Did you know that the occupation of event planning is ranked among the top 6 most stressful careers in 2019 according to Careercast.com. However, it is also one of the most rewarding careers when you see your hard work come to fruition and you create an amazing, successful event.
According to the CareerCast study, though event coordinators are responsible for planning all logistics and activities for events he or she is responsible for throughout the year, an individual event may be a once-in-a-lifetime special occasion for the client which contributes to the high stress environment that planners often work in.
CareerCast used an 11 stress factor methodology and ranked each factor on a point scale to determine the amount of stress a worker can predict to experience in a given job. When you look at the categories they considered such as amount of travel, working in the public eye, meeting the public, and deadlines it is not surprising that event coordinators made the list.
Event Coordinators received a stress score of 49.85 (to give some perspective, the most stressful job, enlisted military officer, received a stress score of 84.61). The high stakes, high pressure, and high visibility nature of event planning I think warrants inclusion of event coordinators somewhere in this list. While event planners may not be putting out literal fires they are certainly dealing with their fair share of “disasters.”
So how can we make sure we stay healthy
(both mentally & physically) - SELF-CARE
Self-care is a MUST for every one of us! It’s so important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick. When you are taking good care of yourself, this allows you to be on top of your game, and it will reflect in your work.
"Me-time" is usually last on the agenda. Worse, we can sometimes feel guilty about taking the time required to take care of ourselves. So getting started with self-care can be challenging. Below you will find my basic self-care tips you can implement into your daily routine.
1- Set Boundaries- Boundaries are VITAL in the event planning business. Without boundaries, you will find yourself saying yes when you really mean no, over-committing and ultimately feeling taken advantage of. As event planners, we sometimes get caught up in, "If I say no, they will never use me again." On occasion this may be true, but it is not worth the risk of your well-being or the possibility of a poorly produced event.
2- Move Your Body- We can become really overwhelmed when we put unattainable expectations on ourselves. If exercise is not already a part of your daily routine, start small. Any kind of movement is great! You may want to start out by stretching or going for a short walk. As we implement movement in our lives, we boost our serotonin and we are able to reduce some of our stress.
3- Sleep- Sleep can have a major effect on how you feel both physically and mentally. We sacrifice sleep to get it all done. A couple of things you can do to make sleep more of a priority- 1- Give yourself a set time to go to sleep. It is easy to be a little wired after a long day, so make sure to plan at least 30 minutes to wind down. 2- Put your phone down and allow yourself to go to sleep without it. Phones are designed to prompt your response. The notifications for email, text and social media are constantly going off and are distracting. A good practice is, plugging your phone in a different room to take away the the temptation to scroll before bed.
4- Meditation- Meditation is something I implement daily. Again, start small. Even if it is for five minutes to start with. There are some really great apps that I would recommend. Both the calm app and the relax melodies app have worked well for me however, there are many out their and most are free.
5- Breathing- So IMPORTANT! There are multiple benefits of deep breathing. Among the many are: detoxification, reducing stress, improving posture, and lowering blood pressure. A technique I use daily is called the 5-5-7 method. Sit straight up to open your diaphragm. Take a deep breath in counting to 5. Hold your breath for 5 counts and blow out for 7 counts. Repeat as many times as needed.
It is really hard for all of us to find time to set aside for ourselves. But it is so important that we plan for self-care. After all, we are "planners" and we need to treat ourselves as we would treat a client.
Tiffany Denny, CMP