There’s no doubt about it, there comes a time in every event planner’s life when they feel as though they’re teetering on the edge of sheer exhaustion. These stress management techniques will help keep you balanced.
Whether you’re faced with back-to-back weddings all summer, playing peacemaker between stubborn in-laws, or reassuring a bride with cold feet, everyone has experienced that overwhelming feeling of to-do lists piling up, emails to respond to, and phone calls to return.
Add in a worldwide pandemic, events being canceled and rescheduled right and left, ever-changing restrictions that you must always be on top of, and things get out of hand. It’s no wonder that event planners can have a tendency to burn out.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Mindfulness isn’t just an on-trend buzzword. It’s a way of thinking about things and a form of meditation that can totally transform you from feeling spread too thin to feeling calm, confident, and ready to take on the next challenge. But mindfulness is just one of the many stress management techniques that savvy event planners use to stay on top of things. Keep on reading for a list of tried-and-true methods to save your sanity and bring you more peace, calm, and clarity.
And by the way, using event planning software to manage event tasks, to-dos, and day-of timelines is a great way to maintain a sense of control.
1. Take Care Of Yourself First
Event planners are givers. They love people, and they spend most of their time making people’s dreams come true. Whether that’s planning the perfect wedding or corporate event, they always go the extra mile to make sure that everyone is happy. This is a beautiful quality that is a must for event planners to be the best they can be. But if they’re not careful, it can quickly turn into people-pleasing and perfectionism.
If you don’t take good care of yourself, you have nothing to give anyone else. If your own well is dry, you can’t draw water for anybody. So remember to make time for yourself, to schedule in some special self-care time. You’ll feel a lot better, and your clients will be happy knowing they’re getting you at your very best.
2. Schedule Some Downtime
It can be very, very hard to ignore your pinging phone or to put off replying to that email until tomorrow. But work-life balance is not just an idea. It’s a very real, necessary thing that everyone needs in their life.
Sure, a good wedding planner is available at any time if there’s an emergency. But if it’s not, make sure that you’re not letting your work take over your life. The world won’t grind to a halt if you don’t reply to your bride about her floral preferences at 9 o’clock in the evening.
If you find yourself unable to resist, turn off your phone at a specific time and don’t turn it on again until you’re ready to go back into work-mode. Let your clients know about this and that you’ll always be sure to get back to them promptly.
3. Set Boundaries And Stick To Them
Building on the idea of scheduling downtime, it’s essential to have other boundaries in place as well. And this isn’t just for your working life.
I’m sure many event planners have had family and friends call in favors from time to time. Maybe it’s scoring them a discount with a vendor or planning their entire event at a discounted rate. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But make sure that you’re only giving what you’re comfortable with, and don’t undervalue what you have to offer.
4. Start A New Self-Care Hobby.
There are so many different ways you can incorporate self-care stress management techniques into your life. My personal favorite is meditation. There are so many apps that you can download, free, and paid, that can teach you how to meditate. Don’t be intimidated into thinking that it’s something only very enlightened yoga teachers do. Meditation is for everyone, and the benefits are truly incredible.
Just twenty minutes of mindfulness meditation a day will have you feeling happier, healthier, and far less stressed. But if meditation isn’t for you, that’s okay, too. Try taking up a hobby like painting or sculpting, anything to transport your mind somewhere else for a time.
5. Keep A Journal
There are many ways to journal – a run-down of what you did that day, morning pages where you just write whatever comes into your mind. Or bullet journaling too. Sitting down and writing is something that you can do to de-stress, unwind, and reflect. You’ll be surprised by the personal growth and insights you notice!
6. Take Time To Exercise And Eat Healthily
When you’re running around being a superhero, it can be easy to let even essential things like your health and wellness move to the sidelines. We all know the benefits of exercise: better sleep, better health, improved mood. But it can be hard to summon up the motivation to actually do it.
So make it easy on yourself. Schedule it into your phone or find a friend to work out with. And though it’s very tempting to swing by a drive-thru window when you’re exhausted, if you can take a day off to do some meal-prep, you’ll have a week’s worth of healthy, homemade food waiting for you.
7. Get Enough Rest. And Enough Sleep!
We all know that sleep is super critical. Adults usually need around 8 to 10 hours. While some rare individuals can get by on less than that, they’re generally in the minority. Many people like to think that they only need 5 or 6 hours of sleep, but if they really stop to examine how they feel, they might realize that they’re selling themselves short.
But it’s not just sleep that’s important. Take time to rest, too. If you can find time in a day, even a few minutes to start with, to just simply do nothing and chill, you’ll be well on your way to feeling healthier and happier.
8. Don’t Neglect What Makes You Happy
Just because you’re not technically getting anything done when you sit down for a Netflix binge session or to play a video game or to get lost in a few chapters of your favorite book, doesn’t mean it’s not time well spent. Recreation time, time to do whatever you want to do, is vital to recharge our batteries. Find something that you love or something that you used to love and dive back into it. You deserve it! Fun activities are valid stress management techniques.
In the end, it’s important to remember that even though event planners pride themselves on being on the go, in the zone, and ready to solve any problem that might come up, stress management techniques aren’t something you can afford to put off. Start looking after yourself today and watch as you go from strength to strength, both as a planner and a human being. And make sure that you enjoy the journey along the way.
Miranda Leybourne is a writer who lives in the middle of Canada, in rural Manitoba. She enjoys working as a freelance writer and in her spare time she writes historical fiction novels. When she’s not writing or reading, she loves to enjoy the outdoors with walks, hiking, skiing and more.