Originally published as "Psychological Tips Aren’t Enough – Policies Need To Address Structural Inequities So Everyone Can Flourish," The Conversation, April 11, 2022.
“Languishing” is the in-vogue term for today’s widely shared sense of pandemic malaise. According to some psychologists, you can stop languishing with simple steps: Savor the small stuff. Do five good deeds. Find activities that let you “flow.” Change how you think and what you do, and today’s languishing can become tomorrow’s flourishing.
But in an unjust world burdened by concurrent threats – war, a pandemic, the slow burn of climate change – does this argument ring true? Can simple activities like these really help us – all of us – flourish?