As event managers we spend all of our time ensuring everyone else is happy and cared for – our clients, our volunteers, our staff and suppliers. And in that mix we often forget an important step – Self Care. We are here to say it is time to add self-care to your “To Do” list, your critical path, and your calendar!
There was a time when Jennifer and I would run an event and realize 12 hours later during tear down that we’ve not eaten or seen daylight and then have to drive hours home exhausted, hungry and probably dehydrated. Yes, being busy is part of the job and I used to think saying we were too busy to eat or pee was a badge of Event Management honour. I know now it’s not. After a pretty scary experience of overworking and not taking care of ourselves during a three day event in the sun we learned why we needed to incorporate self-care into the business of events.
My favourite sleep consultant, Alanna McGinn, Founder and CEO of Good Night Sleep Site, has some great tips on ensuring quality sleep fits into a busy schedule. “Make lists and prioritize the work that needs to be done. Add sleep to your list, always. Before going to bed write down 3 things you want to accomplish the next day. You can do it all – work, family, activities, and sleep, when you’ve created a realistic schedule for yourself. Be committed to that schedule and follow it consistently.”
The days before an event (when the major tasks should be wrapped up) go to bed early to allow yourself to re-energize – a quality sleep is not only good for your body but your mind too! And post event instead of driving for hours in the middle of the night after an event stay in a hotel close by. We’ve built into our event riders (yes we have a rider just like the entertainment!) if the event is more than 50KM from home (and taking place into the wee hours of the night) we need a hotel room for the night. This allows us to get safely into a bed and sleep until we naturally wake up - as opposed to be woken up bright and early from our adorable toddlers J
I’m not going to tell you what to eat and how much to eat but you do need to mix in a meal or two. Personally I’m a snacker – I need several small snacks throughout the day to keep me going. This works for me because snacks are easy to carry around, have handy and I can eat while still working (if required). And although coffee is one of my most favourite beverages I try to mix in water throughout the event and not only drink coffee / pop and other quick energy fixes. The crash isn’t worth it.
Jennifer and I are accountable to each other. I need to take care of myself for her and vice versa. This works for us. I ensure she is eating and resting and she does the same for me. Come the fall when we are doing a slew of events back to back to back we are hiring someone to be our personal assistants – getting us food, water, and when we need a break to step in and be another set of eyes, ears and brains. Self-care is a priority to us and we ensure we don’t let it slip.
Post Event De-Stress
The event is over and you are feeling great (tired but great) it is time to treat yourself to a day of no work. A day just for you. A day like that for me consists of spa treatments, coffee at my favourite small shop, a walk by the lake and reading a new book. For Jennifer it includes a run, the spa and sharing a nice bottle of red wine!
We truly believe self-care is vital to how well you can perform – if you are burnt out and not well physically or emotionally then you are not going to be able to do your best for your client and event. Being tired, too busy to eat and burnt out is not a badge of honour – rip it off and take care of you!
Event Director & Co-Owner