Photo credit: Adrian Swancar, unsplash.com)
It has been many months of indistinguishable days, warped time concept, fatigue, losses in many ways, and just getting through what we have to do, again and again. In a very thoughtful and informative article, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, uses the term “languishing” for this state of the world:(https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html). Whatever you may call it, we all have to recognize that none of us, in this universe, is immune to the pandemic and its effects. The question then becomes, how do we deal with this in our relationships, friendships and even more so, within ourselves?
Anniversaries are reminders of significant events but also of time going by. Whether it is a happy event, like your birthday, or a sad one, like that of the losses one has experienced, they affect our concept of time. But they also give us a perspective. Some are more joyous, and others are more saddening than others. We do have the benefit though, either way, of dealing with them with an evolving attitude. Nature showcases to us that there is balance: All-or-none thinking leads us to extremes that do not promote a healthy state. As the article suggests, we can focus on those aspects of our lives that feed our souls, the “flow”, that makes us appreciate each other’s presence, that give meaning and purpose to daily life. Taking a class to learn a new skill, or a hobby, mentoring, calling a homebound person are all ways we can brighten the monotony for ourselves and others.
Another way of looking at this period is the anticipatory joy in what we can look forward to: The first ballgame you can go to, the first hug you can give to a loved one, the lunch with friends that we have all missed tap into our need for social interaction that we can celebrate with glee and enrich our lives.
We can choose to see the opportunities in a bad situation and not get stuck in negativity or hopelessness. Carpe diem!
As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph. D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness and education.
Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary's College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.
While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.
Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.
Dr. Broadbent's office is located at:
Village of Cross Keys, 120 West Quadrangle, 2 Hamill Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210-1847 phone: 410-825-5577