Upgrade Your Self-Care at Events

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Upgrade Your Self-Care at Events

By Dr. Mary Warren | Mar 4, 2019

We know that events are all about making sure everything happens as planned and successfully handling unplanned issues as they arise. The vast amount of details can be overwhelming. Some people react to ongoing stress by shutting down emotionally, potentially leading to depressive thoughts and feelings. But recognizing mental and emotional triggers to avoid or minimize can be key to your happiness quotient.

I love the idea of being “broadsighted”—having a wider or deeper perspective of something. You might play with this theme for maintaining personal balance when managing your events.

First, try zooming in and focusing on some details for an upcoming event—perhaps reviewing your agenda for the day. Then zoom out and see the entire event through a wider lens. Include yourself in this broader view—perhaps in the Zen Zone for 15 minutes (like at MPI’s 2018 World Education Congress) relaxing and getting away once your morning people are organized and breakout sessions are successfully under way.

Maybe you are in your room after lunch for 10 minutes of legs-up-the-wall, a restorative yoga pose that allows you to rest your feet and legs. Again, see yourself capitalizing on times when you can sneak in a little daily “me time” to create balance during an event. What a great way to bring equilibrium into that elusive work/life balance. Be strategic—schedule recharge times into your days for your well being, knowing some times will be met and others hopelessly missed!

Another way you might reduce event stress is by seeing your entire event positively unfold in front of you. Each morning, sit in a comfy spot in your room before going downstairs and mentally imagine the large and smaller parts of your program for the day ahead. See all the people and things happening in an “easy and effortless” mode—a wonderful mantra! If you’re having the night-before jitters, try the same approach. See the events of the next day unfolding smoothly, people are happy and working together seamlessly. Everything is successfully accomplished. Feel thankful as you mentally check off each box from your list of daily “get to do’s.”

You can also bring positive and relaxing thoughts to mind by reversing the previous mental imaging. Go back through your day (starting where you are at that moment) and create a Thankfulness List. Start with your comfy bed, using your favorite toothbrush, a good conversation with someone before turning in, etc. Move back through your day feeling thankful for all the good things and outcomes. I’ve found this easily releases the stress that I can hold in my chest and heart and relaxes me for sleep. You might do a Lee Papa Mindful Makeover™ video before sleep or plan a daily visit to the Be Well Lounge while at IMEX America during afternoon me time.

Any time you create new habits, you will want to take support from those around you.  Reflect upon (and perhaps revisit) the following questions.

What is your support system like?
Who helps support you?
What do you do to stay balanced? 
What do you do to get happy? 
What do you do to get out of an emotional funk?
Do you have a system or regular method of decompressing emotionally? 

Perhaps you incorporate gentle physical or deeper breathing activities into your event schedule. Any time you use your muscles, you produce important biochemistry that brings balance through better mood and emotions. Increasing breath also brings oxygen to the brain and muscles.

Here are three less active movements to support and re-energize your attendees.

  1. Stand barefoot and soften the knees. Gently fold forward at the waist while inhaling and slowly exhale while unfolding back to a standing position. This combines breath with gentle spinal flexion and extension. Repeat twice.
  2. Stand with enough space between one another to straighten arms sideways. Slowly inhale and bring arms up towards the ceiling, trying to bring hands together. Slowly exhale and bring arms down to meet outer legs. Great for brain balance! Repeat twice.
  3. Last, have attendees stretch arms behind their bodies, trying to clasp hands together—this lengthens front chest muscles that tend to shorten while seated.  Stretch wrists by straightening one arm in front and gently pressing one hand back with the other hand, undoing the shortening from writing, using laptops and devices. Switch sides.

Here are three ways for you to relax and recharge.

  1. Restorative yoga.
  2. Stretching on the floor, mat or your bed.
  3. Listen to classical music, jazz or nature sounds while walking or taking a bath (remember to pack those bath salts or essential oils!).
As a Wellness Expert, my emphasis is always on upping your self-care through my Foundational 4: healthier choices. You can feel good from consistent water consumption, better food and snack choices (eat or snack every few hours) and keeping blood sugar as balanced as possible. Keep raw nuts handy or low-sugar-content protein bars in your bag.  Strive for seven hours of nightly sleep while at events, and daily physical movement. 

With all this great self-care, there is an internal glue that elegantly holds you and your attendees together: self-love. Intellectually, we all get this. Real life, day-to-day stressors and event management can throw you off any ideal path.

Find and connect with more positive and like-minded people along with your support network while at events. There is no better way to create a self-loving environment than with positive messages, music and people. Remember to be broadsighted and include yourself and your well being in event plans.


Dr. Mary Warren

Dr. Mary Warren, owner of Road Warrior Wellness™, is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and has been practicing, studying and researching in the field of wholistic healthcare for 24 years. She specializes in nutrition and the cumulative effects on our health and has authored two books on wellness.