Christian Media: Where Truth Meets You

Shifting Perspective to Move Past Languishing

girl looking out with backpack

Back in 2021, when I was still working from home, a new word started to come up in my conversations with coworkers and friends—Languishing. 

Thanks to this New York Times article, we were able to label what many of us felt at that time. 

“It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.”

girl looking away thinking

Now in 2024, I have a better understanding of languishing. Maybe it’s because I’ve found myself going through it at different intervals since the start of the pandemic.

For me, it describes an emotional and mental state. What I read was true, I wasn’t depressed per se, but I didn’t feel like I was thriving either. Everything felt gray and muted. No matter how tired I felt though, I still pushed myself with day-to-day tasks, my projects at work…but I just felt blah more often than I wanted. 

Thankfully, I was able to move past it. 


Here’s what worked for me. 

1. Learn from others. 

Earlier on, some adapted “quiet quitting” at work. Just recently, the concept of “bare minimum Mondays” started to gain attention on social media. I can understand why these practices might seem attractive in the short term, it could mean less work and stress right at this moment. But if you’re like me, and disengaging or passively looking the other way, doesn’t sit well with you, there’s another option. 

A young teacher from Australia talks about finding an activity that helped her find her “flow state,” which she describes as being “ immersed in an activity that you gain back the productivity and eventually, the motivation.” 

For Kez, it was video editing for a youth group at church. Listen how this simple activity helped her find joy, and gave her a sense of purpose. 


2. Pay attention to what you consume. 

You know that quote, “What you give attention to, grows” –  This is especially true when you’re going through a tough time, and it’s so much easier to latch on to negative thoughts. So, when you’re in the thick of languishing, overwhelmed, or just not feeling 100%, consume content that will help you improve your mindset. 

No matter how blah I felt, I knew I could always turn to God’s words. And one of my favorite Youtube segments is Verse Of The Week on the incmedia Youtube channel. The videos are just about two minutes long. They’re convenient to watch first thing in the morning to help set your mindset. 

Here’s one episode that I always go back to: 

Finding Direction When Feeling Lost and Confused | Verse of the Week

And speaking of mindset…


3. Remember your why. 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m going through a “messy middle,” – whether it’s the onset of burnout, or feeling overwhelmed—if I’m not careful, it’s easy for me to latch on to negative thoughts. If I’m not careful, I tend to focus on what I’m missing, or what I’m unhappy with, so it’s essential for me to take the time to reflect on what’s important. 

And that’s exactly what I decided to do. 

See, I love my work. I get to write and learn on a daily basis, two things I’ve always enjoyed as a kid, and most importantly, I get to do these two things with a purpose – to help others see how God can change our lives.  So, when I started feeling burned out  and aimless at work, I knew it was time to reflect on my why. Why my work is important to me, what it meant to be able to do this everyday. I needed to actively remind myself not to take my dream job for granted.

Now, you might be thinking, “Michelle, I don’t look at my job right now as my dream job, let alone my purpose in life.” And I get it, I’ve been there. Trust me, I know the struggle. All I’m asking you to do is pause, reflect on what’s important to you and what you need to be happy, and consider God and His words as a way for you to acquire those things. 

Not sure where to start? Check out this video, and hopefully it’ll help you figure out where to start:  What You Need To Live Your Best Life

irl talking and laughing

Find your groove and start flourishing!

So what about you? Hopefully, (after reading this blog) deep down, you understand your need for a deeper sense of purpose. Not just a simple activity that you could lose interest in…but something that you can derive strength from; something that can motivate and inspire you, when these intervals of languishing come back.  

Knowing God and His words has always helped me, and given me clarity, so I’m hoping I can convince you to do the same. Send us a message here, and let a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ connect with you, and find out how God can help you push forward in life, and move past languishing. 

About the Author(S)

Michelle Barreda is the fresh cup of coffee that you need in the morning, but can’t handle in the afternoon. She’s a staff writer and producer at Aside from writing, she geeks out about kickboxing, books, and music.