The organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote piece for The Times this week about languishing, which he calls the forgotten middle child of mental health: a state of void that isn’t burnout, nor depression, but a kind of joyless aimlessness. I commend it to you.
Languishing is a tough condition to combat, Grant says. It leaves us indifferent to our indifference. But once we know it’s there, it is possible, he argues, to drive it away and to march ourselves back toward flourishing healthiness. How? Give yourself some uninterrupted time and focus on a small goal, he says, and take on “a challenge that stretches your skills and heightens your resolve.”
Languishing is a good word to describe the past year of Covid. I certainly can identify, and his suggestion that we focus on a small goal and take on a challenge that stretches one’s skills rings home.
Without church services for year now and limited personal contact in charitable work, perhaps we are also experiencing spiritual languishing as well. It is time set some spiritual goals and challenges. What they might be are individual decisions, but prayer, meditation, study, and service are good places to start.
If you have suggestions for our readers send in a brief comment and I will publish. Languishing should not become a permanent condition.