‘Languishing’ is the latest covid buzzword as people feel stuck in the waning days of the pandemic

  • 01 May - 07 May, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

With millions of people getting vaccinated every day and new infections slowing, the end of the covid-19 pandemic seems to be getting closer. But with so much still uncertain – when can people safely travel again? Will cases ever fully disappear? – it can be a struggle to actually feel hopeful for the coming months. That feeling can be termed "languishing," psychologist Adam Grant argued in a story for The New York Times. "Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health," the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania professor and TED Talk host wrote. "It's the void between depression and flourishing – the absence of well-being. You don't have symptoms of mental illness, but you're not the picture of mental health either. You're not functioning at full capacity." Grant offers several suggestions for getting out of the languishing rut. The first is to recognise the feeling. "Instead of saying 'Great!' or 'Fine,' imagine if we answered, 'Honestly, I'm languishing,'" he advised. Grant suggests carving out a chunk of time to work on a hobby or anything people find enjoyable, without interruption. Another tip he shared was to make goals smaller – if knitting a whole scarf is too daunting, try an oven mitt; or if watching an entire movie feels like a chore, pick out an episode of a TV show instead. "Sometimes it's a small step toward rediscovering some of the energy and enthusiasm that you've missed during all these months," he said.