How do you take care of yourself mentally and physically to prevent burnout?
I try to take care of myself by being conscious of what I need both mentally and physically.
I try to take care of myself by being conscious of what I need both mentally and physically.
-I try to set up parameters in the offseason that I do not break so that when busy season comes I have created both the habit and my clients understand the expectation. Some examples of this are not sending out emails on Friday afternoons – I’ll still work, but if I’m executing an event I would not be available so I don’t want clients becoming used to me being available during this time. Also, not responding to text messages or phone calls after hours unless it’s an emergency.
-I try to make a rule to not work during certain hours. For example, I have young kids at home so I do not schedule meetings for the hours of 5-7 PM. I’m happy to meet with you after or before, but I prioritize these hours as our family time when at all possible.
-I do the same in the morning – the email will still be there when I am finished working out, but my workout will not happen if I dive into work first thing in the morning. I know this about myself so I prioritize my “self-care” time and do not let anything interfere with it.
-I remind myself all wedding emergencies are not emergencies that can’t get solved at 9 AM instead of 6 AM. We are not discovering the cure for cancer here, we’re putting on a magnificent event!
-I remind myself this is a season, this is not forever. A few late nights churning through emails I couldn’t get to in the day is ok! Especially if it sets me up for less stress the next day. However, I also try to only let this happen during the busy season. This can so easily become a habit that will most certainly lead to burn out.
-Vacation well. As an entrepreneur, I am well aware that you never quite have the ability to completely turn off. However, when I am away with my family I set a small amount of time each day or every other day to keep up with any urgent emails. Otherwise, I stay away from my email and I shut down my push notifications on my phone.
Preparing for the Busy Season:
-Get rest — Do not start the busy season off unrested. This only leads to larger fatigue. You want to start with a happy heart and plenty of zzz’s in your bank. Lord knows you’ll need to dip into that bank later in the season!
-Take care of yourself — I try to be most conscious of what I am putting into my body leading up to and during a busy season. I have found that if I’m not eating well or taking care of my body then the fatigue (both physical and mental) is so much more taxing than if I’m taking care of my body.
You have to find your own mental wellness tool kit and more importantly use it on yourself!
Work is work, no matter what you do for a living. Even if you love it, all jobs come with stress, problem-solving, and unexpected problems that create stress. If you think event production doesn’t include all of those facets you haven’t produced an event yet!
According to Forbes, event production is in the top 5 most stressful careers and I can personally vouch for that. Knowing the stress involved in producing events,
it’s very important to learn how to balance that out personally and professionally so that you are able to stay focused on solutions, keep clients calm and, most importantly, not end up burned out professionally. I’ve found a combination of working out, massages, meditating and, most importantly for me at least, walking my dogs 4x a day when I am working in the office. The mental and physical stress can be managed and alleviated by working out regularly and getting massages to remove knots from typing, being stressed out and traveling all over the country for work. Meditating is crucial when it comes to managing my mental health. Being able to successfully disengage mentally and allow myself not to constantly feel stressed out took years to master. You have to find your own mental wellness tool kit and more importantly use it on yourself!
Lastly, I rescued two large dogs that provide unconditional love and allow me to take breaks from my work obligations and get outside and not think about work for 15-20 minutes, four times daily. I cannot tell you how valuable that time has become to me. It allows to me feel loved, to think about nature and what I am seeing around me on the walks, and connect with neighbors and say hello. Planning elaborate, six-figure events isn’t easy, but saying “hello, how are you” to a neighbor is, and learning the power of that has been invaluable to me in helping create balance in an otherwise extremely hectic and stressful work life.
Over the past year, I invested in business coaching with a couple of trusted mentors and learned that self-care begins with establishing a healthy mindset.
Over the past year, I invested in business coaching with a couple of trusted mentors and learned that self-care begins with establishing a healthy mindset. It has to start inside. As a destination wedding planner, I’m pulled in a lot of different directions. I have to be very diligent about marketing my business around the country to keep new inquiries coming in, but I also want to give my clients lots of care and attention.
For a long time, I held a mindset that I had to do everything to be successful. I believed that missing a day on Instagram would cause my business to fail. I couldn’t take a day away from email or I thought my clients would feel neglected. While I got a lot done, over time I felt mentally worn down. Wedding planning started to become a to-do list instead of a creatively fulfilling endeavor. When I saw competitors post gorgeous weddings, I felt envy instead of inspiration.
