Words of wellness
Flourishing above languishing
It has been fourteen months since COVID19 was declared a pandemic, and many of us are feeling exhausted, struggling to see light at the end of the tunnel. Recent articles in the New York Times caught my attention; they dealt with languishing and flourishing, two very different states of mind.
The first article, There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing, by Adam Grant, considered the state of languishing. This lies somewhere between thriving and burnout, where we are feeling ‘okay’ but lacking meaning and purpose. It was described as a feeling of “stagnation and emptiness”. The article made the point that thriving and burnout are not absolutes, but points on a scale with many stages, including languishing, between the two.
The second article, Don’t Languish, Flourish, by Dani Blum, spoke about the state of flourishing. She wrote “[flourishing] is living the good life … in a state in which all aspects of a person’s life are good.” We are thriving, living fully with meaning and purpose.
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There are several actions that can help us move from languishing to flourishing and thriving. The good news is that these actions are accessible and simple!
- Focus on small goals and celebrate small things. Tiny victories – finishing that report, cleaning a desk, finally getting to that email after 5 weeks – all these can and should be savored.
- Practice gratitude. Creating a weekly ritual to reflect upon what we are grateful for. Personally, I feel good by doing this while commuting on Friday night.
- Random acts of kindness. It is scientifically proven that helping others helps us flourish. Thanking someone for the role they play in our life. It can be a colleague, a family member or a mentor.
- Look for significant others. As the weather gets warmer, reconnecting with those that fill a need in our life, those who help us smile, feel good and appreciated – someone to exercise with, a sports fan to commiserate with, or a dog park acquaintance.
Many of us are somewhere between languishing and flourishing. Using these few tips may help push the scale more toward flourishing. Thrive on!
On Behalf of the Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee