I was recording a podcast interview yesterday and we got talking about this.
What are we now experiencing since being 2 years in a pandemic? What is the new normal of functioning? What can we do about it?
Languishing – between joyful and sorrowful. The middle space of emotional grey. The peaks are not quite notable. The lows not quite desperate. We have enough energy and hope to get by, but not quite enough to feel like we are thriving.
Feeling like we are alternating between the accelerator and brake moving uphill
Many things explain this – the most routine and automatic of decisions are being re-written on a daily basis. What we can get for food. Where we can travel to. Calculating days of isolating and how it impacts your leave, commitments and plans. Social niceties and appropriate cancelling is being re-written. There just isn’t enough frozen casseroles to give the isolation care to your friends and family.
Here are my top 3 tips during the languishing season:
1. Name it and express it. In our home, we have felt relief when we express that we are not feeling 100% but we don’t quite need the alarms to be ringing for help either.
2. Reduce your expectations of how much and how long you can spend on tasks. I accept I am running at 60% or less most days
3. Experience joy in the small things. You do not need to push to read a whole novel or listen to a whole podcast. Head for 3 paragraphs and 10 minutes.
4. Limit multi-tasking and filling up your hours with more things. In the effort to feel “productive” during brain fog, we may throw several things into the doing mix. Stop this. Head for spreading shorter work chunks across the whole week.
5. Keep the meaningful connections manageable. In our home, we did away with our cognitively taxing board games. It has remained untouched for months! Instead, I bought a simple card game for pre-schoolers that we play just one round after dinner.