Imagine a world absent from your phone. Absent from living in a little Zoom box. Absent from being on call 24/7. A world where that little ‘ding’ (you know the one) didn’t immediately trigger a spiraling state of questions and concern wondering who it is, what do they need, do you need to address it at that moment or what are you missing. Is it hard to imagine? Is it easy? Is it anxiety inducing? Is it dreamy?
We went through the exercise of mapping out the last moment we disconnected from the digital world for more than 24 hours and let us tell you…frankly, it’s embarrassing. It doesn’t help that this past year pushed us far down the ‘at-home-on-the-couch-scrolling-on-my little-screen-in-front-of-the-big-screen-as-a-reward-for-being-off-my-medium-screen-with-nothing-else-to-do’ rabbit hole. All that being said, here we are over a year from the pandemic onset with the end of the tunnel and a slight glimmer of light in sight, yet we just can’t stop watching The Circle until the wee-hours of the night.
Friends, we are languishing. And similar to a Pantone color, it’s quickly becoming the emotion of the year.
What is languishing, you might ask? It’s that feeling of being stuck in limbo. One minute life is just too overwhelming and the next minute life just isn’t compelling enough. It’s feeling numb and burnt out while simultaneously feeling restless and eager to engage with the world again. While 2021 has given access to the COVID-19 vaccine for many, at the same time it has also emphasized feelings of waiting and a lack of control over what the present looks like or what the future will hold.
So, we did what we do best, and started researching this ever prevalent behavior taking over society. What we learned was both heartbreaking and encouraging – quite like some of the emotions attached to ‘languishing’ itself. Ironic? We think not.
Let’s just get the heartbreaking part out of the way. In this past year alone, 69% of mothers said they experienced adverse health effects due to worry and stress during the pandemic. On top of that, 75% of remote workers claimed they would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employeesʼ mental health – dang! And then near and dear to PinPoint’s heart, business leaders reported a decrease in innovation around core products and services in 2020.
But, there’s hope and actionable ways to cope with languishing. While it feels counterintuitive once burnout sets in, it’s time to take a break. A real break. As people who are typically unapologetically curious and responsible for ideation, we knew we needed to address this ever-present feeling to allow space for inspiration – so we looked to the experts and started working with BeMOR on mental fitness coaching and have learned how to take many small, meaningful breaks throughout the day to be more present in the moments that matter. Ohio-based PR firm Geben Communication started offering ‘self-care’ days to encourage employees to disconnect – they are just one of many companies offering innovative solutions to the limbo of languishing.
Truth be told, we could go on for hours about what this research has taught us about ourselves, our relationships, society as a whole and about what it means for the future of working, of parenting, of marketing… truly the future of (fill in the blank). So whether you want to nerd out with us, need thirty minutes to decompress or are kind enough to help make sure we take a break from the day, let’s grab a coffee and conquer this languishing together.