How to avoid burnout as events start up again

With a backlog of events to organise post-lockdown, many event managers are suddenly very busy – and the risk of suffering stress or burnout is high.

However, there are lots of things you can do to look after your physical and mental health to help avoid burnout when things get busy.

Here are our tips on how to stay healthy when you have a hectic events calendar:

Start the day calm

When we’re stressed, it’s tempting to leap out of bed and, from the second we wake up, start thinking about everything we have to get done.

Taking even just a few minutes for yourself first thing in the morning can help you feel calmer and in control.

Whether that’s spending a minute or two mindfully taking some deep breaths, reading for a while before you get out of bed, or mindfully listening to your favourite music, it’ll help set you up for the day

Eat and drink well

We all know we should eat breakfast, but it’s often the first thing we skip when we’re busy.

Make sure you have a substantial, nutritious breakfast which includes both protein and carbohydrates for maximum energy.

When you’re in the thick of organising an event, it’s possible you won’t have time to eat properly later in the day – so it’s a good idea to have snacks with you to keep you going. 

Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are all good choices.

It’s also easy to forget to stay hydrated when we’re busy, so make sure you sip water throughout the day. 

Lots of us rely on coffee for an extra energy boost, but it can also increase feelings of stress – so try not to overdo it

Gentle exercise 

The last thing you feel like doing might be exercise – but, however tired you feel, getting off the sofa and moving will increase your energy, reduce stress levels and make you feel happier.

In this situation, exercise should be fun rather than competitive or challenging – whether it’s walking, yoga, pilates, running, swimming, football or dance, try to find something you enjoy doing in order to gain the maximum benefit.

We recommend setting routine days and times when you’re going to exercise and make sure you do it, come what may 

Set boundaries

We all know there are going to be times when event managers have to work long hours.

However, no one can do this all the time and not begin to suffer from stress or burnout.

So it’s very important to set boundaries. For example, we suggest setting clearly-communicated times for when you’re contactable and when you’re not. 

Then you need to stick to it! If you constantly allow colleagues or clients to break the ‘rules’ they’ll expect you to be available 24/7 forevermore.

A crucial part of setting boundaries is saying ‘no’ when a request crosses the line or is going to negatively impact the commitments you’ve already made.

Another trick for helping yourself stick to this is to schedule time in your diary for things you need to get done.

Then if someone asks you to do something extra, you’re less tempted to over-commit and you can honestly say your time is already booked

Get some sleep

You might not have any choice about early starts and late nights, but there are steps you can take to help your body rest and recover as much as possible in the time available.

We recommend gentle exercise like restorative yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or reading a novel just before bed.

And above all, switch off your phone and other devices so your sleep can’t be disturbed – and you’ll be less tempted to check emails and messages during the night

Seeking help

Common signs of burnout include: feeling overwhelmed and tired most of the time, feeling helpless or trapped, feeling alone in the world, having a negative outlook, suffering from self-doubt and taking longer to get things done.

If you have these symptoms, it’s important to contact your doctor for advice and support.

Further help can be found at:

This blog provides common sense tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing if your mental health is generally good. If you’re feeling unwell you should contact a medical professional for advice.

How to avoid burnout as events start up again

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