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That feeling between burnout and depression? It's called ‘languishing’

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the concept of "languishing" - a state of emotional exhaustion and lack of purpose that many people have experienced during the pandemic. It provides advice from sociologist Dr. Corey Keyes on how to overcome this feeling and flourish.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Defining Languishing

1. What is the definition of languishing according to the article?

  • Languishing is described as a feeling of "blah" - not quite burnout or depression, but a sense of emotional exhaustion and lack of purpose.
  • It is an "internal alarm clock" warning that something important is missing from our lives, like a sense of purpose, belonging, and meaningful relationships.

2. How does the article say languishing can become "pathological" and "destructive"?

  • If we ignore the "alarm" of languishing and don't address the underlying issues, it can become a "terrible habit" where we prioritize other things over our sense of purpose and meaningful connections.
  • This can be very destructive to our lives if we continue to do nothing about the feeling of languishing.

[02] Overcoming Languishing

1. What are the key strategies the article suggests for overcoming languishing?

  • Spend more quality time with friends in-person to combat loneliness and social isolation
  • Learn something new just for the sake of learning, not for an external goal or productivity
  • Resist the urge to constantly compare yourself to others and focus on self-acceptance

2. Why does the article say learning new things can help with languishing?

  • When we stop feeling like we're growing and learning, we can feel "stuck, stagnant and like we're going nowhere" - which is a core part of the experience of languishing.
  • Learning new things just for the enjoyment of it, without an external goal, can help counteract this feeling of stagnation.

3. How does the article suggest letting go of past failures can help with languishing?

  • Ruminating on past mistakes and failures prevents us from moving forward and accepting ourselves.
  • Letting go of these past failures is described as an important aspect of self-acceptance, which is a key dimension of flourishing and overcoming languishing.
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