You are not alone, and here are some tips to help!
There have been so many words used during the global COVID19 pandemic: unprecedented, 2nd, 3rd, 4th wave, speaking moistly, social distance, work from home, epidemic, endemic, outbreak, contact tracing, quarantine, self-quarantine, and isolation. My favourite word that rose to the spotlight during the COVID19 global pandemic is LANGUISHING. Languishing, as described by New York Times, April 19, 2021 article, is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as though you are muddling through your days looking at your life through a foggy window. The term languishing sums up how I have felt throughout the dark days of the past three years. There have been many nights I have gone to bed, feeling like I had nothing to look forward to the next day. A complete sense of dread, with a whole lot of gloom. It explains why the past three years seem like a long run-on sentence, and I am, to be frank, completely tired of it.
What I do know is that how I feel, is how many of you feel too. This feeling of languishing, is a common mix of emotions during the COVID19 pandemic. Why, you might ask? The pandemic has negatively impacted our social outlets and support networks. We have turned into zoom creatures, looking for the latest VOGUE runway “work from home” leisure suits to spend endless amounts of time in our homes. It feels like an endless cycle of public health restrictions and safety measures, with a never-ending news cycle of divisive banter back and forth about if there needs to be more or less of these public health measures. I have often felt the public health measures did not match the risk of transmission in the community, but I am a pee on in the world, so my opinion doesn’t count, and I’ll just keep scratching my head!
What I do know, is that it’s hard to have hope for the future after close to three years of living this way. The other side of languishing, according to the New York Times May 4, 2021 article, is FLOURISHING, the peak of wellbeing. However, as we embark with emotional whiplash into the FIFTH wave in the dark, cold, grey, bucket of suck January days, I feel, like many of you, like I am still LANGUISHING ☹
So, what can we do to help ourselves and our families? Thankfully, we have collected a resume of positive and negative experiences throughout our life time that help us have a WISE MIND (think OWL) perspective, even as rookie pandemic beings. Unfortunately, our children, and in particular, adolescents do not have this repertoire of experiences, and so they view the pandemic with an emotional mind. This age group is beginning to think there is no end to this pandemic, and they do not believe the wise mind adults who keep telling them it will end. The wise mind and emotional mind can, at times, have difficulty meeting in the middle at a reasonable mind frame. However, if we can keep in mind that WE ARE ALL LANGUISHING, and add some COMPASSION into our interactions with others we may be able to move closer toward FLOURISHING. We can all help one another by using our “understanding” skills.
Some other ways we can help ourselves and others include:
Hopefully we will all soon be FLOURISHING ☺
Written by Registered Social Worker Tammy Wagner, Clinical Counsellor with Wildflowers.