I don’t know if it’s the ongoing dread of lockdown, hormones, or maybe it’s because I haven't been on TikTok today, but I feel like I am going through a “midlife” crisis of sorts if that’s even possible in your 20’s.
I believe the scientific term for this feeling is
…….okay no it really isn’t, but I am currently dealing with a feeling of being unmotivated during a pandemic-that-shall-not-be-named which has made me feel weary to say the least. Can I just blame this on Mercury being in retrograde and go?
Weirdly enough, it is actually a lot deeper than that and there’s actually a term for it.
It’s called languishing.
A phrase coined by sociologist Corey Keyes in the early 2000’s, languishing is neither feeling good nor sad, it's feeling nothing. And let me tell you, when I read that - I thought it was definitely my mood.
A recent New York Times article written by Adam Grant has resurfaced the work of Keyes and given a name to this feeling of in-between that so many of us would have felt after the last year and a half we’ve had so far. He suggests that why many people are feeling this sense of languish is as a result of how prolonged COVID-19 has been and the fear associated with it. He describes it as the place between depression and flourishing.
Keyes suggested that adults with complete mental health are flourishing in life with high levels of well-being, which sounds like such a beautiful concept. As more people are getting access to vaccinations, I am moving towards being hopeful but the more I thought about it, I found that where I really want to be is flourishing and prioritising positivity which can naturally alleviate any “ugh” feelings.
The first step is always recognising you want the change right? I wanted to move towards creating tangible actions in having better control of my life and active intentions to be in a state of flourishing instead of just living. I’m allowing myself to trust the process and trying to implement the below more in my day-to-day life.
Going for walks
Being active does wonders for your overall well-being. It helps improve self perception and getting the blood pumping in your body can help improve your mood and health. I know sometimes just the idea of going outside for exercise feels like such a task. But you'll notice almost immediately when you chose to make a conscious effort to put your health first, your mind will really thank you for it. Also, it's free!
Writing has been my go-to for every mood - starting from processing thoughts to creating long term and short term goals. Being able to write out what I’m thinking in my mind is giving me time to clarify and move through why I am feeling the way that I am. This has been particularly helpful when I am feeling out of place or overwhelmed with the current state of the world.
Taking rest is such a wild concept. Who’s guilty of overworking themselves and not taking breaks only to complain about being tired? At this stage I'm just attacking myself. Time off to rest and recover is so important especially if you are feeling burnt out. As much as we want to push through and be productive, your work will end up suffering because of it. Take that bloody day off.
Did you know that in Australia under the Better Access program, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychological appointments per calendar year until 30 June 2022. This gives you access — subsidised by Medicare — to certain psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers. It's so important to seek professional help to help you sort through your emotions and process your mindset. Speak to your local GP to find out more.
Feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated is so natural and honestly a given due to how weird the world has been. Please acknowledge the feeling but also recognise that it is important not to stay in that space for long. Take care of yourself and find ways to enjoy life. Rely on your friends & family like I have to provide you with comfort and support. Our emotions can sometimes get the best of us but it’s important to find ways for yourself to move into a healthier space because you deserve that self care!
Remember, you are doing the best you can and you are not alone
By Shreya Basu, Inclusion Advocate at GRLKND
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000).
You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.