Feeling foggy? Your head is in the clouds for a reason

It may be because you’re languishing—a feeling of stagnation or emptiness. And naming it is a first important step.

Many people are experiencing “brain fog.” It may be a sign of languishing—a feeling of stagnation or emptiness. And naming it is a first important step, says Adam Grant, a Wharton management professor. Once languishing is identified, it can help bring clarity to one’s experiences.

Person’s chest and torso but head is replaced by a small cloud.

Furthermore, charting collective response to a disaster such as a global pandemic allows us to recognize where we are and how we can move forward. The American Psychiatric Association has identified emotional phases of disasters to understand how communities of people react over time.

“When we talk about the amount of people who are languishing, we are talking about people who are not reaching their full potential,” says Lisa Bellini, senior vice dean for Academic Affairs and a professor of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine.

Particularly for those who work in health care, how does one move out of the fog and keep the momentum going? Bellini believes that self-care—something that you can control—is one of the keys to de-fogging. Giving people adequate time and space to focus on themselves is also necessary.

Bellini believes that the secret to move beyond a languishing phase is engagement. Especially for those in health care, she says it’s critical that people know that organizations are investing in them as people.

Specifically at Penn Medicine, there are a bevy of tools, programs, and offerings that have been customized for a variety of audiences at every level of the organization to engage staff. The key to engagement is helping people make the connections to the exact content they need.

This story is by Dinah Schuster. Read more at Penn Medicine News.