Science has proved again and again that stress can have severely negative effects on physical and mental health. Considering that being an event planner is a job filled with many stressors, it’s vitally important to stay healthy. In fact, CareerCast placed event coordinator in 6th place on its list of the most stressful jobs in 2019.
Given that you’re probably on the go what feels like 24/7, taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing may be easier said than done. At least, it can seem that way at times. Your schedule may not allow for the regular 8 to 5 day that starts with a gym session and ends with a long, lazy evening of relaxation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t, and shouldn’t, look after yourself.
If you’re feeling bombarded with work and can feel the stress taking its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing, don’t despair. We’ve got 10 tips that can help you stay holistically healthy.
There’s a good chance you don’t need us to tell you that bosses, clients and vendors can forget about personal and professional boundaries. There may even be times when you forget about them too. You accept unreasonable, last-minute requests, and then work through the night or weekend to try and fulfil them.
The odd late night or weekend of work happens, but when it happens almost every night and every weekend, your life is out of balance. Ultimately all you will achieve is burnout. Protect your personal time and health by discussing expectations and boundaries with all your stakeholders.
Always eat with breakfast, no matter what lies ahead. A hearty, balanced breakfast can power you through most of the day. It will supply you with the protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and carbohydrates that can help keep you on top form. Be sure to keep a few healthy snacks, such as fresh or dried fruit and nuts, on hand too. They can be a great way to get a quick boost if you start feeling low on energy.
There are numerous benefits to drinking plenty of water. According to research, it may help reduce sugar cravings, cut the risk of kidney stones, halt constipation, improve mood and memory, help prevent or manage anxiety and alleviate headaches. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and keep yourself hydrated. If you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of water, add strawberries, mint or lemon to give it some pep.
Have a backup person who can step into your role in case you are called away at the last minute. Similarly, have a backup plan in case something goes awry. As the old saying goes, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” Before the event is due to start, ensure everyone on your team understands the logistics and that every eventuality is planned for. Always expecting the unexpected can save you endless stress.
Whether you do it before you start, during your lunch break, or after work, try to go for a walk every day. It doesn’t need to be a ramble that lasts for hours; a 30-minute walk can work wonders. It can clear your head and leave you feeling renewed, recharged and ready to tackle the tasks ahead of you.
Make sure your run of show includes short breaks that you’ve scheduled for yourself. Those breaks will give you a chance to drink some water, do a few stretches, get some fresh air, eat a healthy snack or go to the bathroom. They can even be a chance to put your feet up for a few minutes. Whatever you do during this time, these breaks are an essential part of putting yourself and your wellbeing first.
If you have a gym membership or access to a hotel gym when travelling, take advantage of it! Whether it’s jogging, lifting weights or letting off some steam with a cardio dance routine, a short workout after work is a great way of alleviating stress. It also can help you shift from work mode to personal time. What’s more, exercise can help you enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Talking to a therapist can act as a pressure valve for the stress that comes hand-in-hand with event planning. Your schedule may not allow you to meet with a therapist for face-to-face appointments, but it need not exclude you from the benefits of therapy. You can use apps such as LARKR, TalkSpace, and BetterHelp to chat to licensed therapists via text or video call whenever it’s convenient.
Do your best to get between 6 and 8 hours’ sleep a night, even if it means missing out on a few drinks with the team, post-event. If you don’t get enough sleep it can leave you with a clouded, foggy mind, prone to mistakes and feeling lethargic. A lack of sleep can also contribute to burnout. Getting sufficient sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and alert, and it will give your body a chance to make repairs.
Planning and working large-scale live events can be incredibly taxing on your body and mind, especially if long shifts are involved. Counter this and make sure you’re refreshed and ready for the next project by scheduling recovery days after events. Dedicate those days to rest and relaxation however tempted you may be to get a head start on the next event. Your body and mind will thank you.
Most of our tips do not require much from you. Instead, they’re simple suggestions that can be easily worked into your routine. By spending a few minutes taking care of yourself every day, you can improve your chances of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. This will naturally lend itself to you being the best event planner you can be.