How Languishing is the Dominating Emotion of the Covid Times

In this excellent New York Times column ‘There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing‘ the author makes the point that languishing may be the dominating emotion of the Covid times.

As we increasingly don’t get excited by anything as we are confined in our homes, “it wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing. 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.”

And indeed personally I have been caught by languishing in particular during the toughest periods of confinement, not coming out of my home offices weeks at a time.

Languishing seems to be a precursor of more serious disorders in the future according to some studies, hence the need to overcome this state. The article proposes that “flow” could be the antidote. “People who became more immersed in their projects managed to avoid languishing and maintained their prepandemic happiness.” This, of course, requires that one has a project that keeps occupied. Another approach is to ensure to keep uninterrupted time to oneself, which allows to concentrate on something of interest.

Languishing seems to be quite the descriptor of the mood of many people at this moment. As vaccination increases and we are able to have more and more social relationships, we need to be able to escape this mind state. What are you doing against languishing?