By LeAnn Thieman. This was originally published on LeAnn's blog.
During the height of the pandemic, many people said they had trouble concentrating. They couldn’t get excited about anything. It wasn’t burnout. It wasn’t depression. They just felt somewhat joyless and aimless.
It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.
Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.
In the early, uncertain days of the pandemic, our brains were on high alert and our fight or flight instincts were at a fever pitch. But as the pandemic has dragged on, the acute state of anguish we found so hard to describe has given way to a chronic condition of languishing that colors our daily lives.
Languishing Can Lead To Nurse Burnout
Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. It dulls our motivation and disrupts our ability to focus, and it poses a serious risk to our mental health.
Research suggests that the people most likely to experience major depression and anxiety disorders in the next decade aren’t the ones with those symptoms today, but the people who are languishing right now.
And new evidence from pandemic health care workers in Italy shows that those who were languishing in the spring of 2020 were three times more likely than their peers to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dealing With Languishing and Preventing Nurse Burnout
Finding new challenges, enjoyable experiences and meaningful work are all possible remedies to languishing. Carve out daily time to focus on a challenge that matters to you — an interesting project, a worthwhile goal, a meaningful conversation.
Sometimes it’s a small step toward rediscovering some of the energy and enthusiasm you’ve missed during all these months.
For healthcare businesses, providing workers with a supportive and rewarding work environment can help reduce the prevalence of languishing and prevent nurse burnout both now and in the future.
Planning your next event? Get in touch with us at the Capitol City Speakers Bureau today to schedule your ideal speaker and make your event a success!