NextGen Know-How: How to cope with languishing

If you’ve been feeling ‘blah,’ you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you and your team members shift from languishing to flourishing in your own time.

Several months ago, I told my husband that I felt like I was in a funk. I couldn’t explain why—I love my business, I enjoy working with my clients, and I have so much to be thankful for. My three kids are healthy, I’m in the process of writing a book and we had just returned from a great family vacation in Tennessee. Yet, I couldn’t shake this feeling of “blah.” My usual motivation, action and zest were replaced with melancholy and a sense of flatness. The only thing I felt like doing was drinking cappuccinos (OK, wine) and watching Hallmark movies all day. (Wouldn’t that be nice!?) On a serious note, I felt worried. Why was I feeling this way? What was causing my lack of energy and passion? I didn’t feel completely depressed, just blah. I’ve had bad days before, and even bad weeks, but I had never experienced a prolonged period when I had to muster the energy to get through the day. I felt better on days when I worked with clients, but when I was working in my office, I lacked my normal drive.

Then, about a month ago, I read this article by Adam Grant in the New York Times. In it, Grant describes feeling like me—not jumping out of bed in the morning, and a lack of concentration and excitement. He writes:

“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.”


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