For years the meetings & events industry has been on the top of the “MOST STRESSFUL JOBS” lists, right behind firefighters and airline pilots. Many of us almost took it as a badge of honor. At least I know I did. “Let me do it all, work 12+ hours a day, plan, execute and wrap two events and have rice krispie treats ready for one of the kids classes the next day.” Keeping the proverbial ‘balls in the air’ of juggling tasks for work and home were all the things contained in a good week. I was stressed to the max but there was no time to think about it let alone address it.
The Incentive for Excellence
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As a Corporate Meeting Planner, VP of SITE SoCal, and a single mother of one amazing 8-year-old boy who is FULL of energy, I’m constantly running at the speed of light. My time, energy, creativity, and planning skills are always in high demand. This usually means that I put my son and my work first, and myself somewhere way down the list. Given that Forbes rated Event Planning as the 5th most stressful job in the world in 2017, that can quickly become a recipe for disaster. But if you’re reading this, you’re likely in the industry, so I don’t need to tell you; you’re living it too.
At our July SITE SoCal luncheon, we had the pleasure of enjoying 3 informative and dynamic speakers who all touched on the subject of “trust” from very different angles. One speaker hit me more than the others, as she was speaking to the subject of personal trust. Deb Gee of lululemon shared her own story of running herself to the brink of hitting rock bottom early in her own Planning career. She shared how working at a company like lululemon, as well as implementing some new tools into her own personal and professional life, has helped her to become mindful of not allowing herself to go back to that place.
As she guided us through a short meditation practice, the room full of 140 people fell still and silent, eyes closed, maybe for the first time ever. It was an incredible feeling to know that all of these people, wired like I am to “go, go, go”, were sitting mindfully, quietly, together. It was powerful.
After that lunch, I’ve made an effort to reflect on Deb’s message. I’ve spent some time making a commitment to myself to ensure that I can practice self-care, and create trust in myself as a planner, volunteer, and mom. Admittedly, the idea of trusting in myself is a new way of thinking for me that will require some practice. So I’m going to share some of the ways I’ve come up with, and hope that you, as a participant of this industry, might incorporate some self-trust into your own life as well.
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
When I thought more about wellness, it seemed to me that this was a great example of a tipping point taking place in the hospitality industry. So, I thought a little research was in order on what to me was an interesting topic.
Starting close to home, MPISCC recently held its Beverly Laing Golf & Wellness Day event at March at the Los Coyotes Country Club, Buena Park. For those that don’t play, the wellness offerings are a new and different alternative to the regular lifestyle activity options. The sessions included Fitness, Yoga and “Living a Balanced Life: An Exploration of Your Unique Mind/Body Personality Type” offered by The Chopra Center. Desirable and much talked about, a successful work/life balance is particularly challenging and often hard to achieve. Despite this, it is particularly important in our industry when our job demands often outstrip the amount of time we have for ourselves.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
The life of an event planner is very stressful. There is continual pressure to meet tight budgets, manage client relationships, and be on call 24/7. And all this stress is a double whammy. Not only will it reduce your happiness, it can also ruin your health. Thus, it is essential for an event planner to have an effective strategy to reduce their stressors at the job.