Stay at home orders have lifted, our fully vaccinated rate is 94% over 12s, kids are back to school and you can sit down with your friends for a coffee at your local cafe. Post-lockdown life feels great!
Or does it?
If you are feeling a bit ’meh’ and as though you are languishing and not getting anywhere you are not alone. Life after lockdown can feel dull, flat, and frankly unsatisfying. This is a world-wide phenomenen and the women of Canberra are not immune.
Oxford Dictionary defines languishing as ”forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation” and shows it’s origin in Middle English “(in the sense ‘become faint, feeble, or ill’): from Old French languiss-, lengthened stem of languir ‘languish’, from a variant of Latin languere, related to laxus‘ loose, lax’” and it certainly feels like that after the forced lifestyle changes of Covid. Necessary, but still unpleasant.
”I just can’t get going – I have so much to do and so little motivation” or “I can’t focus on work” or ”I’m feeling really cautious: what happens if another snap lockdown is called?” or “my kids are feeling unsure about returning to school”, “I’ve forgotten what I like to do to make myself happy”. Yep: that is languishing.
Why do I feel so meh?
The last two years have been tough: uncertain, frightening, full of loss, death and illness, lost experiences, missing interstate friends and families, altered social milestones such as completing year 12, cancelled graduation balls, forgotten anniversaries, quiet milestone birthdays, and many tough decisions.
All of this has been un-alleviated by holidays, positive breaks from routine like weekends away, and fulfilling long term dreams like overseas trips. Naturally this never-ceasing round of pandemic life on repeat triggers feelings of anxiety, worry, sadness, frustration, anger, and irritation as we feel out of control: because we are not in control of the virus or others’ responses to it.
Two years of high levels of stress leaves us exhausted. Feeling feeble and faint and not connected to our own usual feelings of positivity and optimism is the very natural result of losing our sense of agency.
How do I get my mojo back?
- Recognise the losses of the past 2 years with its attendant continual stress
- Acknowledge your complete entitlement to feel flat and empty and sad
- Seek out the things that make you feel energised and nurtured: find what feels good! This may take a little emotional detective work on your part…be curious
- Do those things that make you feel good: and better still find others to do them with
- Slowly re-instate your pre-lockdown life without feeling you have to take all of it on right now. This might look like a partial return to the office, or choosing to add in one regular weekly activity
- Keep doing the things that make you feel good as you build them into your regular life
The silver linings in languishing
This is a perfect time to choose again: make mindful post-lockdown changes. Begin new things, firm up your boundaries, look for the job you have always wanted, invest time and energy in self care. Suggestions? Yoga, join a choir, start a vege garden, learn how to meditate, cook yummy food, hug your kids, tell those that you love that you love them in a warm noisy voice!
Reach out if you need to
And if you are finding it difficult to move from empty ‘meh’ to happy balance, know that I currently have appointments for adolescent and adult women: just in case you need someone on the journey with you back from post-lockdown life.