Languish (verb): to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a long time:
After languishing in obscurity for many years, her early novels have recently been rediscovered.
He has been languishing in jail for the past 20 years.
The ruling party is languishing in third place in the opinion polls.
(Source: Cambridge Dictionary)
I think we all had high hopes for 2021. But here we are 5 months in and it’s definitely not close to meeting it’s expectations. We’re in our 3rd lockdown, our children are in virtual school indefinitely and the Covid numbers don’t seem to be getting any better. We knew all the garbage of 2020 wasn’t going to magically disappear but this far in, I didn’t think we’d be in this bad of shape.
Personally, I came into 2021 feeling optimistic. I felt like things would slowly but surely get better in the world. Rebranding the blog made me hopeful that perhaps it would be a little more successful and lucrative for me. I even bought a fancy planner for 2021. But as a metaphor of how things are going with that, it sits barely used.
For the past few months, I was worried that perhaps my anxiety/depression medication wasn’t doing it’s job and maybe I needed to speak to my doctor about changing the dosage. I wasn’t sad but just felt blah. My creativity level had reached an all time low. The thought of watching yet another series on Netflix seemed like torture. Everything and anything seemed like an effort.
Then I read an article in the NY Times about languishing. Reading the article by Adam Grant, was almost one of those light bulb moments. It was like he had stepped into my life and knew exactly how I was feeling. He wrote:
“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”
Afterwards, I spoke to a few different people about it and it was always the same answer. They were clearly languishing too. I know this sounds terrible, but it made me feel a little bit better. It wasn’t just me. It wasn’t all in my head. People are generally in the state of influx…they aren’t happy and they aren’t sad, just existing. And this can be exhausting.
Since reading this article and kind of figuring out this feeling was probably going to be sticking around for a while, I have been trying to make a serious, conscientious effort to do things that will help boost my mental health and lessen this languish I am feeling. It’s the typical things most people do, like getting more exercise, eating better, reducing my screen time, etc but I am really trying to make the effort. And some days are definitely easier than others.
I guess what I want to say is, if you’ve been feeling this way, just know you aren’t alone. A lot of us are clearly languishing these days.