Research conducted in 2017 ranked event planning as the fifth most stressful job, behind police officers and airline pilots. Anyone who didn’t feel some degree of stress while co-ordinating a meeting would have to be superhuman.
So, what are the best ways of alleviating feelings of anxiety while carrying out your duties?
There are a number of innovative, natural techniques recommended for stress-busting, both in the event planning stages and during a long meeting.
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Although it’s often not feasible to go for a full-scale body massage due to time restrictions, there are other ways of helping to alleviate stress, based on massage techniques.
One of the more unusual is a DIY ear massage, which is said to relieve tension by helping to calm your nervous system. Begin by placing two fingers on either side of your earlobe and gently squeeze and massage the lobe. Gradually work your way up your ear to the top.
Then, work your way slowly down again, while continuing the same gentle squeezing motion, until you reach the bottom of your lobe. Repeat the technique several times and you should start to feel more relaxed.
The beauty of this technique is that it can be done very discreetly, even mid-meeting, so you don’t need to wait until you can take a break from your duties.
Meditation is an ancient and well documented therapy for relieving stress. However, when you’re busy planning an event, you may feel you don’t have enough time to participate.
Yet the truth of the matter is that taking a little time out to meditate is just what is needed – and the end result will be that we become more productive. You don’t need to spend an hour taking part in a full-scale meditation session – even if you have only five minutes to spare, this can help.
The secret to quick mediation sessions is to set aside just a few minutes in your schedule for some alone time, even if it’s just sitting in your car for five minutes. Close your eyes and relax your body by taking a few deep, slow breaths. Make sure you’re in a comfortable position, without any nagging discomforts, such as a jacket buttoned too tightly, for example.
Then, try to clear your mind. Rather than trying to think of nothing, when random thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge they are there, but don’t focus on them. Let them go and try to concentrate on the present moment. Don’t let your mind wander on to what you have to do later. Simply focus on the present. Train your mind by practicing this technique more often.
The longer the meditation session, the better you will feel, but even a few minutes will help to combat stress.
Smelling a familiar smell can calm you down when you’re suffering from feelings of stress and anxiety. Aromatherapists recommend classic calmers such as lavender, sandalwood and vetiver, which can be bought from health shops. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, try citrus or mint to boost energy levels.
Any scent that has a positive association can help – even smelling your favourite aftershave or perfume can be beneficial.
When you’re having a really tough day, carry a vial of essential oil in your pocket or handbag and smell it when you feel the need. Aromatherapy practitioners say exposing your senses to strong-smelling substances can positively impact on your brain chemistry, hormone production and subsequently your stress levels.
A simple way of fending off stress is to eat a healthy diet and cut out caffeine and sugar. When you’re feeling stressed, you may fancy a cup of strong coffee to keep you going. However, this is probably the worst thing you can do, as it can have a roller-coaster effect on your energy levels.
Caffeine and sugar can both cause spikes and crashes, leaving you feeling up and down throughout the day and therefore more susceptible to stress. Instead of giving in to your coffee urges, eat nutrient-rich foods to keep your blood sugar levels stable and also, don’t touch things like carbs and processed foods.
With very little effort, you can achieve stress-free event planning by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle.
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