RE: Post Pandemic Languishing

Art by Manshen Lo for The New York Times

I recently read and loved this piece from Adam Grant for The New York Times that defined our collective mood post (undefinable stage) pandemic we’re currently in as “languishing.”

It’s basically the purgatory region between that exists somewhere between depression and contentment. It is burnout adjacent, but somehow you’re still functioning. It’s the foggy brain, the lack of emotion, the lack of direction, it’s the collective meh feeling that I can’t shale.

Most of my days are filled with a list of tasks or toddler-related activities, I’m busy, I’m doing things. Yet, I feel like I’m floating and I am struggling to focus. I have some hope, but that hope hasn’t evolved into contentment or excitement.

It’s the in-between. I have a page that lists COVID vaccine numbers by state, and each day I refresh this page to see the number go up. At some point the numbers will get so high, we move past languishing to just “normal” stress?

It’s all too much, yet too blurry to really think about. But in the meantime I’m grateful to read that I’m not alone. Naming that gnawing lack of focus helps give it some direction as we continue to wait until we slowly emerge from this moment, to the next moment that won’t be perfect but will hopefully have some joy.


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