Event planning is one of the top 5 most stressful careers in the entire world. Find ways to manage and relieve your worries with these great tools, activities, and suggestions (most of which are free or cheap)!
Discover the top ways event planners can add relaxation into their days
Here’s how to manage event planning stress and unwind before, during, or after your next big project.
1. Walk more
Get in the habit of going on a walk during lunch breaks. You can even create an energizing playlist for free on Spotify that you only listen to when you need a pick me up.
2. Clear your mind
3. Staff up
Add more volunteers to your event staff list or hire some helping hands to take over the easier, more time consuming projects. If you’re looking for volunteers at the last minute you can reach out to local college programs to recruit students interested in event planning or use social media to find them.
4. Breath more easily
Practice Yoga inspired breathing techniques. This YouTube series by Living Better helps you self soothe in 3 minutes or less.
5. Get outside
Have easy access to a park or walking trail? Then host your next meeting on a hike! The key to a successful offsite meeting is to keep the group size to less than 10 people and to strike a balance between fun and work through focused conversation.
6. Automate posts
7. Exercise more
Choose from hundreds of professionally developed workouts on the Beach Body app that you can do right in your office.
8. Set boundaries
Have a hard out time every day, especially if you work from home. When it’s time to stop what you’re doing, make sure to power down all electronics, clear your workspace of any trash, and jot down a to-do list for tomorrow.
9. Use pleasant workplace scents
Add aromatherapy to your meeting space with seasonal candles or essential oil diffusers. The most relaxing scent combinations involve citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, mint, and/or cedar wood oils.
10. Buffer everything
We tend to think things will take less time than they actually do but still wonder why we’re so far behind and in a hurry all the time. No matter how long you think you’ll need to plan an event, add 1.5x that amount of time to your event timeline for every major task or deadline. The same goes for meetings, travel time between your office and the venue, and pretty much everything else on your to do list. You can also use a time tracking app to look for places where you can cut some corners.
11. Celebrate more
Congratulate yourself for the little wins by setting mini-goals throughout the planning process. For project completion, plan a basic karaoke night with your team to celebrate another successful event. Or enjoy your personal successes by doing something special at home. Whatever you choose, just remember to take a second and appreciate all the good experiences you’ve had.
12. New projects
It’s good to get excited about things outside of work. But make sure it’s just for fun and not business related in any way. So go ahead and take that pottery class or bake that 7 layer cake then see how you feel after. Here are some other great stress relieving hobbies you can look into.
13. Get extra sleep
In the weeks leading up to the event, subtly increase the amount of sleep you get by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking up 15 minutes later. That extra full 30 minutes of sleep every night will feel (and actually be) life changing.
14. 24 Hour Rule
If the venues allows you to, make sure event set ups take place 24 hours before doors open. That way you can see if anything or anyone is missing. And if anything does go wrong, you have plenty of time to fix it. If there is another event booked right before you, triple check what time the venue told them to be out by.
15. Get organized
Even if you’re doing your very best already, adopting better event management tools can make a world of difference. From creating floor plans to collaborating with vendors to streamlining all your event planning files, a great software can help you organize everything better than you ever could on your own.
16. Laugh more
Watch clips from your favorite half hour comedy (Friends, anyone?) or stand up comedian. You can even find funny clips on Instagram accounts like the one by Comedy Central.
17. Take a break
Stop everything you’re doing. We promise that all those balls you’re juggling won’t suddenly fall to the floor – everything will be there when you’re feeling better enough to give them the energy and attention they deserve. Make it a habit by scheduling “do nothing” time in the middle of your work day and use it to literally just exist. Your brain will recalibrate during this time and you can return to your event planning with fresh eyes.
18. Spa time
You’d be surprised how affordable a relaxing day at the spa can be. Try a full body exfoliation scrub at a Korean spa. Or do a reviving sheet mask at home. Both of these options feel luxurious and won’t break the bank. Here are some affordable luxury spa products you can use at home.
