The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threat has changed many aspects of our daily life.
But whether we are run-down from work, isolated from social distancing and taking steps to “shelter in place,” or feeling stressed if we need to leave home and make potentially dangerous visits to facilities for our daily work, we are going to face moments when we lose our inner energy.
We all have faced those moments.
We do not need the threat of a virus to cause us to lose that special power we have inside – that drive or energy that is synonymous with effectiveness and success.
When we are in our zone, the feeling inside us is an almost magical force capable of propelling us forward to great heights.
However, when we are missing that feeling – there is a flatness to our state of being that creeps in. Put simply: We have lost our mojo.
1. So, how can you get your mojo back?
Here are some steps you can take to get your mojo back.
Keep in mind as you review this list:
- There is no pill or formula that will work for everyone or work every time.
- You may find that some days it will not take a great deal of effort to get your mojo back, while other days you need to use a great deal of effort.
The important point to remember as you try ideas from this list (which is by no means complete) is to do your best to quiet your mind and remove yourself from any sense or feeling of panic before you start.
I realize that may be easier to say than to do in practice, especially given what is happening around us.
What helps me get started is to think of the words from the great American Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
Well, the same is true of fear or tension. For every minute you remain scared or uneasy, you are willfully giving up feeling peaceful.
Yes, the situation we are in is unique, but it will not be the end. It is one moment in time. So, do not allow yourself to drown in a flood of emotions. Take a breath and get your mind to a point of calmness. Peace is the best starting point for getting your mojo back.
1. Sleep to Recharge Your Batteries
How do you start to find peace and get your mojo back? The first thing I’ve discovered is that if I have lost my mojo it is typically because I am run-down or tired. Getting run-down or not getting enough sleep can lower your immune system, reduce blood flow and oxygen to your muscles and brain, and diminish your overall mood.
Fatigue is a mojo killer!
Though sometimes we feel better after just one night of rest and sleep, getting two days rest will really help return your body to a higher energy level. Caution: Do not oversleep, or you will find your body stays in a state of fatigue.
2. Wake Up Early and Get Moving (No Matter How Hard It Is)
Waking up early and getting moving creates a lot of positive reactions in your brain and throughout your body.
Many people do not consider themselves “morning people” and prefer to sleep in. The truth is – everyone’s body is fully capable of waking up early. We have conditioned ourselves through habits to associate greater pleasure with staying in bed and daydreaming then with getting up and moving.
Part of getting your mojo back will mean creating new habits and not succumbing to the old ones. It takes time. But if you start waking up early and getting active in the morning, it will help improve your thinking, productivity and health, and be a great step towards getting your mojo back.
It is true, there are no more 5 am Orangetheory classes, pickup basketball games or late day stops at the gym. But exercise remains an important way to recapture our mojo.
So, how do we exercise during a pandemic where we are asked to “shelter in place”?
The key is to just get started. Keep it simple. You don’t need weights, resistance bands or a Peloton with an online racing community. Start by doing some pushups and some jumping jacks. The number is not important – what is important is getting your heart rate up.
Begin with just 10 or 15 minutes of exercise and see how you feel.
As the weather is warming-up in many parts of the country, you can go out running or walking.
Exercise will help to get your blood flowing faster, which will get more oxygen to your brain and muscles. This will give you an energy boost and help you to get your mojo back.
4. Get Organized
When I say “get organized” I don’t mean download a bunch of time management apps for your phone or sort all your wrapping paper by holiday in plastic containers.
Simply lay out your schedule for the day. Create some goals and be sure to include a creative project to start and other ‘to dos’ that you can quickly tackle.
If you have a blueprint and create some structure to your day, it will enable you to accomplish more. When we can see our accomplishments that helps create positive feelings and a sense of success. Positive energy and success are feed our mojo.
5. Mojo Does Not Work with Anger, Fear, Pity or Sorrow
Mojo is NOT compatible with anger, fear, pity or sorrow. If those are the emotions you have flowing through your body, you will not be able to get your mojo back.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Have some empathy, Mike! We are living through a [INSERT ADULT LANGUAGE / COLORFUL METAPHOR] pandemic!”
You may find it hard to believe, but I hear you loud and clear, and I am empathetic. I’m living through the same thing. Nevertheless, difficult as these times may be, you will not be able to get your mojo back if your mind and soul are stuck in a negative state.
To start to break out of your funk you need to think about all the good in your life. Start with the most basic positive facts about your life and say them aloud. Letting the words come out of your mouth will better affirm a positive state of being. The more positive thoughts you have – the closer you will get to restoring your mojo.
It may seem corny to some but visualizing yourself being successful or doing something you have always wanted to do can be a great way to generate some mojo.
I’ve used visualization before exercising as well as while I am running and swimming. I have used it in preparation for events I’ve spoken at, as well as for things that have not yet taken place that I am striving to achieve.
While no moment will turn out exactly as we planned, visualization can help generate some of the energy that makes up our mojo.
