Get Your Mojo Back.
Anyone else feeling flat? Drained? Demotivated? But not sure why? You may know exactly why as you may be juggling working from work, childcare, home education, feeding your family something other than beans on toast with a random raw carrot and along with making sure everyone has clean socks etc.
If this is you then hell yeah you are allowed to feel tired. Go and take a nap. Now.
If this is not you though, if this lockdown has given you the wonderful gift of time as it has me but alas, if also like me, you are feeling that you have no 'get-up-and-go', that you have lost your motivation then you are not alone.
So many of my clients have complained of just not having the energy or impetus to do the things they enjoy let alone the stuff they have to do.
I used to be real stalwart with my mornings - up early, exercise, mediate with an app for 10 mins (well sit quietly, calm down and get my breath back) and then some of those brain training exercises. It was my sacred time; no interruptions, no judgement just me, myself and I.
It was this precious hour that set me up for my day, that made all the crap that invariably comes flying in manageable and it got me going.
Now I am rushing to my laptop 3 minutes before morning Zoom calls in a panic and it is literally downstairs. I used to bike 23k to get to work and was early!
So what the hell is going on? What have we lost in all this time we have gained? Why are we not using this 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to do, learn, develop more?
I have few theories - feel free to share yours too as I am sure there are a more.
Firstly; I think we are all damn tired of this situation. For the majority of us we have abided by the rules, we have observed social and physical distancing and locked ourselves away and now we are feeling the strain of monotony and the lack of human interaction with those we used to work, to collaborate and to learn with. The pandemic has taken its' toll in many ways and for those of us who have been 'alright' are now experiencing a slow, ever-creeping feeling of emptiness.
Secondly; we are missing our tribes. We may be with our families or housemates or significant others but we are missing our work colleagues (yes even the really annoying one who is far too much of a morning person to bear) and for many of us we are missing our tribes who partake in our interests as well a missing out on those hobbies.
I am really missing my comedy group and I've realised it's not really the performance aspect - it's the fun we have when we are all in a room together being ridiculous and then creating a show from that.
We are very fortunate to have such incredible technology which enables us to talk to, interact with and see our friends at the same time - for that I am incredibly grateful, however we are also suffering from Touch Hunger. It sounds a bit creepy but bear with me on this one. Touch Hunger occurs when we no or very limited physical interaction with another person. Think of the simple handshake between colleagues, the hug between friends, the slap on a shoulder between bros in the pub over a pint. We communicate and bond in so many more ways than just words and we are missing these pivotal attributes.
And, finally, (although this is by no means an exhaustive list of all of my mad thoughts on this!) we are dealing with the unknown on a multitude of levels and that is exhausting. There are no set dates of when schools will return, when lockdown will be lifted or when we will all become vaccinated. In some cases, hope can be a dangerous things especially when it is continually dashed, however, there is little comfort in the continually trotted out phrase "we will come through this, eventually."
Before we managed to muddle through and had certain 'anchors' throughout our day to help us reset such as our commute which aided us in gearing up for and then winding down from work. This is lost and the blurring of lines has increased.
If you are struggling with this then implement some anchors in your day to help you such as actually go on a mini-commute. A safe, physically distanced walk around the block to your 'office' and then home again.
So what can we do to regain our mojo? And once we've got it back maintain it?
Well I wish I had a magic wand on this one as I am annoying myself with my lack of JFDI at the moment (Just F*****g Do It)
A question my coach (the excellent Business Coach Adrian Wales) asked me was "where do you get your energy from?" And this got me thinking as I get my energy from people; my clients, my friends, the audience at a comedy gig.
Not the most helpful answer considering the current situation but it did make me start setting up a load of group calls with friends, set up some more networking meetings and really pay attention to the latest village anecdote from my mum!
It was then a case of what is the one thing I want to be better at in this situation? Honestly this is my own self-discipline but before you nod your head in agreement and then immediately bash yourself over the head with the stick of guilt - let's just take one tiny thing. For me this exercising every day. It doesn't need to be an epic hour long workout at 5am just so long as I do it I have won.
And then to build on this - take one thing and nail it then the next thing and then the next until it becomes easy.
It's quite a hard long slog to create a good habit and incredibly easy to break it and create a bad one so I strongly advocate recognising and celebrating your wins even if this is gold stars on a chart on your fridge.
A final piece of advice as this worked for me. Think about the language you are using around the improvements you want to make. Instead of saying "I am a procrastinator" change this to "Sometimes I put things off but I am working on tackling those things first from now on"
I was obsessed with my 'morning routine' but I hate routine! I do like structure though and by changing that word 'routine' (eurghh!) to 'foundation' - guess what I got up early and did a workout (bear with me on the meditation side - that's next to impossible for me at the best of times!)
I'm not saying you need to trot out a positive affirmation every 5 minutes but really notice how you speak to and about yourself - would you talk like this to your best friend/partner/child/colleague? I doubt it. Show yourself the same respect, care and love to entice your motivation back into your life.
If that's too hard then just...
This piece came from a personal place for me so if my words and own experience resonate then do share what you have been through and your coping strategies as I'd love to hear from you.