#QuarantineLife: Of Course You Can Wear Your Pyjamas

A scene from #QuarantineLife: This morning, my three-year-old son found a pair of his old pyjamas and decided that he wanted to wear them all day. He absolutely did not want to put on his actual clothes, and I spent approximately 30 seconds trying to persuade him this wasn’t a great idea before promptly giving up.

Why can’t he wear his pyjamas all day? He could just about squeeze into them and it is not like we are seeing anyone or going anywhere. If it makes him happy, and saves me having a battle with an extremely determined negotiator, I am not going to stop him pulling on the pyjamas with a hole in them.

This tiny interaction made me think about two things: energy and compromise.

Energy

In the UK, we’ve been in lockdown since 23 March. Maintaining energy levels is a daily task. Everyone has a different situation to face, which brings its own individual challenges. But what seems to be consistent is the need to acknowledge that energy levels are finite and need to be nurtured. There are many better people than me to talk about the different tactics that could be used to do this, I only know what works for me, in my life—where I am juggling children, marriage, clients and my Ketchum community.

I go for a run once a day (and I no longer listen to music when running; I don’t even take a watch—total solo time), I drink a glass of red wine in the evening when the kids are in bed, and I have accepted that some days are going to be good and some are not. I try really hard to only focus my energy on things that I can control and not waste any of that valuable commodity on the things that I can’t even influence.

We are all facing new situations and finding new ways to adapt to the latest reality. These adaptations undoubtedly place strain on our personal and professional lives. I think it is worth taking the time to consider where and how you are using your energy and find the ways right for you to top it back up.

Compromise

This is important in any relationship at the best of times, but now it is more important than ever. The way we live has changed, so it is crucial to accept that things need to work differently for the time being. We are probably all compromising on things on a daily basis, things that we previously valued and took for granted. In a work context, I am now working different hours, with kids barging in on conference calls when they aren’t watching more TV than they’ve ever been allowed to watch before. It is easy to think we are failing in all areas, and I have certainly had my moments thinking that. But be kind. We aren’t failing. We are adapting to the compromise.

So, maybe it is okay to compromise and let kids wear pyjamas all day, or whatever that might mean in your world. Keep your energy up for something more important.

Having spent four years at Samsung Electronics as Head of PR, Social Media and CSR – James has recently joined Ketchum as Managing Director of Client Experience.

He is responsible for the overall experience offered to clients at Ketchum; ensuring the right talent, structures, processes, knowledge and culture are in place to be able to consistently deliver outstanding work.