Remember how it felt on your best days when you were twenty-five?
The world was your oyster. You were full of energy. You didn’t have too many responsibilities. You were probably turning a few heads and tripping the light fantastic. Your mojo cup was full to the brim.
How’s that cup looking now? Are you down to the dregs. You don’t have to be old to feel the effects of mojo depletion. I felt it for the first time at age 32 after the birth of my first child. I was overweight, tired, milky, and my bangs had been cut way too short. I looked like a plump squirrel, and felt that life as I had known it disappeared with my 21 inch waist. My mojo was no mo’.
The word “mojo” derives from an African language and relates to magic and spells to generate luck and power. In today’s language, the word still refers to a source of vigor, energy, sexual potency and power. An entire Austin Powers movie was devoted to his lost mojo and his desperate search to find it. He ultimately discovers his mojo is within, and that he had access to it all along. Groovy baby.
If you are feeling depleted, overwhelmed, stressed-out, frumpy, tired, bored or lethargic, you may have lost your mojo.
Once you lose it, it is really hard to find the motivation to reclaim it. But you can’t remain in that mojo-less place for too long, or your lost mojo might mushroom into a full-blown depression. (Here’s some info on the symptoms of depression.) Just making some small life changes can release the magic of your mojo so that you can begin to feel more energy and enthusiasm about yourself and all that this beautiful world has to offer.
Don’t give up on your mojo. Here are ten very actionable ways to get your groove back:
1. Address Stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, lighten the load and address the source of the stress before you do anything else. Whether it’s work, a personal conflict, too many things on your to-do list, or too many demands on your time from family or friends, you need to pinpoint the reason and take action. With the help of a friend, coach or counselor who can give you perspective and feedback, let some things go or find ways to delegate. Very few things in life are worth the physical and emotional toll of chronic stress.
2. Remember What Fun Is. Fun is way underrated, and it is an essential element of a strong mojo. Right now, go grab a pen and paper. Think about the times in your life when you really had fun, and write them down. Go over the events in your head and mentally re-live these fun and happy times. Circle some of these activities that you might want to enjoy again. Then pick a couple and go do them!
3. Get Physical. Hopefully some of these fun activities are physical activities. Without putting the pressure on yourself to start an exercise routine (which can feel like work and create more stress), think of some ways you can get physical and really enjoy it. I know which one you are thinking of, and by all means, go for it. When you are done, take a bike ride. Play tennis or basketball. Go dancing with a group of crazy friends. Drive to the mountains and take a hike. Go skinny dipping at night. Get up from your chair and skip around the room or do some jumping jacks. Just get moving and enjoy it.
4. Take An Electronic Sabbatical. It’s so easy to plop in front of the television or computer when you are feeling low on mojo. Once you are in that chair, it is so hard to get back up. For a few days at least, turn off the tv and computer so that you are forced to do something. Have a conversation with your spouse or children. Clear clutter or organize something. Go buy some flowers and arrange them. Read something inspirational or motivating. Do something, anything, that is positive, productive and joyful. No more sitting and zoning out.
5. Be Fabulous. When you are in a crowd of people, look around you. Most people are not model perfect. In fact, most people have many physical imperfections. Even so-called perfect people tend to focus on their flaws. So forget about comparisons, and make the very best of what you have. Be fabulous! Take care of yourself. Get a great haircut, put on some make-up, wear clothes that make you feel happy and attractive. Highlight the beauty inside of you by reflecting self-esteem on the outside.
6. Hang Out With The Best. During this time that you are getting your groove back, spend time with people whose mojo cup is full. Be with people who motivate you, uplift you, want the best for you, and who are just fun to be around. If there are people in your life who drain you or make you uncomfortable, this is the time to put them on hold until you reclaim your mojo. Don’t isolate yourself. Go out with fun people and have some fun.
7. Do Something Adventurous. Shake your life up a bit. Do something that is totally out of character or unexpected. Book a trip to an interesting, exciting destination. Go whitewater rafting. Tell someone you care about how you really feel. Be spontaneous. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do.
8. Love Your Body. When we lose our mojo, we can mistreat our bodies with too much alcohol, fatty/sugary foods, or medications. It’s impossible to get your groove back when your body is sedated with yucky stuff. Treat your body with loving kindness. Eat mojo-supporting foods like lots of veggies, fruits and lean meats and less processed, high fat bad-for-you foods. Here’s a list of the top ten mood-boosting foods and a list of the worst foods for your mood.
9. Train Your Brain. When you are down on your mojo, your mind likes to take over with negative thoughts, worry, and over-thinking. You have to treat your unruly mind the way you would a puppy or small child. Every time it spirals off into negative thinking, redirect your thinking to positive memories or thoughts, gratitude or anything pleasant. You will have to do this many times until your mind knows you mean business. Before long, it will be natural for you to redirect negative thinking patterns.
10. If Your Mojo Is Late, Don’t Wait. If you have taken action to get your groove back, but you are still feeling lethargic, tired or in the dumps after a few weeks, absolutely go to your doctor. There are a variety of physical and emotional reasons for feeling this way, and it might be something as simple as low iron or poor sleeping habits. When you have little energy, you may not feel like making an appointment. But don’t give up your precious, beautiful days to a mojo thief. Take action and reclaim your magic.
If you would like more ideas on finding your mojo, getting your groove back, and having an extraordinary life, please download a copy of my FREE eBook, How to Live A Meaningful Life.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.