Have you heard of languishing?
I learned about languishing recently. I was in a funky place. Day in and day out, I felt uninspired. Unmotivated. Aimless. I shared my weird mood with a friend and she asked an interesting question: “Are you having fun?”
My response? “I’m bored, uninspired, and tired.”
I started to wonder if I was dealing with some sort of high functioning depression. It’s not uncommon for someone with anxiety to also have a diagnosis of depression after all, and the last couple of years have been tough on all of us. But I didn’t quite fit the depression bill.
That’s where languishing comes in.
The term was coined by Dr. Corey Keyes. It’s not a mental health condition, but someone languishing isn’t at their best either. You may not feel hopeless – I didn’t – but the things you usually enjoy aren’t lighting you up. You’re apathetic and everything has a sort of grayness to it.
Signs you’re languishing:
- The things you love are no longer bringing you joy.
- Life feels “blah.” It could be worse, but everything has a dullness to it.
- Your days feel bored and repetitive.
- You lack purpose.
- You feel aimless.
- It’s difficult to focus.
- You rely on unhealthy coping habits.
When I learned about languishing, I thought wow, that’s me.
I love to write, workout, coach women to live a bold life. Yet I found myself in a place where I wanted to do those things, but they weren’t lighting me up. I couldn’t get over the metaphorical hurdle of doing them. I would sit down to write, only to be distracted by endless scrolling. I wanted to work out, but sitting on my couch (usually scrolling) felt more appealing. I wanted to take on more clients and grow my coaching business, I just couldn’t seem to focus long enough to finish a piece of content or plan a launch. I had the desire, but I was bored.
Each day looked the same:
Wakeup. Get dressed. Go to work. Go to school. Come home. Do homework. Go to bed. Repeat.
I had no purpose. No aim. I would watch the same TV shows on repeat. “Comfort shows” I’d call them. Friends and Schitt’s Creek on repeat instead of watching the latest and greatest streaming hit for both inspiration and to talk about it with all my film school friends. My eating habits were slipping and I wasn’t sleeping well. I was surviving, but I wasn’t thriving.
I was not my best self.
I was languishing.
Languishing is usually brought on by stress and is comparatively short-term. With a full-time job, full-time school, teaching Pure Barre, and trying to be a human, stress is my first, middle, and last name these days. Learning I was living in a state of languish made perfect sense.
Does languishing sound familiar to you? Perhaps I just described you and the season you’ve found yourself in?
You may be asking “what do I do now?”
Well, according to the professionals, the antidote to languishing is – flourishing.
Full disclosure, I’m still working through it. But there is an exercise that helped me figure out what flourishing – thriving – looks like for me. I’ll share that exercise tomorrow.
Have you heard of languishing? Does it sound like something you’re going through? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!