I’ve read several resources lately about healing from a year of Covid-19. Did you see that New York Times article about languishing? Multiple friends sent it to me, and I’ve read it more than once because it describes so well what so many of us have experienced this past year. I’m not exactly suffering, but I’m also not flourishing.
New York Times
Adam Grant explains it like this:
“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.”
Languishing is a state in between depression and flourishing. It is also a predictor of mental health problems in the future, if not addressed now.
This leads me to the second article I want to pass along this week, by Arthur Brooks: “A Once in a Lifetime Chance to Start Over.” As he puts it, “Americans might be entering the waning days of the year-plus coronavirus pandemic, during which life’s ordinary patterns have paused for millions of people. In these last weeks and months before something resembling normality returns, we might ask ourselves, ‘What do I want ‘normal’ to look like?’ Then, we can start preparing for a new and better normal than what we took for granted until a year ago.”
Brooks suggests questions we might ask—what are the things we miss from pre-pandemic life that we want to return to? But also, what are the things we don’t miss? What are the changes that we want to continue?
The Redemptive Edge
I really appreciated this conversation with Andy Crouch and Dave Blanchard about how we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic with our attention turned towards healing and repair.
Healing From a Year of Covid-19
For me, I don’t want to return to the pace of life we bustled through pre-pandemic. I want to keep taking weekly walks outside with friends—even when there is a foot of snow on the ground. I want to keep reading historical fiction with Marilee. I want to return to having people outside our household help me out with some of the driving and errands. I want to hold on to more times when it is just the five of us together. I want to see my far-flung friends in person again.
We have a chance to resume an old “normal” that might keep us in a state of languishing. And a chance to make choices to flourish as we move towards healing from a year of Covid-19.
(As a bonus, I also just started Michael Lewis’ new book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story. Every night I end up reading something out loud to Peter with the words, “You are not going to believe this!” As always, Lewis tells a great story with fascinating characters, and it is also like reading the first round of history being written as we live it.)
Learn more with Amy Julia:
- More AJB Recommends
- Healing From Covid-19 in Community
- AJB Recommends: Talking with Doctors Who Are Christians About COVID-19
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