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Honorable Mention Chapter Award



Keep Calm & Carry On – Preserving your Mental Health as Live Events Return

Keep Calm

By: MPI CAC | Aug 31, 2021

Last week, PRA Chicago operated our largest live event since before the pandemic upended our industry nearly 18 months ago. It felt so great to be back in my element, and the event was a huge success, but I forgot how mentally and emotionally draining our jobs can be. Our fierce passion for our work combined with our Type-A perfectionism and high expectations from internal and external stakeholders can lead to a lot of stress. Luckily for me, I spent a lot of time in the past year learning about mental health and how to preserve my own well-being, and I’d love to share some tips with my fellow event professionals as we navigate a new normal.

  1. Set realistic expectations – for yourself and others. We’re all high achievers in this industry, which is one of the many things that make us so great. However, if we’re always aiming to give 150%, our energy reserves will soon run out. Learn to prioritize and delegate tasks. What is truly urgent, and what can wait? What needs to be done by you, and what can you entrust to your team to take on?
  2. Learn to set healthy boundaries at home and at work. “No” is not typically a word found in the vocabulary of an event professional, but I’m here to tell you – it’s okay to say no! We should all strive to build teams that support each other’s values and needs. Do you need to shut down your email at 7PM to enjoy time with your children? Communicate that, and then stick to it. Normally the first person to infringe on our boundaries is us, so it’s most important to honor boundaries with yourself.
  3. Take time every day to refresh, relax, and refuel your creative spirit. For some, this may mean morning meditation or a run, for others, maybe its movie night at home with family. Think about what your personal values are, and make sure you’re doing something to honor those values. For me, that means playing at the dog beach with my pup, catching up with friends, or simply listening to my favorite music while I unwind.
  4. Talk to someone. This should be tip #1 because it’s the most important thing we can all do to preserve our mental health. Find a trusted friend, loved one, colleague, or mental health professional to talk with. There’s no shame in seeking advice, support, or simple comfort when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out. This is also a great reminder to check in on your loved ones and colleagues as well – give someone a call to catch up and see how they are navigating this new world.


Mental health is something that has not been talked about openly until recently, but it’s so important to keep at the forefront as we pivot toward a new normal at work and home. As event professionals, we rely on our creativity, strategic thinking, and forward vision every day to propel our events and businesses forward. In order to bring our best selves to the office every day, we have to ensure we put as much passion and dedication toward ourselves that we do toward our work.

Alli Shebek, DMCP




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