Posts

Let’s gift ourselves a Conscious Spring Cleanse!

How is your spring cleaning going? Not so well? Our resident Healing Coach, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, gives some great insight into why spring cleaning is such a great idea for your overall wellbeing.

I’ve been wondering so many times what this fuss about spring cleaning was and why everyone would just become obsessed with cleaning as soon as spring came… I clean all the time!

Let me tell you, spring cleaning is actually one of the oldest rituals that exists. It is, in many ways, linked to religious traditions. From a more scientific point of view, it is linked to the longer days and the fact that our “sleeping” pineal gland reduces its work with the increase of daylight, giving us more vitality. And on an energetic level, it is meant to welcome in to our homes and our lives the awakening energy that springs carries with it.

spring saying

Spring represents the blooming of nature, the waking up of the earth, the flying back of the birds and the blossoming of the sleeping flowers… Blooming is essentially the word that most resonates with me and I visualise it as two hands that are opening up and holding a beautiful bubble of sun. Which word would you choose to represent spring?

Now that we know that spring cleaning is not just fashionable, I can also say that the spark of clean can be repeated as often as we like. What’s important are the intentions we are putting behind our cleaning.

Your home is a representation of your mind, body and spirit and in many ways – there is a huge connection between all of these energies.

When your environment (what surrounds you) feels good, you will in return feel good and vice versa. Imagine being an advocate of calmness, meditation and harmony and living in a place that represents disorder, confusion and chaos. How much more energy do we need to put into balancing off the chaotic energy? What would it mean to have a balancing internal and external representation?

Internal and external worlds need to go hand in hand or the energy you are going to spend trying to keep the internal world calm is most likely wasted.

And surely, there are better things we can employ that energy for!

Physical Cleaning

I’m sure you have all heard about Marie Kondo. To me, she is awesome. She managed to turn something as boring as cleaning and decluttering into a game between having fun with “lego” and sparking joy.

Her motto is “whatever does not spark joy, thank it for all it has given you and let it go”.

Marie Kondo saying

How many things are you keeping that you never wear? How many things are you keeping because “you might need it one day”? How many things are you holding on to because you’re afraid that the memory will go away if you get rid of it?

Imagine it as energy: everything that surrounds us holds in itself an energy which is either dense or light. What we want to do is to only surround ourselves with light, with an energy that sparks joy and that makes us feel at peace when we look at it.

I am not implying that we all need to become queens and kings of tidiness as Marie, however I am asking you to try imagining how your life would be if your surroundings would emanate light energy and spark joy. Pretty awesome, right?

A brief summary of the konmari method

The konmari method tells us that an effective decluttering needs to be divided into categories:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (miscellaneous)
  5. Kitchen
  6. Personal items (this is generally the most difficult).

Each category will be divided into subcategories and everything needs to be looked at in each subcategory. For example, you may divide your clothes in subcategories such as t-shirts, trousers, socks, etc.

The decluttering process needs to be done by seeing at a glance all the items in each category. If you are doing clothes, for example, you need to pile up ALL of the clothes you own in one space (all of it, no cheating!) and then divide them into subcategories. If you do it little by little, you would not know how much stuff you own and how to recognise what really “sparks joy”.

Some of you might find it hard to imagine how a t-shirt can spark joy… well again… you can call it joy, you can call it lightness, you can call it warmth… Don’t try to over think it. Sparking joy is a matter of seconds, you either have it or you don’t.

This way of being will also help you when buying new stuff. Sometimes we buy just for the sake of buying, however when we bring the concept of joy to our shopping, we might end up buying only things that really matter to us.

During the clothes decluttering process, you could have 3 different piles: one to keep, one pile to give to charity and one pile to sell. Whatever makes sense to you really.

You can find thousands of articles about Marie Kondo and her method, should you fancy looking into it in more detail. What I really wanted to share here was the concept of sparking joy and how to bring more joy to your homes through decluttering, cleaning and rearranging how it better serves your need for joy.

Only after everything is organised and rearranged shall you start with the common cleaning process thanking each time you get rid of “unneeded energies”.

It can be so inspiring to come home to a clean space where you know where everything is, where you feel safe and where you feel at peace and surrounded by love.

environment saying

As a short recap:

  1. Thank your home just the way it is and promise it that you will give her a sprinkle of joy!
  2. Make a mess!
  3. Categorise and subcategorise your items
  4. Choose only what sparks joy
  5. Have fun reorganising (the use of boxes and/or small transparent containers can really help the process)
  6. Common cleaning
  7. Energy cleaning
  8. Thank your home for holding the space and keep the joyous energies up!

If you are wondering if I have done the process myself or if I am just telling you something you may want to hear, please know that YES I am doing it right now and having lots of fun in the process!

To make it even more fun, don’t forget to play your favourite music while cleaning… and why not, maybe a little singing can help you stimulate your voice and clean your thoughts at the same time!

It is not only necessarily about sparking joy… having a tidy environment will:

  1. Increase productivity: when you know where everything is, you can save so much time when you are looking for it!
  2. Increase health: Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife.
  3. Helps to focus: decluttering helps to make space for decision making and essential tasks.

Last but not least, I would like to introduce the concept of holding your space “comfortable” while stretching your beliefs around cleaning.

The objective of this blog is not to make you all become obsessed with cleaning – any obsession is completely out of balance. My objective is to create a balance between your internal and external world and making you feel at peace with and in your home, with what you own and with whatever surrounds you while at home.

Cleaning your outside world is a great metaphor to help you clean your internal world. We have done a lot of work on our internal world and internal representations, so it is time your environment keeps up with it!

With light and love,

Francesca

PS: Energetic Cleaning – If you are into energetic cleaning, you can add smudging, crystals and essential oils to the clearing process. Let us know if you are interested and I can make a short add-on for you on this topic!

Celebrating who you are

Celebrate who you are being right now

Celebrate who you want to be

Celebrate your dreams

Celebrate your vulnerability

Celebrate success

Celebrate your truth

Celebrate those you look up to and model them

Celebrate the magnificent power you have within you

Celebrate the communities

Celebrate the fact that we are all here to support each other, no matter what

Celebrate knowing that all the strengths you need are already within you.

In the aftermath of International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate everyone in our latest wellbeing blog. Written by our resident Healing Coach, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, there is a special power to celebrating who you are…

2019 is a very special year in terms of energy and the healing that this energy can provide us. It is said to be a year of evolution, with a very strong power coming in to help us move towards a higher state of consciousness.

Let’s use this energy to increase our awareness about everything we can be for ourselves and everything we can be for other people. I cannot insist enough on the importance of contribution. There is always someone that can benefit from your help and your love. How much more awesome would it be if our change can also impact the person next to us? What if our experience and our sharing of that experience could impact someone’s life in a way you cannot even imagine?

Any impact that has been made on bigger scales, has always started in small communities. Become an advocate of your energy, your power, your truth and your acceptance.

Celebrating your feminine energy (I promise this section is not just for women!)

Feminine energy is curvy while masculine energy is about straight lines. Would you agree with me that always walking in straight lines might be a bit boring? And that being on a constant roller coaster might be draining after a while? Balance. Walk a line, make a curve, turn right, go straight, repeat. You can also include a pirouette once in a while, they’re quite fun!

  • Feminine energy is creative, masculine energy is controlling.
  • Feminine energy it is intuitive, masculine energy is logical.
  • Feminine energy is collaborative, masculine energy is competitive.
  • Feminine energy is about the journey, masculine energy is about the results.
  • Feminine energy is emotional, masculine energy is protective.

We all have feminine and masculine energy within us. To be sustainable and functional, we need both of them to be perfectly balanced. Can you see why it is so important to welcome both into your life? Eastern medicine calls it the Yin and the Yang, Hindu culture calls it the Linga and the Yoni, we could call it the moon and the sun, the ocean and the sand, the sky and the stars.

Masculine energies are primarily about doing, while feminine energies speak to being. The key is to understand when each serves us and to be able to identify if we’re out of balance and how to get back in alignment.

Life is not about who is more powerful, who is winning, who is strongest, who is better, who has the best life, who has the best idea… Life doesn’t have to be a constant competition, life doesn’t have to be a constant power battle.

