Maintaining Work-Life Balance As Meeting Professionals
It is no shocker that the meeting professional job can be quite stressful.
We have to manage everything from speakers to hotel management to having the right foods for the right people at the right time. Lots of moving parts! The key thing is that you can’t be effective if you are stressed and overwhelmed, so let’s start there.
Maintaining Sanity for You!
As a meeting professional, one of the most difficult words to get comfortable with is…NO. I know how hard this can be as you dedicate so much of your life to your groups and events, but if you don’t take the time to take care of you, there won’t be any of you left to help them!
Here are two steps to consider:
- Schedule a self-care day monthly (or a half-day if you feel too guilty) and turn off the phone and computer. Do something that re-energizes YOU (e.g. massage, spa day, lunch with friends…). Think of this like plugging your phone in to charge it – you are re-charging YOU!
- Protect this time on your calendar! It’s one thing to schedule this time for you, and another to make sure it takes priority when the inevitable conflict occurs.
From a personal health perspective, you already know how important staying hydrated is, but are you doing it? The typical water target of half your body weight in ounces is a great place to start, but the key is to implement this so that you are drinking water throughout your day. Make sure that you are drinking purified water, as you want to help your body to detoxify. You either use a filter or your body will become the filter. Luckily, most venues are now offering bottled water, so this is a little bit easier.
Proper Breathing Techniques
Proper breathing means that you are breathing deeply, down below your belly button (you might put your hand there as you practice), while keeping your chest relatively still. Try inhaling for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. This will help to activate the calming side of your nervous system (called the parasympathetic nervous system) and reduce stress in a big way. In fact, all of the best stress reduction systems (e.g. Tai Chi, Yoga, Qi Gong…) have deep breathing at their core.
Use The Best Fuel Possible
Most people that own an expensive car would never think of putting the cheapest fuel in it. Your body is WAY more valuable than any car, so make sure you are giving it the best fuel possible. I understand there are times when it makes sense to cheat and eat the not-so-good-for-you foods, and that’s OK…as long as it’s in moderation. Shoot for the 80/20 rule (80% of the time eating as healthy as you can).
What does that look like given our culture’s fascination with the diet trend of the month? In general, eat things that grow. My recommendation is the Mediterranean diet as it’s stood the test of time. The trick is to eat:
- Good quality fruits and vegetables (organic where possible)
- Whole grains (very small amounts, if any)
- Healthy fats (natural ones – coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, walnuts, macadamia nuts…). Also make sure to get your Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish, flax or other sources. Whenever you see the word essential with regard to nutrition, it means your body can’t make it on its own…you have to eat it. These fats are crucial to building healthy cells in your body.
- We really don’t need as much protein as you might think (depending on your lifestyle), so add some in the form of beans, nuts, lentils (if vegetarian) and/or good quality meats (organic, grass-fed) or eggs.