Event Planners Need to Prioritize Self-Care

 

What drives us to persist in a career as event professionals, knowing full well the toll it can take on our mental and emotional well-being? In a field ranked among Canada’s top three most stressful occupations, why do we continue to navigate its challenges, risking burnout along the way?

For many of us, it’s about the thrill of creating memorable experiences that bring people together, thriving amidst the chaos and finding beauty within the storm. There’s a certain satisfaction in piecing together the intricate puzzle of events, even when it means enduring late nights, managing crises, and sweating the small details.

But why, despite our resilience, do so many of us find ourselves struggling with heightened stress levels, especially since the pandemic as according to the IBTM World Report ? Why do we feel more overwhelmed than ever before? 

While external factors like tight budgets and limited resources undoubtedly play a role, the real issue lies in our inability to prioritize self-care. We are after all, the caretakers of the event, responsible to ensure all the pieces are arranged, so it’s no surprise we ourselves take the backburner. Too often, we soldier on without pausing to replenish our own reserves, unaware of the toll it’s taking on our mental and emotional health. This cycle of self-neglect must be broken; after all, how can we be there for others if we’re running on empty ourselves?

As someone deeply entrenched in the event industry as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned the importance of finding moments of peace amidst the chaos. It’s not about adding more tasks to an already overflowing to-do list; it’s about carving out small pockets of time for ourselves, however brief, to recharge and rejuvenate. 

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all self-care advice. Instead, I advocate for a more compassionate approach, one that acknowledges the unique needs and challenges we each face. What brings solace to one person may not resonate with another, and that’s okay. The key is to explore and honour what works best for us individually.

We all have different priorities, commitments, challenges and responsibilities and so the same rules do not apply to everyone. The danger with trying to align and commit to these unachievable goals for ourselves is that we may never reach them and then we end up feeling guilty about failing and eventually give-up. 

So I ask you, how can you find your moments of peace? What relieves a little stress for you and brings relaxed feelings or feelings of joy? For me, it’s the simple act of reflecting on the day’s highs and lows, soaking in the warmth of the sun, nurturing meaningful connections with others, and moving my body in ways that feel good. 

Reviewing my day serves as a reassuring reminder that I’ve made significant progress and given my best effort. Basking in the sun enables the absorption of essential Vitamin D, offering long-lasting benefits. Making the effort to reach out and have a genuine conversation over the phone has been met with gratitude, providing a refreshing break from the inundation of emails and texts that often consume our days. 

Next time you’re busy with event planning, try taking a moment to step back and enjoy the sunshine. During walks between meetings, do a few stretches and take some deep breaths to relax. And at the end of the day, make a quick list of your achievements and give yourself a pat on the back. It doesn’t matter how you find peace, the key is taking the time to do it.

This month, I’ve set myself a challenge: to learn a new name and something about a new person every day for the next 30 days. The idea is to meet new people and bring a bit of happiness to both our lives. So far, I’ve met Tait, the game designer, Jay, the aspiring entrepreneur, and Ahmed, the photographer. Who will I meet tomorrow? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure—we’ll share a smile and a genuine moment together, brightening our days, even if just a little.

As event professionals, we possess an incredible ability to create moments of joy and connection in a world that sorely needs it. But if we want to continue making a positive impact, we must first prioritize our own well-being and self-care. So I ask you: What brings you peace in the midst of chaos? Remember: it does not need to look a certain way, it just needs to exist. 

 

Tami Adams is founder of TA Speakers Management, a boutique speaker management, booking, coaching and consulting company in Toronto.

 

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