WHAT if the PANDEMIC HASN’T MADE US FEEL BAD, BUT WE ALSO DON’T FEEL QUITE RIGHT? – PART 2
As with other forms of psychological distress, naming it is the first step towards dealing with it. By identifying depression, anxiety, addiction, and other struggles due to the pandemic (see previous blogs), we can begin to take counter steps, including seeking help. The same is true for languishing.
How can we ease languishing? “Flow”: getting “absorbed in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond.” In flow, our “sense of time, place and self melts away”. This is an experience of being “immersed” and fully engaged. Binge watching is one form of flow perhaps, but not necessarily an optimal choice. Being able to focus is a pre-requisite for this state of flow. Disconnecting from texts, email, and internet surfing is essential. Gaining relief from interruptions is required.
One company in India set up three mornings a week as a time of no interruptions to each person’s work. This “quiet time” produced “above-average productivity for 65% of its employees.” Getting more done creates a “sense of progress”, which enhances motivation and pleasure. When we fully attend to an effort, we often find more success and comfort.
We can set up “just-manageable difficulty”, so that our skills are enhanced, and our commitment is strengthened. Carve out some time, preferably with regularity like most every day, to take on a challenge that has meaning: a project, a goal, a meaningful conversation with someone. A therapist at IPN can be of help to name such difficulties that are not as severe as depression or anxiety, understand the source of such discomforts, and then develop strategies to find genuine relief.
Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, CA. A member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network, he can be reached at 310 539-2772, or firstname.lastname@example.org. In-person sessions are available as well as telehealth sessions.
Copyright 2021 by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.