Stress Relief for Meeting Planners

stress relief
It’s important to ground yourself in nature after getting off a flight.

In addition to a healthy diet and taking supplements, here are 3 strategies for stress relief for meeting planners—from a  fellow meeting planner.

Chronic stress is a silent killer. It’s the leading cause of 80 to 90 percent of all doctor visits. It’s also the gateway to autoimmune diseases, cancer and many more illnesses; it can look like recurring adult acne, eczema, headaches, ulcers, digestive issues, allergies, anxiety, panic attacks, common cold, hair loss, irritability, fatigue, heart burn, depression. Johanna Dahlman, founder of CORE Events, which supplies resources and event professionals for last-minute or timely projects all over Europe, shares these suggestions for stress relief for meeting planners.

Sweat it Out

Exercising is a must for optimal health and stress reduction. Walking back and forth from venue to hotel doesn’t truly count! During times of high stress, turn to yin yoga, not vinyasa. Turn to a slower-paced workout like Tai Chi, swimming or bike riding. Choosing high-impact or HIIT workouts while you are stressed is like adding lighter fluid to a forest fire. There is no stress relief when you add aggressive workouts to high stress. Relax and try to decrease the stress with low-impact and calming workouts.

If you don’t want to use the hotel gym because you might see staff, speakers or attendees, stay in your room and grab a free class from YouTube, using the space on the floor with a towel for your class. Many hotels have in-room workout kits and are also affiliated with nearby gyms or studios. In addition, if you are a member of ClassPass, you can take your membership across the USA and internationally. Pick a studio and go workout.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is the one thing no one gets enough of—especially in the event industry. Lack of sleep begins a week before traveling for the event, increasing more each day through time zones and unfamiliar flight and travel patterns. Quality sleep will help with stress relief. Here are a few suggestions:

• Refrain from emails and calls about two hours before bed time. Turning off the blue light function and keeping it in a warm tone can reduce the manner in which your body responds. With blue light, it tells your body to stay awake. The red tones help to curb this call to action.
• Disconnect from WI-FI. Turn your phone on airplane mode when not in use. Keeping it on next to your bed isn’t healthy. Use the hotel for a wake-up call instead.
• Try a melatonin supplement about 45 minutes before you want to sleep. It will aid in more restful and deeper REM cycles, helping you fall asleep faster without feeling groggy the next morning. You can find this at any natural food store.
• Take magnesium at night, every night, to get the restful sleep you need daily. Our diet doesn’t contain enough magnesium in it; therefore supplementation is needed. Ensure it is magnesium glycinate or citrate: as these two forms are absorbed more fully in the body. Other forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide absorb very minimally.
•Try an epsom salt bath. Don’t like using hotel baths? You can opt to put your feet in for a magnesium foot soak. This works in the same manner. Add about a cup of epsom salt baths and hot water, soak in it for about 20 to 30 minutes. You will feel refreshed and rested the next day.
• Travel with a mix of herbal teas. One in particular called Sleepy Time (from Celestial Seasonings) is perfect to sip while getting ready for bed.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

How much nature do you have around you? After a flight, it’s important to ground yourself, taking off any electro charges from the flight and centering back in nature. You can do this easily by swimming in a lake, ocean, or walking barefoot in grass or sand. Walking around in nature is also stress relief, but feeling nature on your skin or under your feet is an added bonus.

Opt for getting some grounding while it’s sunny. The vast majority of people are deficient in Vitamin D3, also known as the sunshine vitamin. We need Vitamin D3 to protect our immunity and overall health. There is a direct correlation between low Vitamin D levels and health issues.

Another way to add in nature is to work while you have nature sounds running in the background. Many apps, including the mediation ones, have various sounds to calm you, from ocean and river sounds, to birds, wind, and forest sounds. Choose one that is most appealing.

Nature can be also taking your lunch to a nearby park or open area getting fresh air. Doing as much as possible within your limits and constraints helps in the long run.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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