You don’t go into an event-planning career without thriving — just a little — off of your body’s reaction to stress. From managing multiple events at once to the final push to complete last-minute details, event marketing rarely follows the best-laid plans. And that’s probably one of the aspects you love most about your job.
Even if you find that stress helps to make your next client event a success, this cycle may be taking a long-term toll on your body’s health. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and is a great opportunity for you to take a look at how effectively you’re managing stress in your life.
Break the cycle of bad stress and use these tips to recharge your body and improve performance during your next event-marketing project.
1. Make lists for your lists
One of the biggest causes of stress is feeling like a situation is spiraling out of your control. The address on the invitation was wrong. The caterer didn’t show up. In event marketing, it’s not a question of when these crises will happen; it’s how you handle them when they do. Putting on a successful event isn’t just about getting things done, it’s about making the client think everything went according to plan.
And the best way you can achieve that success is by having multiple plans. Summon your Olivia Pope-level of attention to detail and plan for things to go wrong. That way, when the florist goes to the wrong location, you can have him rerouted before the centerpieces even start to wilt.
2. Drink from the fountain of youth
Event marketing is a social industry — the events themselves may have alcohol and you may consume loads of caffeine to keep you energized during long planning sessions or travel. Both types of beverage consumption cause dehydration, which actually zaps your body of the energy you’re trying to provide.
While you may not be able to forego your morning latte or networking cocktails entirely, water truly does a body good. In fact, every functioning element of your body needs water to survive. Caffeine? Not so much. Stay hydrated the smart way by keeping a reusable water bottle handy at your desk and meetings, and carrying it empty when you go through airport security.
Hydrating while flying is especially important, and you don’t have to let security slow you down. Refill your bottle at a fountain on the other side of the gate, and carry moist towelettes, lotion or even a facial mist to keep your skin feeling fresh.
3. Put your head on the pillow
Like water, sleep is also an essential function for recharging your body. Putting in long hours and even pulling all nighters can lead to poor decision making, avoidable accidents and even physiological changes to your body like higher blood sugar and premature skin aging. Make the most of the sleep you can get, and make it easy for your body to slip into REM stage, which helps your body fully recover. Travel with an eye mask or earplugs to block out distractions when you’re away from home. Aromatherapies are great, too.
Escaping for an eight-hour stretch may be, well, a stretch — but research shows great benefits of slinking away for a quick power nap. After a rest of just 10 to 30 minutes, your body will be more alert, open to learning, show improved memory and performance. Instead of working 24 hours straight through your next event, try sneaking away for a quick power nap. Your client — and your body — will be grateful.
4. Put endorphins on the VIP list
Go for a run. Take a yoga class. Meditate. Get a massage. Watch a comedy. Endorphins isn’t the name of the hottest new nightclub — they are your body’s natural pain fighters. Channel them! Endorphins can be triggered by many different forms of activity and relaxation, so explore until you find the one that feels right for you.
These sessions may seem like an unnecessary indulgence when there are important deadlines and calendar reminders filling your work plan. But just like the power nap — the benefits greatly outweigh the time invested.
Did you notice the theme of our de-stress tips for event planners? Taking care of your body is critical to managing a stressful career like event planning. You may think you’re providing an invaluable service by being completely client-focused, but if your body is performing at less than 100%, so are you.
For more ways to celebrate National Stress Awareness Month, check out 10 more health tips.