Pushing the Reset Button: Self-Care in the Off-Season

A career in the events industry is an all-encompassing, all-hours and all-in type of job. During peak season it can be extremely difficult to take care of yourself when setups start before dawn and strikes end after midnight. In between, you’re on stage and on call, with your current event demanding only slightly more than the next ten are. It’s a frenzied, frankly unhealthy pace. For any longevity and personal satisfaction as an event professional, you have to learn to reset during the off-season.

I know. We seem to spend most of the year giving you the opposite advice – maximize your off-season by taking on another mountain of tasks. However, striking a balance is critical, and if you can’t devote yourself fully to your well-being during peak months, you need to prioritize it when things slow down. Your business needs you to be at your best. Here are a few easy ways you can push the reset button during your next off-season.

Unwind

When you get home from work, turn your phone and email off. Establishing regular work hours on non-event days is key to separating your business life from your personal life, and you can’t effectively decompress if you don’t draw a clear line in the sand between the two. Reassure your clients that you are still accessible and that you know they have needs by responding to each email or phone message within 24 business hours to acknowledge you have received it and give a reasonable timeline for your response after you have some time to review their file.

Set Boundaries

Communicate your business hours clearly to your clients, and stick to them. Trust me. It actually makes them feel more comfortable to know when it’s appropriate, and when it’s not to contact you.

At home, let your family know how you plan to observe personal boundaries. They can help wean you off of the habit of working 24-7. Give them your “Spouse or Parent Hours” so they know that it’s okay to need you and seek connection with you during those times as well. Often, we’ve programmed everyone around us to walk on eggshells while we deal with client matters. It is healthy for everyone to know that your personal time is equally (or even more) sacred.

Set Priorities

Face it. There are not now, nor will there ever be enough hours in the day to do everything we think needs to be done. So, set priorities for your business and personal lives. Apply block scheduling not only to those things that simply need to be addressed at work, but also for the stuff you let go of during the year at home. An hour for an uninterrupted walk outdoors. Twenty minutes to touch up the kitchen. 30 minutes to lay in the grass and name clouds (with sunscreen!) with your kids. Choose what’s important and then schedule it like your sanity depends on it. In many ways, it does.

Pursue (or Get) a Hobby

One sure way that you can disengage your thoughts from work is to devote them to something else that is recreational for you. Exercise is great for producing endorphins and making you simultaneously healthier and more relaxed. Or, you might pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, learn how to crochet, or brush up on all the latest stamp collecting news. It doesn’t really matter what you do – just that you do something unrelated to your work that you enjoy,

The best thing you can do for your business, your team and your clients is to spend time regularly taking care of you. There will never be a better time to start, so what are you waiting for?

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.

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