As women, we’re taught to be more like men in order to be successful, we need to be strong, we need to be independent and do it all ourselves. I’m wondering, how can this be functional? How can it be functional to override our feminine energy full of curves in order to become a straight line in disguise? Do you think the curve is happy? Do you think it can express all it has to express or do you think it is more frustrated and would like to burst into a swirly confetti?

Balance. Accept that both energies have equal rights to live within you. Drop the conditioning of how things are supposed to be, drop all you have been taught. There is no better, there is no worse. There is just the road to balance.

Here are a couple of hints on how to celebrate your feminine energy. If you are a man and reading this blog, I trust you are honoring your feminine energy as much as your masculine. And why not go as far as starting to celebrate the feminine energy within you as you add in more curves into your straight lines, as you add in creativity, intuition and sit with your emotions while you experience the journey?

  1. Be in nature. Nature is life-force energy and is, at its core, the strongest representation of feminine energy. It’s the strongest representation of constant movement, infinite contribution and magnificent power. What can you learn from it?
  2. Express your creativity. Curves need to move and they need a way to express their flow. What can you do today that would allow your creative side to be able to show up?
  3. Sit with your emotions. Yeah, I know, it’s hard. It’s so much easier to push them away. There is no perfect way to do it, just do it. Whatever you resist, persist. Whatever you embrace, dissolves.
  4. Value spontaneity and play. Just have fun. Play, restore your factory settings and allow your inner child to play free and joyful. What can you do today to have fun with your inner child?
  5. What can you wear today that will allow your feminine energy to feel empowered, flowy and joyful?
  6. Celebrate the road ahead. Whatever the journey is, celebrate it. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
  7. Give voice to the voiceless. Contribute, Educate, Share, Influence every single day, Serve the Energy of Your Soul, Be Your Own Leader, Take Action.

How are you going to use your magnificent power today? How are you going to use your personality to serve the purpose of your soul?

With love,

Francesca

PS: I would like to make one very important note as I believe too many people misunderstand this concept: feminine energy and sexual energy are two completely different. Men and women shouldn’t be afraid to embrace traits that have been pigeon-holed into a male or female category.

When did we stop communicating?

In this month’s blog our resident Healing Coach, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, gives us an insight into why we have communication barriers and how to overcome them…

One of the things I have always believed is that problems arise because somewhere along the line, we have committed to being afraid of genuinely communicating. And believe me, coming from a “everything is always fine” master, I have found great tricks to keep myself away from talking.

When I started my healing journey, I magically discovered that communicating was a great healing tool on its own. That’s when I started exploring the mechanisms behind communication and, in most cases, non communication…

Living with kids has taught me a great deal of things. One of the most important is how much fear we place in telling the truth and how that fear transforms itself into silence and, even worse, into lies. Studies have shown that kids generally start lying to either avoid getting in trouble or to get more attention. Whatever the reason may be, we start avoiding true communication from an early age and we bring it on with us throughout the rest of our lives, in different forms and with different techniques.

I’m sure we can all relate to a little kid that has done something wrong and, to cover it up, they invent a great story that becomes a white lie. The reasons behind the white lie may be:

  1. 1. I do not want mummy or daddy to scream at me
  2. I don’t want to be punished
  3. I always do something wrong
  4. I don’t want to feel shame for what I did…

and we could go on and on to find different reasons behind the little cover-up lies.

You see, kids do not necessarily see the distinction between reality and fiction, which makes them accomplices in their own lies and their own stories.

Why am I talking about this, you may ask? Well, because I believe that’s exactly when we start to create beliefs and habits that, in turn, create blocks to our communication. You see, if a kid starts believing it’s easier to tell a lie or shut up rather than tell the truth – because the reaction to the truth brings on pain, anger or shame – what kind of belief do you think they continue with as teen or adult?

Failing to truthfully communicate is the number one reason for relationship endings, work frustrations and it can go as far as being the root of disagreements in everyday life.

Do you always say what you mean?

Do you know how to truly listen to the person in front of you or are you just concentrating on what to say next?

What are the chances you’re letting your map of the world misinterpret the words of the other person?

What would it take to let your guard down and be ok to say what’s truly on your heart?

With no anger, no sadness, no frustration…  just calmness… you are allowing yourself to be you and when you do that there is no need to fight, no need for expectations, no need for arrogance. Just the need to be in that space you have just created by destroying the walls you have once raised to protect you.

1. Learn to listen

Have you ever realised how much time we spend trying to figure out the answer we need to give even before the other person has finished talking?

That diversion from listening to thinking, how much do you think decreased your information intake? Did you really listen to everything the person in front of you said? Did you concentrate on the tone of the voice or on the words? How was the non-verbal communication? Did you even pay attention to that? You see, communication is not only words. It can be so much more than that, if you let it. Be an active listener, look the person in the eyes, stop whatever you’re doing and commit your full attention to the conversation, pause your thoughts and pause your need to answer, prevail, justify and judge. Hold the space for the other person and just be present.

2. Speak the truth

Do you say what you want to say or do you say what the other person wants to hear? Do you pick a fight because it’s easier than expressing what’s truly on your heart? Do you just shut up and play the “I’m ok” game? What would you say that you’re not saying? How would you say it? How would you like to hear it? What do you need to say that is weighing on your shoulders?

The truth is, we can never anticipate another person’s reaction. But the more we get to know ourselves, the more we can improve the way we act and react. When we speak from the heart, whether it’s a frustration, a dream, a fear, an issue, an advice… we speak from a place of love and most importantly we speak the truth. By speaking the truth you first of all respect yourself and secondly, you respect the other person. What do you need to speak about? Boundaries? Emotions? Feelings? Your needs? Frustrations? New ideas? Competences?  Whatever it is, as long as it’s said from the heart, holding the space from a place of love and respect to the other person. And even when the other person sends you hatred, respond with love because, if you really think about it, isn’t love the only thing we all go searching for? Infinitely.

3. We are not mind readers!

Ok, ok, sometimes we like to think we are!  However, in general, people don’t know what’s on our minds and we can’t pretend that our best friend, boyfriend, partner, boss gets how we feel because of a great power that allows them to read us in an instant and know exactly how to react to keep us happy! Most relationships fail because we fail to communicate our needs. We want the other person to understand what we need but, of course, without saying telling them. We are unhappy at work, a friend has hurt us, we really need a hug… but do we actually say it? What would it take you to ask? What would it cost to just say it?

The work we’re doing here is to let go of all the barriers we have built, of all the limiting beliefs we are holding on to and of anything we have read, heard, learned and that does not belong to us anymore. That’s the first big conversation to have: the one with the self. The ones with others then follow more naturally.

Communication means connection. Connection with self, connection with others. Talking, expressing and communicating openly and truly will not only release you of useless frustrations but also improve relationships, friendships, work atmosphere and help you solve most problems.

Have fun expressing, expanding, exploring, evolving.

With love,

Francesca

 

sleeping images

Sleeping beauties

In the second of our series on how to combat the stresses and strains of working in events, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, talks to us about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

 

Sleeping Beauties… don’t make sleep a fairy tale

How many of us have fallen for the common myth of “Busy, productive people need less sleep” ? I certainly had! I’m wonder woman, aren’t’ I?

I hacked my sleeping pattern and, for years, I tried to survive on 5/6 hours of sleep a night so I had time for my morning rituals and fitting everything I had to do in a day.

As we know, events life can be super crazy and our phone can easily take over our lives… “What? Are you not on your emails 24/7?” “Does this mean you are actually off on a weekend?”

Most of us are getting far less sleep than we actually need and lack of sleep is affecting us in so many harmful ways.

Here are 5 simple examples on how lack of sleep can affect our system:

  1. Weight Gain – the less you sleep, the more your hormones will have fun increasing and decreasing as they please. Cortisol (the stress hormone), insulin and the appetite hormone are directly linked with the lack of sleep and they increase exponentially when you haven’t had enough rest. The hormones’ rollercoaster can affect your metabolism, increase risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  2. Concentration & Productivity – let’s imagine your body requires an average of 8 hours of sleep and you only sleep 6. This means you are forcing your body and your brain to skip 2 hours of beauty sleep! According to a couple of studies this leads to a one-third reduction in your cognitive abilities… it’s pretty much like showing up to work after having downed a pint of beer and pretending to have a super-productive day!
  3. Mood – lack of sleep impacts your mood, increasing anger, anxiety and depression. It also decreases your ability to empathise with others and makes you less able to calm your mind when needed. A study on over 10,000 people, showed that insomnia sufferers are 500% more likely to develop depression.
  4. Learning Abilities – did you know that if you study something before going to bed, you are increasing your probabilities to learn it faster? It is called the ‘consolidation’ method. Also, a rested brain will thank you at work and it will be your ally even on your most difficult day!
  5. Immune System – a healthy sleeping pattern will help your immune system to heal you faster, to fight colds and to naturally protect your body. For those who care, lack of sleep also ruins your skin! When you do not get enough sleep, your body releases cortisol, the famous stress hormone, and also the cause of breaking down skin collagen. Lack of sleep increases the C-Reactive Protein, the ‘inflammation’ protein, and can increase chronic inflammation in the body.

I’ve now made sleeping an essential part of my life, both in the working and personal-growth realm. How have I done that? Here are a few tips I hope you can adopt in your life.

  1. Discover your OAS (Optimal Amount of Sleep)

We all have different sleeping needs. Generally it varies between 7 and 9 hours. Whenever you can, try not to set any alarm for a few of days and see at what time you naturally wake up. Check how many hours that is and get an app on your phone so that you can time your sleep until you get the hang of it and become a master at allowing yourself to sleep

  1. Routine your sleep

Try to get a super simple routine before you go to bed. It can be as straightforward as: brushing teeth, reading, snoozing; or more detailed such as night yoga, stretching, meditation, etc. Whatever works and can be applied daily so that your body knows that it’s time to go to bed!

  1. Can I have a nap?

In Asia, napping is compulsory! To increase productivity, Chinese workplaces include a 15-20 minutes nap during lunch break. In western culture napping is for kids but why not try a nap yourself? Imagine what you could do with the energy of a toddler every afternoon! Here’s one method to ensure you power nap and not sleep the whole day – hold an object (it needs to make a lot of noise when it hits the floor!!) in your hand and start napping. Once you start getting into deep sleep, your muscles will release and the object will fall. The noise will wake you up and you will be power napped!

And, the obvious:

  • Avoid coffee after 2pm
  • Use the bed for sleeping only (do not work/eat/watch TV/play, etc)
  • Avoid sleeping pills, all they do is get you hooked so you believe you will never be able to sleep without them
  • Do not eat right before going to bed.

After reading this post you might get a sense of denial and still think that this is all BS and that you can easily make it with 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Do yourself a favour, do some reading on the subject – there are so many interesting resources available online.

P.S. For the event leaders of the world – I know how we love to rock in our job and I completely understand how difficult it can be to actually find time to sleep. However, please allow yourself to rest whenever you are not physically on an event, switch off the phone when you get home at night and enjoy some “you” time.

Happy dreams everyone!

Keep up with Francesca on Facebook and Instagram.

meditation pose in Iceland

Enjoy a Happy, Balanced Life

Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, works mainly in the events industry and through years of personal study, she is also an inspiring Healing Coach. Her coaching aims to help people find their way to a perfect and ideal self, whilst exploring the power of mindfulness.

Francesca Garola sat on steps

We’re really pleased to bring a regular blog from Francesca where she’ll address her expertise to help us mitigate the stresses and strains of working in events…

Being in a world of Doing

I’m curious, what does BEING mean to you?

We generally say “I am” to define a part of ourselves: our name, our job, our background, etc. This is how society defines “Being”… and it is so much more than that!

We live in a world where Doing has taken over Being; where Doing is the primary concern of our everyday existence. We live in TO-DO lists and we get trapped into “The Spinning Wheel of Doing”. The result is often what I call “The Claustro-Doing” which is nothing more than an increased anxiety due to over-doing.

Have you ever wondered why we do so much? Have you ever wondered why we tend to put so much on our plates that we are drawn into doing and clog up our mind, soul and spirit?

Doing can easily become an addiction and it works as a sort of patch so that we do not have to deal with our emotions, with our thoughts and with our subconscious.

Can we really stop doing? Of course not! And there is no need to. The idea here is to find a functional way of Doing without forgetting your Being.

sunset beach with lady stretching

Are you ready to step into the world knowing how to BE YOU rather than being a doing machine?

