A recent article in the New York Times, which is making waves around the world, took up the scientific study by the American psychologist Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, identifying “Languishing” as the dominant emotion of the year 2021.
Professor Grant describes languishing as a sense of emptiness and stagnation, where one blurs through the days in an inexplicable feeling of joylessness. Not depression, burnout, exhaustion, but an absence of well-being and purpose. “One feels as if one is looking at one’s life through a fogged-up window.”
The causes are long months of restrictions, changes in working conditions, suspension of leisure activities, social isolation and losses suffered.
Even though we are gradually trying to regain the longed-for normality with the reopenings, this inexplicable feeling of indifference and resignation seems to persist in many people. There is a fear of acting, but also of not acting.
Unfortunately, further scientific studies speak of a rampant phenomenon that must not be underestimated. It is no longer just a health emergency, but also a psychological one, and action must immediately be taken before it becomes a collective nuisance.
In this regard, research published in the Journal of Affective Disorder, shows that Italian health workers, particularly from Lombardy, who experienced this languishing state during the first wave of Covid-19 were three times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the pandemic.
Therefore, it is important to recognise this and seek help before it is too late. Health is not just the absence of disease but a condition of physical, psychological, relational, and social balance.
During these months, our convictions were swept away at a stroke, and in order to resist the world crumbling around us, I called on all the optimism and fortitude that human beings are capable of generating. I fought with all my might to avoid seeing the people around me sink. I had to grit my teeth and bear every pain. I pushed my collaborators to plan, design, find new ways of doing business, trying to light up the dark path of those who felt tired, continuously throwing their heart over the obstacle.
I did not leave anyone behind. I pushed everyone to focus on the short-term, medium-term and the long-term goals.
Taking care of the future helped us to change the present we were living.
In every crisis there is the seed of something positive that we can bring to life. These are the best times to take decisions that can improve our lives, because we are more sensitive to change, to change our wrong lifestyles. They are an indispensable opportunity for growth and maturation of our identity.
Our entire biological history is a long and uninterrupted process of adaptation to an ever-changing environment. And although it can often frighten us, it is precisely in it that we express our qualities to the fullest.
The release of my book Humanistic Cosmetics amid a pandemic has been a driver for change in many people’s lives, revealing its ‘evolutionary’ power. I have always believed that written words have the strong power to make people think, to push them to gain knowledge and analysis of their own feelings and therefore, move to action.
Many practitioners have become aware of the need to change the paradigms that hinder the evolution of the professions related to well-being.
Over the past few months, we have all learnt that places of beauty are not just about external and aesthetic care but are about relationships and science. Technical and manual skills are intertwined with listening, dialogue, and empathy.
The beauty operator professionals need a new training approach that focuses on cultural growth and the transfer of new skills more in line with current market demands.
Through the book, I initiated a social project aimed at young people in professional training schools to promote their self-esteem by encouraging them to fulfil themselves personally and professionally.
With the help of an Epigenetics of Life research group made up of scientists, university professors and experts in the field, we have rethought educational spaces as places of Culture, Art, and Well-being where Beauty and Comfort become a daily experience for students and teachers. The idea is to soon create a 360° epigenetic school structure where every space is an integrated and integral part of education.
I believe more than ever in a more helpful science, which comes out of the university lecture halls and research laboratories to make its tools available to young people. To this regard, we have created a YouTube channel: PBC Professional Beauty Channel to give voice to the Science and Culture of Beauty. A real library of professional videos of different lengths, where the academic world, both in the scientific and humanistic disciplines, donates its knowledge and skills, making them accessible to all.
If we want a different future for our young people, we must build it now. The future is not only determined by the past and the present.
I believe that.