Languishing: to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a long time.
When we read that definition, many people can relate. You feel different lately. Yo
u’re not exactly sad or distressed, but definitely not inspired. Maybe the monotony of daily life leaves you feeling “blah”, stuck, or in a rut. Perhaps you stay up late joylessly bingeing on shows or simply go through the motions each day. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, chances are you're languishing, says organizational psychologist Adam Grant.
While we all languish at various points in our lives, right now it is a common feeling. The pandemic disrupted life everywhere, affecting motivation, productivity, attention, and general well-being. Things that used to make us feel valued, inspired, or connected are not necessarily possible right now.
Thankfully, we can make a small change to our daily lives that may help us discover that spark again.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we explore how finding opportunities to reclaim our sense of purpose may help us emerge from the languish zone.
As a classroom, group or family:
- On the board or a piece of paper, ask everyone present to brainstorm a list of things to do that are low-pressure and productive… think tasks that have purpose, projects that are meaningful, experiences that are engaging, etc. Invite people to share some suggestions.
- Ask everyone to pick one thing they can try at home to create that sense of flow.. being fully in the present, engaged with their whole self: mind, heart and body…
- Start small and be intentional. Carve out time each day to do a simple, engaging task. Set a manageable goal that gives you a sense of accomplishment. It could be playing an instrument, drinking a coffee alone in the morning, reading a chapter of a book, having a meaningful conversation, doing a daily word puzzle, cleaning out a messy drawer or closet, trying out a new recipe, colouring, engaging in a favourite hobby, etc.
- There are no limits to how you experience flow in your life – just find something that appeals to you, draws you in, or challenges you daily. Accomplishing small goals that matter to you could be just the boost you need to reclaim your energy, enthusiasm, and sense of purpose.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
Have you ever felt so absorbed something that you lost track of time? How did it make you feel?
Connecting to our faith:
“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.” (Psalm 6:2)
“Renew our faith, draw from the living waters of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God.” (Pope Francis)
- Adult Book: “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Children’s Book: “I Can Do Hard Things” by Gabi Garcia
- TED Talk: Adam Grant: How to stop languishing and start finding flow https://youtu.be/a3zPgyvCiJI
- Article: “What Is Languishing” www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-languishing-5181172
- Research Publication: “The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing” www.pnas.org/content/117/51/32197
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