In April, the ILEA UK event focused on health and well-being for #EventProfs – guest Kim Goetze shares her thoughts on what she learnt below…
Eating healthy, exercising and sleeping 8 hours a night is the best you can do for your body and your soul. Yes, we all know that. We have all heard that a million and one times. Another thing we have heard at least as many times: jobs in our industry are ranked the 5th most stressful in the world. We know! Do we need to talk about that again and have another event preaching it to us? NO.
So why was the last event from ILEA UK about health & well-being different and actually helpful?
No one preached. They told us a story, their story. Let me now tell you mine about what I learnt that night in order to remain a happy and healthy Event Professional.
Talk, talk, talk
It honestly doesn’t matter who you talk to, your mum, your partner, your therapist, your dog, your stuffed animal, your dinner. Just talk about what is bringing your down, or just express that you don’t feel happy for no reason all. Anyone who doesn’t want to listen to it and tells you to just cheer up is not your friend and you might have to rethink that friendship.
Eat in peace
Take your lunch break, it is yours and yours only! We all have days when we are on site and don’t even have the time to think about lunch – but when it is a normal office day there is always enough time! Go out and get lunch, sit somewhere else other than your desk, enjoy a bit of sunshine (or better chase it when it decides to show for once) or phone a friend. Take that time for yourself and cherish it.
We are the absolute best at making our lives unnecessarily stressful. De-stressing it is simply achieved by creating less stress for yourself. Sounds great, doesn’t it? If you know you will be late for a dinner or networking event if you finish off that email… instead of stressing either plan the route that will get you there quickest once you are done, or ask yourself can that email wait until tomorrow? Remember that life happens and things rarely run to plan.
Yes, yes, I know what I said three paragraphs before. I am not talking about as individuals, but as an industry. Constantly talking about and highlighting the stress we put ourselves through is driving people out of their jobs into mental breakdowns. Stop talking, start doing is the motto here. Watch out for #EventWell!
Move your bum
You might not want to change your body shape, or feel like losing weight/gaining muscle is not achievable at all. So why should you bother exercising? To feel better, to have “me time” and to help you switch off. The results from a workout aren’t just on the scales and in your muscle fat ratio. The best results can be seen in how great your self-worth is.. not how pumped your muscles are!
Work can wait
Yes, it can. We are tempted to take our work everywhere as we so easily can. Our office is never more than a fingerprint recognition on our phone away. As many perks come with this, many disadvantages haunt us too. Don’t think just because you can, you have to work everywhere. Maybe next time you are on the tube, walking down the street, talking to a friend (or on the loo) you leave work at work and focus again on what you are doing.
Let me start this by saying I honestly don’t think everyone needs to sleep 8 hours a night! There are people who need more sleep than others and those should make sure they get it. But, what we should all agree on is a routine is necessary. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is what makes our body clock the happiest.
Take a break
A workaholic´s worst nightmare… I can hear you laughing at me through the screen. ‘There is so much to do!’ Yes, but it will still be there tomorrow. Taking a night or a day off is what keeps us sane. Those refueling days are the ones that keep us going, not the worked through nights and early mornings. Re-centering and refocusing can only happen when we completely pull away for some time. Maybe don’t go cold turkey with a whole week though, try the odd day or afternoon here and there to get used to it
This is probably the point closest to my heart as we can only grow together. If you want to talk, there needs to be someone else listening and giving the right advice too. We need those people around us and we need to be those people equally. It is and will always be a give and take, not a take, take, take.
Thank you again to the great speakers Hannah Luffman, Mark Maher and Patrick Moore Jones for sharing their mental health journeys – and to ILEA UK for starting this discussion. This issue is important to me because I love my job and I don’t want to be telling you the story about my burnout in 20 years’ time! If you want to know why I still believe it is okay to lie about your mental health you can find that out here…