Languishing seems to be the buzz word about how people are feeling at the moment.
You’re not depressed, but equally, you are not thriving either.
Languishing is described by Adam Grant, Professor of Management & Psychology from Wharton School:
‘It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless.’
And although thankfully, in this part of the world, it looks like we are coming out the other side of coronavirus, there is a bit of a flat feeling.
For me, I know that there have been times when I have found it hard to motivate myself to do marketing.
Vaccinations are being lined up for most people – but then what? Do we go back to everything being the way it was pre-pandemic?
I don’t think so.
The last year or so has been a time of huge change for most people. David Kessler talks about the grief of Covid. Kessler defines grief as the change we didn’t want to happen.
And there are so many things that we had to give up – not being able to meet up with friends and loved ones, the lack of certainty about how things will turn out and not being able to plan some escape, whether it be having a coffee in your local coffee shop or escaping to somewhere different.
And while for many of us, we think we don’t think we have a right to feel this grief as we have so much to be grateful for – we have a roof over our head, a job.
But with all of these losses, if they are not acknowledged, they don’t just go away. They will linger and could show up as us languishing, losing our temper for no apparent reason at all or just not feeling that we are on top of things.
One of the best things that we can do is to give space to our feelings. If you are feeling sad in the moment, allow yourself to be sad. If you are angry, let yourself feel angry.
One of the descriptions of emotion is energy in motion. When we don’t give the emotion the energy to be felt, then it gets stuck. Usually, just by giving yourself space to feel the emotion, it passes through you, and you come out the other side of it.
Very often people say to me that they have no idea what they feel. What you can do is just get yourself comfortable, and do a scan of your body, and notice where your attention is drawn to.
Just sit with this physical feeling and notice it for a few minutes. Then you could ask yourself, if there was an emotion in there, what emotion could that be. Give yourself a few minutes to ponder this, and if you don’t know for certain – guess!
And if this doesn’t work, ask yourself, if there was someone like you in the same situation, what do you imagine they are feeling?
Then pause and take a moment and give yourself space to feel.
And sit with whatever answer comes up – give it the space to be.