Flatlining is emergency room speak for someone in the process of actively dying. The vital signs start to drop to zero and level out there. Not a pleasant association right now.
But that’s how a lot of people I talk to convey that they are feeling lately…emotionally flat-lined. This is characterized by little to no motivation, alongside little to no satisfaction in what does get done. It’s never enough. Conversely, it doesn’t matter anyway.
In our externally imposed lack of mobility, we find ourselves circling the bowl of an existential void….and we negatively self-identify with what that image conjures.
Frankly, I think this is more than just your garden variety existential depression. I think this state of mind is a static, inverted form of hysteria. It’s the COVID talking.
If existential depression and inertia were a struggle you were having Pre-COVID, you may have actually felt better at the beginning of quarantine. Suddenly, the pressure was off.
But the confronting nature of no escape forces us to wrestle with demons we thought we could outrun, and perhaps we even thought we were succeeding in doing so.
No such luck. So to escape them now, you may be numbing out to Netflix or your phone, sleeping more, or more figuratively, pulling a blanket of apathy over your head.
Meanwhile, the anxiety continues to mount while that “all dressed up with no place to go so why get dressed” sensation aggregates.
We stare at our impotence over the external circumstances, which is then reflected in our own lives, because what you pay attention to grows.
Certainly, not everyone is experiencing this. If you’re not, that’s terrific. I’d love to hear about what is going on with you as you negotiate this pandemic. But if you are relating, my interpretation of the Law of Attraction cited in the preceding paragraph holds a solution:
What you pay attention to grows.
What is the next thing you need to pay attention to? That’s all that needs to matter right now. What next positive action can you take? That could be eating breakfast, could be writing a newsletter, could be a phone call.
When interviewed, it turned out that the Navy Seals who made it through basic training did so by staying fixated on getting through the task they were on, not the one after that.
If you need help with the Big Picture in creating your own future narrative, working with a coach can not only help you devise that….but I will also help you to limit your attention to doable next steps.
Even if you’ve lost that narrative for the moment, just decide on the next small thing to do, and do it.
That’s enough right now.
I invite you to make that next small thing scheduling a simple conversation with me. Click here to schedule a time.
Above all, be kind to yourself. No matter what you are feeling.