By Rene Tamayo
Anyone who has been in the event production industry for some time understands that taking care of yourself amidst the stress and enormous demands of an event is critical to getting through and enjoying the event for which you and your team have worked so hard. Not only is it important to take care of yourself while you are executing your events, but it is as important in the months ahead of time as you are planning and preparing. In my early experience in planning and executing events, I put in long hours and got little sleep prior to the start of my event series – so that by the time I got to the first event, I was already exhausted and at less than 100%. As in any live event, regardless of how tired and beat up you are, things need to get done – and done with a good attitude and a smile. Your participants have no idea what transpired prior to the event, so their expectation is that you are at the top of your game.
Over the years, I have become a proponent of “mental training” to prepare myself and my staff to endure the cycle of planning and executing events. I think of myself as a marathon runner, not a sprinter. Sprinting day after day, especially in the last month or two before your first event is tough and will inevitably run you into the ground. By viewing yourself as a marathon runner, you can mentally and physically pace yourself so that you have the energy and mental stability to make it through your event season.
Here are five tips to practice self-care:
- Plan ahead. Taking the time to organize the months prior to your event is key. Plot out your work and tasks on a timeline that allows you to realistically get the job done. In addition to your workload, plan out where in your timeline you are able to get away and take some time to rejuvenate and take your mind off your work and the long to-do list on your plate.
- Sleep consistently. Both mentally and physically, getting enough sleep is crucial to your well-being and your ability to get the job done. Lack of sleep plays into a multitude of issues and illnesses that will become an obstacle as you work through your event.
- Eat well. During times of stress and managing a heavy workload, we tend to eat whatever is quick and fast. Try to ensure that prior to the event season your eating habits are healthy. Eating foods that provide a good balance of nutrition is key to keeping yourself going. This may be easier while you are planning your event. However, even once the event begins, strive to make the time to eat well balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Exercise regularly. For many of us, working long hours prior to the start of our event means a lot of time sitting at a computer or talking on the phone. Ensure that your daily plan includes time for you to step away and go for a walk or jog. Let your body and your mind exert energy in a physical manner. This will make you feel stronger and more energetic as you head back to your work.
- Laugh often. While working, allowing yourself to laugh at things that arise is a wonderful way to push stress aside. Some studies have reported that laughing for at least fifteen minutes can add around two days to your overall lifespan. If nothing else, it’s an effective way to relax the body and mind and put things into perspective.
So, simply put…take care of yourself. Plan ahead, sleep consistently, eat well, exercise regularly and laugh often. These five simple tips will ensure that you are able to give 100% as you plan and execute your events.
Rene Tamayo brings to the Event 360 team more than 12 years of experience in the event business. As the Event Execution Manager, he oversees all aspects of the event production including staffing, management and execution of the event series.