Pandemic Fatigue

We’re languishing (still!) after two years of the pandemic. Can a burnout psychologist help?

Feeling a bit blah mid-way through 2022… still? 

In 2021, organisational psychologist Adam Grant named that pandemic feeling. He called it “languishing” and described it as “the absence of well-being”. 

“You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work,” he wrote in the New York Times. 

In this episode of Life & Faith, we call it something else: pandemic fatigue. Or just “not coping”. Natasha gives us her take on “not coping” being the new “busy” – in other words, the standard reply to the question “how are you?”. And she tells us how potatoes relate to pandemic fatigue. 

We also ask clinical psychologist Dr Valerie Ling how exhaustion and burnout relate to all of the above. For even if these conditions go by different names, they all seem to describe similar things.  

It’s enough to make you want to throw your hands in the air and go, “Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, let’s call the whole thing off”.  



Natasha’s piece on “not coping 

Adam Grant’s article that named the blah we feel 

Dr Ling’s ebook My Burnout Prevention Plan: From a psychologist who knows the cost of burnout 

The Centre for Effective Living 

Our episode on burnout with Jonathan Malesic