Having a strong support network helped me to get clear on what really matters for my business so I could let some things go. One person can only do so much! I was able to adopt a healthier mindset that protects me from stress and burnout. Incidentally, this same mindset shift allows me to create more time for myself that I spend at the gym and preparing healthy meals, creating a positive cycle.
For any wedding vendor friends who feel overwhelmed or burnt out, my best advice is to get some qualified support to help you challenge your mindset. You may be holding on to beliefs that aren’t serving you – or your business.
I know it's going to sound cliché, but getting back to nature and embracing the environment is probably my most recommended piece of advice.
I know it’s going to sound cliché, but getting back to nature and embracing the environment is probably my most recommended piece of advice. There is something therapeutic and rejuvenating about being near water, trees, mountains, and wilderness. Any time I need to relax and refresh, I’ll head out for a hike or a walk on the beach. Almost instantly, stress seems to fade away and I achieve better clarity with everything in my life.
Beyond nature, I think it’s important to take daily steps toward a healthier work-life balance. This includes drinking at least 3 bottles of water a day, getting some form of exercise (could be the gym, walking, swimming, etc…), eating ‘relatively’ healthy, and getting the necessary sleep you need. These basic fundamentals are extremely important to ensure you’re at peak when it comes to work and career.
Lastly, I’d say that taking a monthly mini-vacation or heading out on an overnight getaway allows you to re-energize and return to your city ready to tackle new challenges ahead. It’s healthy to get away and re-establish your bearings from time to time. As we know full well, work is only a small part of our lives and if it’s affecting our health and well-being in a negative way, we really need to step back and ask if it’s really worth it.
To keep yourself grounded and less stressed, it’s about learning to manage client expectations and learning to let go and go offline when needed.
Since our clients often respond to us at all hours of the day & evening, it means we are easily working late evenings and weekends. To keep yourself grounded and less stressed, it’s about learning to manage client expectations and learning to let go and go offline when needed. Exercise is a great way to blow off some steam as is meditation. In today’s world, where we are constantly online, it’s easy to get caught up in the race of time. But carving out some alone time, without your phone, and spending time with family or friends is key to keep yourself sane and well balanced.
Having a team around you to help when needed and to share the workload is also very important to keep yourself from experiencing burnout. It’s important to delegate tasks, and that’s where your trusted team comes into the picture.
To rest the mind and rejuvenate the imaginative spirit, we take time to travel to destinations that inspire, delight and invigorate.
To rest the mind and rejuvenate the imaginative spirit, we take time to travel to destinations that inspire, delight and invigorate. Pausing to truly examine and explore the intricacies of nature frequently allows for unusual creative design and the incorporation of playful patterns, all while calming the noise in the mind. Seeing the beauty both above and below centers us to ensure every detail of the five senses is infused throughout every event we design. The constantly changing colors of nature inspires innovative color palettes and combinations when having a mental block in the creative process.
Take time. See the possibilities. Explore. Wander. And, the wonder all around us – and – within us.
PC: @mr.hues exclusively for @thehuestudioco from the Islands of Tahiti
In order to make sure I take care of myself, I schedule me time on my calendar!
Oy… We really do have a stressful job! In order to make sure I take care of myself, I schedule me-time on my calendar! I have to. Whether it’s a massage, a hair appt, nail appt, or shopping, I put it on my calendar so I make sure I don’t overschedule. When I am extremely booked in Summer and Fall, I try to make the most of my downtime and stick to my days off. Scheduling meetings or even a simple call during a day off takes it away from you. We can’t work 7 days a week! During “off-season”, I do also make sure I work fewer hours. I keep my schedule super flexible and spend more time with my family.
The key to reducing the stress of being an event planner is planning ahead and building a team of vendors you trust to do their jobs.
The key to reducing the stress of being an event planner is planning ahead and building a team of vendors you trust to do their jobs. A good relationship with my clients is also very important.
I find focusing on being organized and detail orientated helps keep the stress at bay.
With event planning being one of the 5 most stressful jobs in the world, there are a variety of ways I try to combat the stress. I find focusing on being organized and detail orientated helps keep the stress at bay. I know we all know it (and we don’t do it when it’s crunch time) but taking that me-time is important. Exercise or a coffee with a friend goes a long way! Sometimes I need to take a step back, then come back to it to tackle the list focusing on it one step at a time. Checking items off my to-do list is a great feeling!