We are in a pandemic - Languishing and GenZ's Mental Health
You know how life’s going on, and you’re there, but you’re not actually “there”? That’s languishing. Everything feels too overwhelming, and not at all, all at once. There’s nothing to engage with and of course a lack of will and motivation, and everything feels empty. Well, it’s not just you. Languishing is the prevalent mood of 2021.
Languishing, by definition, means “failing to make progress or be successful”. It’s essentially a state of stagnation. It’s like you don’t feel good or bad, but you aren’t really present either. Your constant mood is just ughhhh. A state of stillness overcomes you. At the beginning of the pandemic, you had a feeling of anguish, but there still was hope, it had only been a few days. Now, however, with the pandemic still prevailing, this feeling has morphed into a constant state of anguish. This is different from depression, and in fact, it’s not a mental illness, just a series of emotions.
Adam Grant of The New York Times describes this as showing up for life but living without purpose and aim. Last summer, journalist Daphne K. Lee tweeted about a Chinese expression translating to “revenge bedtime procrastination”. It’s described as staying up late at night to reclaim the freedom we’ve missed during the day. It’s a search for bliss in a bleak day, connection in a lonely week, or purpose in a perpetual pandemic.
Is there a solution?
Try to completely immerse yourself in something. Find that “state of flow”. It doesn’t have to be productive. Maybe a book or series that totally immerses you into the story.
Start a new project, especially one that makes you super excited, maybe adding a worthwhile goal
Small wins for the win! Finally fixing that mistake in the morning sudoku, or maybe finding the solution to a bug (even a minor one!)
Acknowledging and accepting. By acknowledging that so many of us are languishing, we can give voice to quiet the despair and light a path out of the void.
Make exciting plans. Plan out an ideal summer holiday, and maybe even pick out dates! Have something to look forward to.
It’s important to remember, this is not in our heads. It’s because of the prevailing circumstances, and you are not at fault. Ask yourself what you need, and go ahead and do that. While we are getting closer, the pandemic still isn’t ending anytime soon, and it’s only you that can care for yourself. If you think it’s affecting your ability to function normally, feel free to ask out for help.
Research Coordinator - Avani Sood
Editor - Priyam Kusundal
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