5 tips on how to improve your mental and emotional health

By Xane Richards |

September 1, 2020

While we are all trying to find new ways to adapt to the “new normal”, too often we tell ourselves “I am too stressed”, or “I can’t get my work done”. Event professionals are definitely no exception, with our fast-paced environments, full of endless tasks and tight deadlines.

Nowadays we often try to tackle stress and anxiety from a single direction. We tell ourselves that the psychological stress from overworking can be reduced with a 10-minute meditation exercise once in a while, or a weekend road trip to escape the crowded city and “unwind”. In reality, it’s all about consistency and finding that “peace of mind” state with yourself.

Let’s be clear, not all stress states are bad. Our “fight and flight” response has been developed over 3 million years ago to protect ourselves when we experienced all types of real threats. This is when the “amygdala” (a key component of our emotional brain), is triggered as an alarm system for trouble.

The more stress we experience, the more likely we are to have less sleep, make bad food choices and drink more alcohol. Here are some tips on how to control our stress levels and find that balance between our body, mind and soul.

1. Put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others
We are reminded of this every time we take a flight. In order to be able to take care of others, you must look after yourself first. When we are under prolonged stress and fatigue, our rational thinking can deteriorate and fall into a state of “cloud decisions”. In order to avoid this, it’s important to make self-care non-negotiable. Try to allocate 10 minutes of your time to stretch while at work, eat a piece of fruit, or go for a short walk each day. Spending time in nature can reduce stress, and help you to be more mindful.

2. Find your “raison d’être”
The French phrase “raison d’être”, or “reason for being” is challenging us to ask ourselves: “Why do you get up out of bed every morning?”, “What is your purpose and ultimate aspirations? Is it that because you have an endless to-do list the next day, or do you purposely get out of bed to get closer to your goals? Even though we’re going through a pandemic, it’s important to stick to our goals, and remind ourselves of everything that we’ve gone through to get where we are now.

3. Know your limits and reframe your day
We tend to work long hours, then continue ruminating about work in the off-hours, which can eventually lead to burn out. One way to know your limits is to monitor the end of each day, write it down and think about how you can improve it. If you’re struggling to reframe your day, ask yourself: why does it matter?

4. Nourish relationship with others, and yourself
During these times, our industry is more connected than ever. We tend to think that nothing beats “face-to-face”, but online is building communities, nourishing relationships and engaging individuals. Now, more than ever, we need to stay connected, and give/ask for help when it is needed.

5. Prioritise self-care
In today’s climate, when we are constantly trying to be our very best versions of ourselves, it is not uncommon to run ourselves into the ground. Right now, self-care is more important than ever. It’s easy to slip into the habit of sleeping late and eating junk food and spending all day in your pyjamas, but looking after yourself is essential for your mental health. 

Since self-care is only about yourself, there’s no prescription on when or how to do it. Try creating and sticking to a routine that involves evening walks, morning stretches, calling your loved ones, or anything that really makes you happy. Self-care means sticking to habits that give you a life you don’t need to escape from.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator