In the fast-paced world of event planning, where deadlines, logistics, and creativity converge, it’s easy to lose sight of one crucial aspect: our mental health. This year, with all its challenges and uncertainties, served as a stark reminder of just how important self-care and balance are for event professionals.
We invite you to join us in a conversation about mental health in the events industry. It’s time to recharge, reflect, and share our self-care rituals as we navigate the unique stresses and demands of our profession.
Stress and the Event Planner
As event planners, we’re no strangers to stress. We thrive on adrenaline and excel at solving problems on the fly. But what happens when that stress becomes overwhelming, creeping into our personal lives and affecting our well-being?
I recently shared my experience of feeling overwhelmed by stress. The question I asked myself was, “Why am I feeling this way?” The answer wasn’t as simple as the season or my multiple responsibilities, which included running several businesses and volunteering. These disruptions were all planned for, as I’m a meticulous planner.
What caught me off guard were clients missing deadlines. Their delays forced me to reshuffle my well-laid plans to meet their demands. This is where the stress took root. We often hold onto guilt, rearrange our schedules, and sacrifice personal time to accommodate others who didn’t respect deadlines.
The Challenge: Learning to Say No
For many event planners, saying no is a daunting task. How can we assert ourselves while also maintaining positive client relationships? How can we ensure that clients meet their responsibilities without overwhelming ourselves?
The solution lies in setting clear expectations and using tools to hold clients accountable for deadlines. Communication is key. Establishing boundaries and discussing expectations upfront can help prevent last-minute disruptions.
Life’s Perspective: A Lesson from Those Facing Mortality
When we get caught up in the daily grind, we often forget to step back and gain perspective. It’s easy to prioritize work over life’s precious moments. Yet, those who have faced their mortality often offer profound insights.
Consider the messages shared by individuals nearing the end of their lives. None wished they had worked more or made more money. Instead, they expressed regrets about not enjoying moments with loved ones, not embracing the simple joys of life, and not taking time to relax and unwind.
These lessons remind us that life is about more than work. We need to cherish moments with family, take time to relax, read a book, dance to our favorite songs, and engage in meaningful conversations.
Listening to Your Body: A Critical Warning Sign
As event planners, we often pride ourselves on our ability to handle stress and multitask. But there comes a point when our bodies send signals that we shouldn’t ignore. Stressors that we would typically push through can manifest as physical pain and discomfort.
Breaking Free from Guilt: Owning Our Time
Many event planners feel guilty when stepping away from work, whether it’s to attend a conference, network, or simply take a well-deserved holiday. We sometimes forget that these activities are also part of our work – investments in ourselves and our businesses.
It’s essential to break free from the guilt associated with time off. We deserve moments of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation just like anyone else. We should celebrate our hard work and recognize that investing in ourselves is an essential part of our professional journey.
Embracing Change: A Change of Scenery
Variety is the spice of life, they say. So why confine ourselves to a traditional office space? Mixing up our work environment can breathe new life into our routine.
Consider working in a park for the day, setting up your office at a cottage, or even working on your front porch. A change of scenery can provide a fresh perspective, boost creativity, and reduce the monotony that often accompanies our work.
In the event industry, we are not only planners but also guardians of experiences and memories. To excel at our craft, we must prioritize our mental health, set boundaries, and find ways to maintain balance. This year, let’s make a conscious effort to listen to our bodies, embrace change, and break free from the guilt that often accompanies time off.
As we embark on this journey of self-care and mindfulness, let’s remember that we’re not just event planners; we’re creators of unforgettable moments. By taking care of ourselves, we can continue to deliver exceptional experiences to our clients and attendees.
So, let’s start a conversation about mental health in the events industry. Share your self-care rituals in the comments below, and let’s support each other on our path to a healthier, more balanced event planning profession.
Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights.