After International Men’s Day 2022 (November 19), Helen Kronheim, COO, Live Group, shares her top tips on how to manage stress, sleep and social overload in our busy industry.
At Live Group, we are aware of the importance of health and well-being. After all, in our industry, the most valuable asset is our people. As event professionals, we often work long hours, under tight deadlines and with high expectations – a lifestyle that, if not properly managed, could easily lead to health issues.
We know that men in particular tend to take an ‘ostrich’ approach to their health, which is why we believe the events industry needs to shine a spotlight on International Men’s Day this year. .
For example, studies have shown that men are less likely than women to see a doctor and most don’t go at all unless they have a serious problem, with more than a third waiting for the pain to become “unbearable” before asking for help. Additionally, almost half of men (40%) say they will not talk about their mental health despite men accounting for 75% of all suicide deaths.
I believe the events industry poses three main challenges for men and women; manage stress, manage sleep and manage social overload.
Here are my tips for creating a positive workplace where everyone can thrive.
To manage stress
It is obviously natural to feel under pressure at work. But constantly juggling demands and meeting deadlines can easily turn pressure into stress. Feeling constantly stressed raises our blood pressure, prevents us from sleeping properly, can trigger panic attacks, and causes a host of symptoms that can keep us from doing our jobs and living our lives effectively.
When things get busy, it’s important to maintain a self-care routine. Strive to get enough sleep, eat well, stay hydrated, do things we enjoy, and make time to move, whether that’s a walk around the block or a workout in the gym. Meditation is also highly recommended.
Employers should do everything in their power to encourage staff to maintain healthy boundaries between work and home, for example by introducing flexible working hours. When the pressure mounts, it’s important for people to get out of their desks, turn off their phones and close their emails, whether it’s to run to school, walk the dog, go shopping or simply to make a break.
We all know that sleep is essential for good health and that a lack of sleep can affect concentration, make us irritable and lead to long term health issues. While skipping sleep to get work done might sometimes seem like a good idea, we’re more likely to be less productive and able to make decisions.
Whenever possible, it is recommended to establish healthy sleep habits by sticking to the same bedtime and waking times each day. For event handlers, it’s not always possible to commit to this regular sleep routine. Event management often involves working until the early hours to create a job, attending events after hours, or traveling overseas to host events in different time zones.
It has been reported that it can take up to four days to recover from one hour of lost sleep. As an industry, we need to recognize how important it is for staff to re-energize and claim overtime or weekend work to encourage rest and recovery as soon as a busy project is completed. For example, Live Group offers a simple and flexible system of paid leave (TOIL) to support our employees in this way.
Manage social overload
Event professionals communicate constantly. From team members to customers to vendors, it can feel like an ongoing conversation, especially when we’re working on-site. Add to that the expectation of extracurricular social events and entertaining customers, and the fear of missing team drinks, and you can easily begin to feel like every waking moment is spent in the company of the others.
Although people working in the event industry tend to be social beings, we all need downtime to collect our thoughts, slow down and refocus.
Don’t be afraid to say no to things that aren’t required. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed to go back to our hotel room to rest. Spending time alone can be all it takes to leave us feeling refreshed and ready to go again.