“How do I get my mojo back? I feel like all I do is work, do chores, sleep and do it all over again the next day”. This question was asked by a parent at one of our Working Parents sessions. Being a parent can be full-on. When you factor in everything that has to get done – there’s often little time left over for the fun stuff in life.
A few years ago I read Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan. At the time I was in a rut of working hard, focusing on having as much quality time with the kids as I could, and trying to keep on top of everything at home. I remember feeling drained and life felt pretty serious. When I read Dolan’s definition of happiness as being a blend of ‘purpose and pleasure’, it made a lot of sense. My life had become all about purpose – with limited moments of pleasure. In his own words Dolan says “sometimes my kids make me happy, although much of the time they are a pain in the arse…..but they do bring me a huge amount of purpose”. Becoming a parent can change our perspective on what’s important. Suddenly we have someone else to think about and our purpose becomes about providing for our family and keeping them safe and happy. The downside of that is that sometimes we can lose sight of who we are – and as a result lose our mojo along the way.
So how do we get our mojo back? Here are 5 tips to help:
- Know what gives you pleasure. Whether it’s going to the gym, enjoying a quiet coffee early in the morning whilst the house is still asleep, or spending time outdoors – identify what works for you.
- Set boundaries. Make time for the things that give you pleasure. Aim for something small on a daily basis. One Dad who worked near a park said going outside to eat lunch and read his book gave him immense pleasure. Perhaps once a week you can do something that takes a little longer e.g. a trip to the cinema, a walk with friends – your choice!
- Loosen up. Be silly sometimes. Have a kitchen disco and dance around to a favourite track. Get a blanket and have a picnic dinner on the floor. Forget the chores for one night and unleash your inner child. Our mood is contagious and our kids love when they see us having fun and laughing. We don’t have to be ‘Captain Sensible’ all the time.
- Change it up. We all know routine and organisation keep the wheels turning smoothly – but every now and then change it up. Who says pizza is only for Fridays? Have it on a Monday! Bake a cake on a school night. Get outside in the garden when you come home instead of launching into ‘stuff’.
- Rest. When I take too much on and sacrifice sleep, that’s when I lose my mojo. Everything becomes harder and I see the worst in situations. Simply going to bed a bit earlier or sitting down and reading in the evening instead of watching Netflix can give some much needed R&R.
If you’d like to know more, or to arrange a Working Parents session in your organisation contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org