentary bond. This antidote makes a lot of sense to us at LAPBC as we try our best to encourage the process of living an enriching and purposeful life (and believe connection bolsters this process). If we can find small ways of improving each area of our lives we can often build the momentum that carries us to an enhanced state of wellbeing.
Sometimes that can be a tough journey to embark on, so if you're looking for ideas and support we encourage you to reach out to us and/or attend many of the great Options sessions we have planned for the next few months. And if you want to learn more about languishing and brainstorm ideas on how to curb this behaviour, please join us at our weekly Monday lunchtime drop-in group where we’ll be discussing this reality.