Maybe You’re Not Depressed!

Languishing v Depression.    Happy & sad faces representing mental state

Have you heard the term “languishing” thrown around since the pandemic? I can’t say that I had, however, talking to a friend over a nice chilled glass of rose, we started to put the world to rights – as you do! We talked about depression & my friend mentioned ‘languishing’, we ended up describing it as a spectrum thing. Think about flourishing & languishing being opposite ends of a spectrum, where would you be on the scale?

What exactly is it, and how can you tell if you’re caught in its grasp? In this article, we’ll explore what languishing feels like and how it can impact your mental health as well as things you can do to deal with it.

What Does Languishing Feel Like?

Imagine waking up on a cloudy, drizzly morning in the UK, with a sense of not quite knowing what the day holds. You’re not bubbling with enthusiasm and energy, nor are you weighed down by the depths of despair. It’s as though you’re floating in a sea of “meh.” That, my friend, is what languishing feels like. Sound familiar?

  • Apathy and Aimlessness – Languishing often manifests as a lack of motivation or direction. You might find yourself going through the motions without much purpose or enthusiasm. It’s like drifting in a boat without a map or a destination.
  • Emotional Flatness – In the languishing state, your emotions may seem muted or dulled. You’re not exactly sad, but you’re not feeling particularly joyful either. Life’s vibrant colours become a shade of grey.
  • Struggling to Concentrate – You may notice that focusing on tasks becomes a Herculean effort. Your mind wanders, and even the simplest of tasks can feel like climbing Mount Everest.
  • Decreased Productivity – Languishing can have a noticeable impact on your productivity. It’s harder to complete tasks efficiently, and your work may suffer as a result.
  • A Sense of Stagnation – You’re stuck in a rut, going round and round in circles. The days blend into one another, and you wonder if you’re making any progress at all.

How Languishing Impacts Mental Health

Languishing, while not as severe as conditions like depression or anxiety, can still take a toll on your mental health. It’s like a persistent drizzle that dampens your spirit over time. Here’s how it can impact you:

  • Increased Stress: The constant feeling of being stuck or unfulfilled can lead to stress and frustration. You may find yourself on edge more often than usual.
  • Reduced Resilience: Languishing can chip away at your resilience, making it harder to bounce back from life’s challenges. You might feel more overwhelmed by everyday stressors.
  • Impact on Relationships: Your emotional flatness can affect your relationships. You may not engage as enthusiastically with loved ones, leading to misunderstandings or a sense of disconnect.
  • Diminished Well-being: Overall, languishing can erode your sense of well-being. Life may lose some of its lustre, and you might struggle to find joy in the things you once loved. It can impact the immune system too, leaving you open to health issues
  • Energy & Vibration: When you’re in a low mood, this affects your energy, leaving you open to negativity from people, places and events around you. It can also affect your vibration, pulling it down which will make it harder for you to connect to Spirit, harder to connect to Source & making your daily spirituality more of an effort.
  • Procrastination: Tasks you once tackled with gusto now pile up as you put them off, lacking the interest or drive to accomplish them.

Addressing Languishing

Recognizing languishing is the first step towards overcoming it. Here’s how you can begin to address it:

  • Set small, achievable goals: Break down tasks into manageable steps to regain a sense of accomplishment.
  • Engage in self-care: Prioritise activities that nourish your mind and body, such as exercise, meditation, or creative hobbies.
  • Connect with others: Reach out to friends and loved ones for support and companionship.
  • Seek professional help: If languishing persists and affects your daily life, consider speaking to a mental health professional.

Remember, languishing is a common experience, and it’s okay to seek help and support when needed. Just like the UK’s weather, emotional states can change, and brighter days are ahead with the right strategies and mindset. You’ve got this, and there’s always sunshine after the rain.

  1. Simple Pleasures – When you’re languishing, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in some classic British comforts. Make yourself a cup of tea, add a biscuit or two, or even a slice of cake and sit down to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can brighten your day, even when you’re languishing. For me, it’s hot chocolate & a good book, preferably in my pyjamas! In the summer, it’s to just sit in the garden & listen to nature going about it’s business; bees buzzing, birds singing, leaves rustling.
  2. Rainy Days and Indoor Adventures – In the UK, we’re no strangers to rainy days. So, when you’re feeling a bit languished, why not turn it into an opportunity for indoor adventures? Dust off that board game, start a puzzle, or immerse yourself in a good book or a film you love that lifts you up – Dirty Dancing anyone? Who needs the sun when you’ve got cosy indoor activities?
  3. A Bit of Self-Care, Darling – Languishing can be a gentle reminder that it’s time to pamper yourself a bit. Treat yourself to a spa day at home, run a luxurious bubble bath, or simply put on your comfiest pyjamas and binge-watch your favourite TV series. Meditation is a great way to get out of your body and into a new, better mood. Your well-being deserves some TLC!
  4. Embrace the Languishing Lingo – Why not have a bit of fun with the language of languishing? Create your own languishing-themed lingo. For instance, instead of saying “I’m not feeling great today,” you could playfully declare, “I’m just experiencing a touch of ‘mehness,’ old chap.” It’s a lighthearted way to express your feelings without taking yourself too seriously.
  5. Connect with Fellow Languishers – Remember, you’re not alone in this. Many people experience languishing at some point in their lives. So, why not reach out to friends and family, share your feelings, and create a support network for languishing warriors? Who knows, you might even discover that some of your loved ones are fellow languishes in disguise.
  6. Rediscover Your Passion – Languishing can also be an opportunity to rediscover your passions and hobbies. Remember that dusty guitar in the corner? Or that half-finished painting? Pick them up and let your creativity flow. You might just find that pursuing your interests brings a spark of joy to your languishing heart.
  7. Set Small Goals – the big tasks may feel too overwhelming so find something that isn’t too big, maybe tidying your clothing & throwing out those items you keep meaning to take to the charity shop? Maybe you just want to rearrange a kitchen cupboard, just go with a small task, it may grow into something bigger which is perfect. Maybe taking a daily stroll in the park, learning a new recipe, or dedicating time to a hobby, achieving these mini-milestones can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

In the grand scheme of life, languishing is just a fleeting phase. It’s like a cloudy day in the UK – it might not be the sunniest, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find beauty in the grey. So, my dear friend, embrace your languishing moments with open arms, enjoy your cup of tea, and remember that the sun will shine again.

I really hope this blog has helped you to understand, it is a thing, you don’t need any medication from your doctor, just take the time to be with it & address it in the way that you need to. Recognising that your mood needs support is essential, then do what suits that mood. 

Let me know if you’ve been ‘languishing’ & how it’s affected you, I know when I was in that place, I’d never heard of languishing so I was at a loss as to what was going on and how to deal with it. It’s different now, if I do feel that I’m languishing, I know it’s just a message from my mind to take some time out.

Remember, your emotional well-being is in your hands, and with the right tools, you can rewrite your emotional script and create a brighter future, you don’t have to do it alone, I can help you, book a Zoom call with me now.

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