Feeling 'Blah' ? We've got your back!
How are you? Take your time, think about it!
I am not expecting to hear ‘I am fine, thank you’, so don’t worry!
Today, I am asking, how are you really doing?
I am writing today to check in with you, to see if you’re also feeling ‘blah’ like I have during the pandemic.
If you have, I want you to know- you
are not alone!
The New York Times recently published an article explaining a feeling of Languishing. It is not sadness or depression but simply a sense of stagnation or emptiness.
Languishing is supposedly an ignored middle child of mental health. It is a void between ‘depression’ and ‘flourishing’. If not addressed earlier, it may lead to depression in the long term.
I personally have been through this feeling and it still comes and goes sometimes. For me, it is a feeling of aimlessness and joylessness even after being busy with work and being with my family.
Believe me, I have a great partner, an amazing family, the best colleagues and overall a good, comfortable life. You will never meet me without a smile on my face.
And yet, I felt the ‘absence of wellbeing’!
The lockdown made me question my sources of happiness and the way I spend my time.
I asked myself if I am happy. Turns out - I wasn’t unhappy but I wasn’t really happy either.
There were simple things that were making me say - I am not feeling great!
With some self-reflection and after talking to closed ones - I found out some reasons why I was feeling restless and joyless.
I decided to be vulnerable today and write about them all.
One reason for me to be upset was wasting my time on social media...
Don’t get me wrong, at times, social media is the most amazing way to connect with people, to learn different things and know what's happening in the world.
However, we easily forget the purpose and keep consuming the content which is not really useful to us. We all have been victims of mindless scrolling on social media more now than ever.
Another reason was not eating right...
Being stuck in the house and having a lot of free time automatically led to eating too much and eating unhealthy stuff. I wanted to lose some weight badly and yet wasn’t inspired enough to follow a proper diet.
Finally my unaccomplished learning goals...
At the beginning of the lockdown last year, I decided- “I will not come out of this as a same person, I will be better at some skills, I will spend time on my hobbies and I will learn new things”
I signed up for some online courses and bought some books. I had set goals for lots of reading and learning.
But again - social media, Netflix binge, eating binge- all of it resulted in lethargy and non-accomplishment of any of my goals.
Identifying the Problem
I realized I had an enormous amount of guilt for doing all the things I stated above. This guilt was just piling up every day and I was not acting against it.
One day, my friend and colleague Aishwarya and I had met for a Travel Dirty meeting.
At the end of our work discussion, she asked me how I was doing with the intent to listen.
Because she was willing to REALLY listen to me, I told her about this piled up guilt of mine.
I guess, speaking out loud about my feelings really helped me understand them better.
Once I understood the root cause of my restlessness, I decided to erase it completely.
No more guilt tripping!
Aishwarya offered to help me reduce my guilt by holding me accountable for my actions everyday.
I told her my goals and what will help me feel better about myself everyday.
I shared what I want to do everyday and we kept a shared journal of my actions too. In exchange for her kindness, I offered to do the same for her.
Life can be so simple!
We spoke to each other everyday about our day and checked in to see if we had acted towards our goals and shared if we had cheated.
In just 3-4 days I felt a lot better about myself and my restlessness certainly reduced.
After a week or so, I was excited about my goals again because I was working towards them.
Every day, I took small steps for accomplishing my goals and walked away from the distractions.
It makes me think how simple it is to be happy!
I am not saying I have found the secret of a happy life but now I know what to do when I start feeling low.
Just being vulnerable and sharing how I feel was the first step to feeling good about myself again.
Me and Aishwarya are now more willing to listen to others and help them feel better.
We both know better than saying “I am fine” all the time.
We know we don’t have to be upbeat all the time and being positive all the time can be toxic too.
We are thinking about doing something at ‘Travel Dirty’ to help our community in reducing the ‘BLAH’ kind of feeling.
We are lending our ears to hear your experience with the pandemic or anything else you are thinking about.
If you ever feel like sharing whatever it is, go ahead and write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t know what to write, I ask you again- How are you really doing?