How Are You, Really?

Kimberly Morrow

Do you remember when your clients came to their session in-person and you would exchange niceties in the waiting room or as you walked down the hallway to your office? “How are you?” and you would answer, “Fine”, even if that wasn’t the total truth. Now you may be sitting in front of the computer screen for many hours a day, seeing your clients virtually, which doesn’t allow for that space to check in before you start your therapy session. So, I want to ask you, “How are you, really”?

Maybe you are still “fine”, but maybe you aren’t and you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong. There was a recent NYT article on the experience of languishing, which talks about this feeling many of us have which isn’t depression and it is no longer fear, but it is nonetheless palpable. We are tired. We miss being spontaneous. We miss being able to travel wherever we want to go. We are sleeping more and eating more and exercising less. We miss looking forward to something, anything. This doesn’t feel good but we don’t quite have the energy to do anything about it. Even if we did have some energy, what can we do to change something that seems out of our control?

So, we see a few more clients because we know how many people need us right now. We wait to take that vacation because there are still many places that aren’t open for us to move freely about. We scroll through Netflix hoping there is a new series to watch, only to find ourselves watching the same show, again.

The next time someone asks you, “How are you?”. It would be ok to say, “I’m languishing.” Because it’s the truth. And it’s nice to have a word that describes how many of us are feeling right now.

This too shall pass. There is movement as more people get vaccinated and warmer weather allows us to meet outside again. I hope you do take time off from seeing clients, even if it’s just to plant a garden.  But for now, I’m just going to own that I’m languishing.

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