Do you find yourself struggling to find motivation, lacking focus and energy? You are not flourishing – taking on every new day as an exciting adventure, and you’re not depressed – feeling drained and hopeless. This in-between feeling you may be experiencing is called languishing, and it is a very common emotional response to the adjustment we have had to make over the last year.

languishing as a woman site on a bench

What is Languishing

Languishing is a sense of emptiness, the absence of well-being, and feeling like you are going through the motions without fully experiencing every aspect of life. This might feel blurry, foggy, and aimless.

Languishing brings with it a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, feeling burnt out, and apathy – the lack of interest in activities that used to bring you joy. There are a few ways to reduce the symptoms of languishing to help find that joy that you may have been missing out on.

Find a new hobby

Give yourself something to look forward to whether that is a new type of exercise, cooking, reading a good book, colouring, or playing an instrument.

When you take up new, and potentially challenging, activities, you are immersing yourself and your senses in a different environment, thus shifting your attention from your everyday life. This can reduce your stress level, increase your motivation, reduce the symptoms of languishing, and help you concentrate.

Give yourself a break

When we are overwhelmed, we often feel like we should or should not do certain things. Maybe you should work overtime, maybe you shouldn’t take our lunch break because we have a deadline, maybe you shouldn’t watch that additional Netflix show.

When a car’s gas level is on empty, we must refill the tank. The same concept applies to us. We need to refill our tanks when we are running on empty. Try to remind yourself that it is okay to take a break and that you deserve to rest.

Reach out for support when needed

As humans, we are social beings and require socialization to thrive. If you continue to feel apathy, overwhelmed, and foggy and are struggling to make it through the day, consider talking to a loved one, colleague, or a mental health professional.

This can remind you that you are not alone, you can share your experiences, and you may be able to learn some new and beneficial coping strategies for languishing.

As we begin to return to this new normal, remember that this will be an adjustment as well. Take it one day at a time, recognize and acknowledge your limits, and be kind and compassionate with yourself, knowing that you are doing your best.

About OCP

Ontario Counselling and Psychotherapy is a group of psychotherapists and social workers in Ottawa, Cornwall, Toronto (and soon other cities in Ontario) who offer expertise in a variety of mental health areas and believe in an integrated approach to counselling. We work with you and pride ourselves in creating a strong relationship with our clients by ensuring that we are a good fit to help you attain your therapy goals. We offer individual, couple, family and child psychotherapy to clients all over Ontario.

We invite you to explore our site and contact the therapist of your choice. You will find our contact information under “Our therapists” tab. If you are unsure, call the centre at (613) 699-0060 or email at, and we will answer any questions you may have, direct you to a therapist, and, if you wish, set you up with one of our therapists.

We have grown! We started out as a small group of therapists in Ottawa, and we have expanded to the rest of Ontario. We offer virtual services for anyone in Ontario, and we have in-person offices in the Ottawa Region, Cornwall and the GTA. We also provide sessions at a reduced fee through our student intern program. Contact us to help you navigate our site or to set you up with one of our therapists!