Event planning is never easy, and it's only been made more chaotic by the current global pandemic. But it’s also an industry that trains us to deal with adversity, to be adaptable, to be resilient. Here are 5 tips to help with stress management during this uncertain time.
The coronavirus outbreak has placed an unprecedented strain on the events industry and the global economy as a whole. With about 20% of the world’s population currently in lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, it’s a stressful time for everyone.
Whether you’re scrambling to transition your event to an online platform, clashing with your insurance provider over a cancelled event, or picking up some side gigs until the industry gets back on its feet, here are five ways to manage stress and anxiety.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s no secret that sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly. Poor sleep quality can lead to increased irritability and stress levels, and getting enough sleep is key to protecting your immune system and setting yourself up to deal with challenges. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do to manage your stress and stay healthy.
Exercise has consistently been shown to reduce stress, and widespread gym closures are no excuse to skimp on it. Since getting outside is impracticable for many under lockdown or practicing social distancing, an at-home workout will do the trick. Do whatever you enjoy, whether it’s HIIT, yoga, plyometrics, etc. Many of these are available for free on Youtube. Even mental activities like meditation can go a long way to keeping stress under control.
A career in event planning can often mean letting self-care and personal time fall by the wayside. Now is a great time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read for months or to get back to cooking at home. Spending time on something you love will help you relax and take your mind off of things you can’t control.
Similarly, keeping busy is crucial. Feeling productive and getting a sense of accomplishment is an important part of life, especially for event professionals. Learn a new language, work on your web development skills, or do a little research towards fleshing out your event tech savoir. Now is the time. Focus on how to set yourself up to hit the ground running once things return to normal. Plan for a few months in isolation, and think about what you’ll have to show for the time once it’s over.
Make Time for Social Connection
The term “social distancing” is somewhat misleading — while we need to physically distance from one another, we should be prioritizing social connection now more than ever. If you’re stuck at home, and especially if you live alone, make sure you’re taking the time to regularly call or video chat with your friends and family to decompress and maintain some sense of normalcy.
Even if the current global climate seems bleak, it’s important not to lose sight of everything you’re grateful for. Studies have indicated that gratitude can lead to greater happiness, and making a conscious effort to acknowledge what you have — even if it’s as simple as a safe place to stay and a close relationship with your family — will help you keep things in perspective and stay grounded through this strange period of time.
It goes without saying that there are countless more ways to deal with stress, and there’s no one solution to it. The most important thing is that you find a way to manage it that works for you, and remember that although the situation is likely to get worse in the next few months before it gets better — it will inevitably get better.
In the meantime, we invite you to learn more strategies from some seasoned veterans in our webinar on preserving mental health in a time of crisis.