7. Outline Your Strengths, and Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
One of the most consistent exercises in personal achievement experts recommend is to outline what your strengths are as a person.
What do you do well in life?
What professional skills do you have?
Another tactic is to outline some short-term and long-term goals. Create a list of places you want to go, skills you want to gain, books you want to read, etc.
But don’t put these things in your computer. If you type them up and stash them away in a folder, they will rarely be seen. Get a piece of paper and write them out. Then hang your lists on a refrigerator or someplace where you can see them each day. The truth is we react more positively to things when they are on paper and in front of us each day.
8. Connect with People
Connecting with people in our age of social distancing is still possible, and it is an amazing way to get your mojo back.
For starters, pick up the phone and call someone. Ask them how they are doing. Listen to their stories and share some of your own.
Create a virtual forum and invite people around you to participate. In “How To Socialize When Practicing Social Distancing,” I outlined a few ways you can do this. Click here to read.
Open yourself to learn and laugh.
Interacting with others can be a quick way to elevate mood, establish a new relationship or bond, or even make a life-changing connection that jump-starts your mojo.
9. Be Gracious, Kind and Giving
Obviously, we should always strive to be gracious, kind and giving. However, when you’ve lost your mojo and you’re trying to get it back – focusing on generosity and kindness can really create a strong and positive sense of being.
Remember, the highest state of generosity and kindness is to give without expecting anything in return (and to do good acts anonymously whenever possible).
If you hear about a friend or neighbor who lost a job – send a VISA gift card with $50.
If you order food – double your usual tip to help support a delivery person.
If you know someone who is isolated – send them some flowers or a nice note.
10. Address Your Stress
Stress is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. And there is a good stress and bad stress.
Which one do you have?
Chances are – if you’ve lost your mojo – you’ve got some bad stress.
Bad stress is the feeling that you are both overwhelmed and not working towards anything you believe in or think will succeed.
Stress can be reduced by asking others to take burdens off your shoulders. It also can be reduced through physical action where your body is able to release tension.
Recognize that you may not be able to address your stress on your own. You may need help. This can prove difficult given social distancing and self-quarantines; however, you need to let people know how you are feeling so you can come up with a solution. Stress is a mojo killer.
11. Do Something Fun
Fun comes in many forms.
You can write a story or a poem.
Create an Adobe Spark page and do something fun online.
Order a home garden kit and grow some vegetables.
Having fun is a great way to get your mojo back.
We may not be able to do ALL the fun things we want but search online for fun activities to do while you are at home.
Also remember – you are not confined to your home. We need to be careful about coming in close contact with others and what we touch. But you can still go outside. Why not wake up early and take pictures of the sunrise?
Fun can take many forms.
12. Remove Distractions
We were inundated with distractions before the COVID-19 coronavirus threat. Now that many of us are home, the distractions are coming at us non-stop. Between Facebook, cable news, talk radio and more – there is an endless stream of opinions and news.
The problem with all these distractions is that they drain our energy and take us away from doing what we need to do.
So, have a day (or even a block of several hours) where you remove all the distractions.
Identify a small list of your main priorities and focus in on those.
Distractions can be real mojo killers, and if we want to restore our energy they need to go.
13. Get Some Sunlight
Sunlight is vital to your body. It helps with digestion, food absorption, maintain your insulin balance, and generates physical and mental energy.
There are many studies that link sunlight to the promotion of stronger bones and heart, as well as improving your immunity.
So, go outdoors and absorb some sunlight each day. A little sun can do a lot of for state of mind and your body.
14. Improve Your Diet
Eating poorly is another mojo killer.
With supermarkets facing shortages, it can be difficult to make a lot of improvements in your diet. But it can be done.
Start small and find simple ways to improve how you eat, and gradually phase things in.
You will find a phased approach will generate better short-term and long-term results, and help you get your mojo back.
15. Lastly… Be Present
Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of success is showing up.”
Well, if you are in a state of self-quarantine – “showing up” has been replaced by “being present.”
That means wake-up and participate in everything you need to. Clearly, we need to manage our time and priorities, but when isolated – we can fall into the trap of self-isolating too much.
Do not allow your mood or events around you dictate your actions and life.
While showing up or being present is not a guarantee of success, it is an essential component of restoring good mojo.
Do you have steps that you take to get your mojo back? Share them in the comments section below.
Michael Hackmer is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. He is the Senior Content Strategist for Adobe Government. He also is a Founder of Social Web Tactics, a strategic marketing agency. He has been a speaker, consultant and marketing strategist for over 15 years. He also has worked in federal and state government relations, and managed industry affairs and association membership. He has developed digital and strategic marketing campaigns for companies including: Adobe, Deltek, HP, K12, Red Hat, Strayer University and more. He has helped non-profits and corporations with marketing automation solutions. He is originally from Boston, MA. Michael lives in Ashburn, Virginia with his wife and daughter. He loves to run, swim and travel throughout South America.