During this off-season, we could all use a little extra motivation going into 2021. This year has been undeniably challenging for everyone and, if you’re feeling the need for an extra pick-me-up, you’re not alone. Self-care is an essential priority for all working professionals, but it’s particularly crucial for event pros that are accustomed to long hours and never-ending to-do lists.
Self-care isn’t just about upgrading your daily coffee order or helping yourself to an extra serving of dessert on a long day, though. Instead, it’s an intentional focus on your mental health and wellbeing to ensure that you’re in a good place to manage work responsibilities and personal relationships. When you participate in self-care, you are actively saying ‘no’ to stress and burnout, allowing yourself space to rest and reenergize instead.
Here are four tips for taking care of yourself this off-season so you can be primed and ready to hit the ground running when 2021 comes around.
Allow yourself time to rest
Did you know one in three adults do not get enough sleep? When you’re sleep-deprived, your body operates as if it’s low on fuel. Cognitive abilities decline, as do mood and attention span. It’s easy to see why sleep deprivation is bad for business. Make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep per night and, if that’s not possible, allot one or two days each week to catch up on missed sleep.
However, rest isn’t just about getting those overnight Z’s. Rest is also the ability to turn your brain off for a bit and truly relax. For some, this means a glass of wine and their favorite show whereas others value a day outside on their favorite nature hikes. If you want to have a productive and profitable 2021, you’d do well to prioritize rest—no matter what that looks like to you.
Learn something new
When your brain is always firing down the same pathways, it’s easy to find yourself burnt out by the same old, same old. Learning something new, however, can rev your brain up and give it the novelty experiences it needs to remain engaged.
Make a point to challenge yourself with new concepts and situations. Pick up an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn, research a topic that fascinates you, try out an interesting language, or experiment with some creative recipes in the kitchen. The more you step outside your comfort zone on a personal level, the more inspired you’ll be in a professional capacity.
You know those dreadful notifications about your screen time that always seems to go up? Make a commitment to actually decrease your time staring at your smartphone and laptop. During your downtime, find new ways to fill your time that are more rewarding than endlessly scrolling through Twitter.
Pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read, go for a walk around the neighborhood, or work on a puzzle. Not only will these offline activities help you disconnect for a while, but they’ll also help to strengthen your brain in other ways you can’t get online.
Set firm boundaries
All of the self-care activities above will be hard to accomplish if you don’t set firm boundaries for yourself and those around you. Good intentions are one thing, but if you’re inclined to skip over self-care in lieu of more work or mindlessness, you’re setting yourself up for failure in the long run.
Boundaries are the key to staying sane. Make sure your clients, friends, and family members are aware of your schedule so they know when you’re accessible. However, you must also hold yourself accountable for keeping those hours. If you’ve committed to reading a book over your Saturday morning coffee, leave it out by the coffeemaker so you aren’t tempted to start scrolling through the news on your phone.
At the end of the day, self-care should feel good. Don’t feel like you need to align with what your coworker, your sister, or your favorite magazine says you need to do. You know yourself best and the best self-care is when you can indulge in a way that fills you up and revitalizes your energy. When you’ve discovered what feels right to you, start building it into your schedule until self-care becomes just another habit in your life as it should be.