Psycho: languor, like losing the salt of life

It was not depression or burnout, but a sort of inexplicable lethargy that took hold of Stéphanie, a young thirty-year-old from Laval. His discomfort was reflected in general fatigue and a feeling of stagnation both in his work and in his professional life. This is called languor.

The first symptoms appeared last fall. “I was super active during the pandemic, explained Stéphanie, who works in real estate. I didn’t stop working, I trained at home in zoom with my crossfit group, since the gyms were closed. I watched shows online, I had aperitifs online with friends. I felt like I got through the pandemic staying healthy in body and mind.”

The return to school was difficult, however, as the return to a more normal life began. “As of September, I started to be more tired. I had resumed face-to-face training, but it’s as if I hadn’t had a vacation for two years. I had accumulated fatigue. And when, at the end of the year, the government announced the return of confinement, I no longer had the taste for anything. I stopped training, and I had a period of isolation, all alone at home.

The languor

The psychologist Adam Grant called this state of languor, that is to say a feeling of stagnation and emptiness, as if you were looking at your life through a frosted glass.

Samuel, a teacher in his forties, was in exactly that state when he returned from the holidays. “It’s hard to describe. I wasn’t unhappy or desperate, and I still had energy for a lot of things, but it felt like I had lost my taste and smell, without having COVID-19. My life was bland, flat. I felt like I had put so much effort into protecting myself during the pandemic that my brain compensated by producing less endorphins, as if it was trying to rebuild its store of happiness.

Find the desire

After letting herself slide during the holiday season, Stéphanie was able to count on the original idea of ​​her best friend to regain her spirit.

“When all the restaurants and businesses closed during the holidays, I experienced a real discouragement, she shared. I was supposed to go south with my best friend in mid-January, but our trip was canceled. Fortunately, she had the idea of ​​coming to live with me to spend a week’s vacation together. We decided to pretend we were in Mexico. We did outdoor activities, we drank drinks and we danced to Latin music every night. It really did me good.”

According to the psychologist, languor can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to it. “During this period, the patient becomes indifferent to his indifference,” he wrote recently in an article in the “New York Times”. When you can’t see your own pain, you don’t seek help and don’t do much to help yourself.”

Samuel took advantage of a weekend in a cabin with friends to talk about his dejection. “I started by saying that I felt tired, but the more I talked to my friends the more I felt like I was carrying the brunt of the pandemic. In the end, it was like a weekend of therapy, without knowing it or wanting it. While chatting around a fire, I realized that the news of the last two years touched me much more than I thought. Two people around me also died of COVID-19, and not sharing intimate moments with my family at that time affected me much more than I thought.

As with any mental health issue, naming your feelings is the beginning of the road to recovery. If you feel like you’re in this state of languor, start by talking about it with your loved ones, a family member or friends. Freedom of speech is often good.

The psychologist Adam Grant also suggests finding small daily happiness challenges, small achievable things. He also recommends setting limits. Just because you’re doing more doesn’t mean you’re doing better. So you have to make time for yourself.

Taking care of your plants, going for a walk or coloring for 20 minutes are all activities that can get you out of boredom. And if you feel like nothing is working, that you’re being sucked into this spiral, see a professional.

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