19. Schedule “me” time
Have a daily self love hour on your schedule. Spend 60 full minutes doing whatever makes you feel really good. Try a paint by numbers kit, go stargazing (with this handy app), or just catch up on your favorite YouTube channels. Whatever it is, just make sure it helps you feel better about yourself and your life as a whole.
20. Emotional education
You might be a hypersensitive person and if you are, that means there are lots of ways to adjust your work schedule and daily routine to help you feel more relaxed in general. Here’s a great quiz you can take to see if you are.
21. Redecorate your work space
Redo your home office or work desk with brighter colors, fresh supplies, and a cute plant or two. It seems silly but it might actually give you a whole new perspective on your work. At the very least, trash any old clutter that’s getting in the way of your current projects and delete anything from your computer desktop that doesn’t help you with your upcoming event.
22. Read favorite books
Reread Harry Potter or some other series you feel nostalgic about. If you want to read a certain book but don’t currently own it, just download the totally free Library Extension for your web browser. It will automatically search for hard copy books and eBooks within your local library system and automatically pop up in Amazon (or other digital bookstores) to let you know if it’s available for free elsewhere.
23. Try journaling
The day before the event, spend an hour journaling about all the things that could go RIGHT tomorrow. Your brain is probably flooded with all the last minute adjustments and tasks but taking the time to do this now will help get you in a good mood. Trust that the prep work you did is excellent and be okay with things that happen on the day of the event, especially if they are beyond your control.
24. Dine out
Treat yourself to an upscale meal at your favorite restaurant. You know, the one you normally reserved for holidays and anniversaries? The work you do is special and you deserve to take yourself out after a huge accomplishment like planning an event. Or if dining out isn’t exactly in your budget, grab a free trial for a professional home cooking kit like Freshly or Blue Apron.
25. Use computer folders
Declutter digital event paperwork and files at the beginning or end of every new event project. Keep things like design blueprints, vendor contact info, and event data for future reference. Then toss stuff like notes from random meetings to make some mental space for yourself moving forward.
26. Go on a staycation
Even if it’s just a weekend getaway. In the town next to yours. New scenery will help you revive yourself and when you return you’ll feel ready to tackle the next one. But if getting away isn’t something you can or want to do, try some of these relaxing staycation ideas.
27. Go on a coffee date
Grab a coffee or a drink with a friend from your personal life to help remember that you’re work does not define you. Tell them you want to talk about anything but your jobs – they’ll probably be happy to accomodate.
28. Reflect effectively
Take 5 minutes every day to reflect on the big picture. Set a timer and write whatever comes to mind, stream of consciousness style. Put any lingering observations, feelings, and progress updates you just need to get off your chest.
29. Lead better
Great leaders know when and how to delegate. If you’re still working on letting go of total control, then check out this great guide by Lifehack.org. It will save you time and energy while ultimately making the event better than it ever could have been before.
30. Change perspective
Visualize the event as if you are the attendees. What will it be like for them to learn about your event and buy a ticket? What will they first see when they enter the venue? You’ll probably find that an outside observer would be thrilled with what you’ve come up with.
31. Shopping spree
Fill your digital shopping cart up with all the things you’ll get to buy with the money you earn from this event. To save a few bucks, try an automatic coupon finder extension like Honey or Amazon Assistant.
32. Green it up
Add living plants or a bouquet of flowers to your workspace. Studies have shown they make you feel better, breathe a tiny bit easier, and provide relief from the negative effects of stress.
33. Set boundaries
Before a project begins, make sure you lay out all of your expectations for communication right in your contract. You can also gently remind your partners of your office hours by writing them in your email signature. And if you use your phone for work, be sure to add on a second (free) phone number through apps like TextNow or Google Voice so you can keep personal contacts separate from business ones.
Feeling refreshed yet?
When you’re rested and ready to get back to it, try implementing some of these on-the-job stress-busting tips to prevent future burnout. And while you’re at it, ward off even more future worries with these common event planning problems and solutions as well as some predictive event planning software tools.