Written by Kari Johnson

Working live events is stressful. It doesn’t matter the scope or scale of the event, working with vendors, sponsors, clients, participants, deadlines, and expectations is stressful. Taking the time to step away for a few minutes while working to get outside of the event bubble is not only important, I find it imperative.

Event work often means long hours, abnormal eating patterns and high stress. While most of us who love this type of work thrive on the pressure, we need to find ways to deal with the hardiness of the work — to disconnect for a bit to make it through without melting down.

I’ve developed a few ways to de-stress on event that work for me:

  • If I need to be alone, my go to option is to step away from the event (which often means staying on site, but getting out of sight of the action), plug in the headphones to my phone and play music that makes me happy really loud. It only takes me a song or two to get out of my head and start bouncing along to the music. The ability to not think about a million details all at once helps calm me down.
  • If I’m in a situation where I can’t step away for a bit, I grab my phone and check out my favorite news app and read about the happenings going on in the world. Nothing like putting it all in perspective when you read the world news! Somehow the tent build being behind schedule or impending weather seems more manageable.
  • If I’m with a group and it appears that all of us are a bit stressed out, I will often call for an impromptu dance party. Sixty seconds of dancing with the team is a huge stress reliever!
  • When all else fails, I call my Grandma. She is my most favorite person on earth and hearing her voice makes everything better.

While those ideas work for me, you may want to try:

  • Take 10-20 minutes for meditation. Controlling your breathing, focusing your energy and taking a few minutes for yourself can bring your blood pressure down and center you.
  • Take a mini break and do what you do in real life to reduce the stress. If it is working out, reading or listening to music take the time and chill out for a few minutes.
  • Sit down and eat a real meal — without communication equipment. On event that can mean a protein bar and a piece of fruit or a full meal from catering if you can’t get off site. Don’t answer the phone every time it chimes with a new text or email. Have a radio on? Ask someone to answer in your absence and turn it off for a bit. Remember to hydrate as well. Stopping and fueling your body can do wonders!
  • Take a few minutes and talk with someone who is at your event for the cause. Making the personal connection with a participant makes the craziness of the event work all worth it.
  • Laugh. Watch a funny video online, find a coworker who cracks you up, or do something silly. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Remembering to take care of yourself and finding the time to de-stress can certainly be a challenge while on event. Taking a sliver of time to take care of yourself allows you to recharge and perform better. As the saying goes, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

What works best for you to deal with event stress? I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas in the comments below.

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