After a year of postponed and canceled events, more people are getting vaccinated every day and states have been lifting restrictions on events so we can finally gather together to celebrate special occasions. In fact, the wedding industry is expected to see a boom not only this year and next, but well into 2023. That means the demand for event professionals has never been higher—and the work won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Of course, all of this is great news for planners and vendors who had to deal with the loss of income for most of 2020. But let’s be honest: It could also wreak some havoc on your mental health. Not only will your work schedule be jam-packed for the foreseeable future, but you will also be putting together all of these events while we’re still dealing with Covid.
So how do you make sure you feel your absolute best both on and off the job? Here are some simple tips from professionals on how to make your mental health and wellness a priority both during and after the pandemic.
Take Care of Yourself
When you’re busy with work, it can be easy to fall into bad habits when it comes to sleeping, eating, and exercising. But how well you take care of your body has a direct impact on your emotional well-being. In addition, you won’t be able to help your clients pull off the event of their dreams if you’re run down. So be sure to:
- Get enough rest: In a perfect world, we would all get a solid eight hours of sleep. That’s not always possible, and some people don’t even need that much shuteye. Figure out how much rest you need each night to feel good and maintain productivity, and then try to stay on a set schedule.
- Eat healthy: As you’re going from meeting to meeting, it’s tempting to just make a quick run to the fast-food drive-thru. Instead, pack healthy snacks and lunch for yourself in the morning to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies.
- Exercise: Even if it’s a walk around the neighborhood, remaining active each day can help boost endorphins and destress from a busy day.
Learn to Say No
After all of that lost time due to the pandemic, you might be tempted to pack your schedule with events. Jamie Steiner, LCSW, at Cobb Psychotherapy suggests a slower ramp back up to your former workload—and yes, that might actually mean turning down work, something many small business owners have a hard time doing. Remember, “the way we worked before was stopped abruptly, and it might take significantly more energy than it did previously to do some of the even routine tasks,” Steiner explains.
While you want to be there for your clients when they need you, you cannot (and should not) be available to them 24/7. No matter how much you love your job, everyone needs downtime. Create a schedule that dictates when and where you can work and share it with clients, so they know when you’ll be responding to calls and emails, recommends Natalie Capano, MHC-LP at Cobb Psychotherapy.
Work With People You Trust
The last thing you need is to collaborate with professionals that don’t pull their weight and make your job harder, so be diligent about finding vendors who you can count on. In addition, you should be able to delegate important tasks to everyone you employ so that you aren’t taking on the entire workload on your own. As health coach Maksym Dziarmaga, founder of Healthprise, points out, surrounding yourself with the best people will ensure you can sleep soundly at night—and of course, keep your clients happy!
Limit Your Online Meetings
Meetings in general eat into your productivity, but online meetings are in many ways more stressful than in-person conferences. After all, because it is virtual, some people might expect you to be available at any time. Before you schedule anything, ask yourself if what you are going to discuss in a meeting can just as well be resolved by email, or in a quick phone call, suggests Leonie Vorster, a research psychologist.
Take Advantage of Vacation Time
You might be tempted to forgo your own vacation time to make sure you can take care of a bigger workload. You need that time for self-care, says Capano. As long as you plan in advance, there’s no reason not to enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Read more about specific ways to improve your mental health in Hitting the Pandemic Wall & Managing Your Mental Health.