  1. Become aware of your language

How do you speak to yourself? How many times a day do you tell yourself “I have to”? And what would it take to replace it with “I choose to”? The way you talk to yourself creates the imprint of the way you treat yourself and how much you value self-respect. Would you be ok to start treating yourself with kindness and compassion? Talk to yourself as you would have wanted your inner child to be talked to.

  1. Be You as soon as you wake up

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you look at your phone? Have a coffee? Listen to the news?

Would it be ok to pause the doing and allow yourself to just be for a minute? Before you get up, take 3 big breaths to really feel your presence and wake up all of your muscles and organs. Get up, gently wash your face, smile at yourself and make the following statement: “I allow myself to be me and respect me today.”

When you step into the shower, would it be ok to use it as a cleansing ritual where you actually clear out from your body, mind and soul anything that is no longer necessary; anything that you no longer need to hold on to or any emotion that is ready to be released. I think this is something that can easily be integrated into your daily life. And if you rather shower at night, use this cleansing ritual before going to bed – what a great way to end the day and get a great night’s sleep!

  1. Be mindful of what you read and listen to

Reading or listening to dreadful news early in the morning can be pretty unsettling for the subconscious. If you can, choose to fill yourself up with good vibrations, comforting words and good intentions for the day. Whether it is vibrational music, your favourite podcast, a meditation or your favourite audiobook, remember that the morning can set your foundations for a successful day!

  1. Check-in with yourself

Are you willing to ask yourself “how am I doing?” every now and then? Is it ok to let your subconscious know you are there for you? Being You means you know you are there for yourself, it means that you do what you say and say what you do. It means increasing awareness of whatever goes on within and without. It means starting a brand new, beautiful, functional and life-long relationship with yourself.

With love and laughter,

Francesca

You can get more tips from Francesca by liking her Facebook page or following her on Instagram.

Stressed lady

The top 5 most stressful things in events and how to combat them

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of organising your mum’s 60th birthday party or your best mate’s hen do, you’ll know that event management comes a close second to the stress of moving home or shopping on Christmas Eve.

We’ve compiled our top 5 most stressful things when it comes to events and how you can deal with them and sometimes completely avoid them altogether.

1) Shoe-string budget

We would all love a luxury lifestyle on pocket change but let’s go back to the real world. If you’ve got a shoe-string budget then you’re going to need to set expectations and plan your event in minute detail. You’ll need to spend a lot of time researching best deals and negotiate every item on your plan.

At Sleek Events, we’re lucky to benefit from bulk-buying discounts and preferred-client prices. Using an agency will come with a management fee but the savings you make elsewhere could make the fee pay for itself several times over.

2) Setting a date

People have such busy lives, one of the most challenging elements of an event project is getting agreement on the date. Your best bet is to set a date as early as possible and come to terms with the fact that not everyone will be able to attend.

We recommend sending regular event reminders including a physical “save the date” promotional item to ensure a good level of attendance.

3) Changing minds

When someone has an idea for an event and you know that they love the idea but their guests won’t, it can be a tricky conversation. Conducting research to back up the popularity of other options is a sure-fire way of convincing someone to reconsider – how great would it be to throw the event of the year?

Events usually have a desired outcome, more than just an objective to hold the event itself – generate enquiries for a product or become the favourite granddaughter. If you can prove your ideas will address these goals, you can influence change.

4) Last-minute requests

Whether the whole event is late in its inception or just one part of an event is changed at the eleventh hour, accommodating last-minute changes can throw you off balance. You can be the most organised person on the planet and the ideal choice to manage an event but there are plenty of people who are not!

If you take on an event, you need to be a ‘yes’ person with a little black book full of useful contacts to make things happen.

5) Supplier slip-ups

Ever got to the point where you think everything is on track and then something goes wrong and it’s completely out of your control? Technical issues are a common bug bear when one wire is plugged into the wrong socket or the electricity is cut off to fix something down the road.

At Sleek Events, we have spent the last few years assembling a core team of dependable suppliers. From lighting and sound specialists to freelance hostesses, our team are loyal to us because we are loyal to them. And in our time as event professionals, we’ve faced many situations which our suppliers have stepped up to provide a sensible alternative such as a vegan cupcake or a power generator!

Our top stressbusters

During an event project, our “must have” list will save you:

  • Spend at least 15 minutes a day exercising – your mind may be exhausted but if your body isn’t tired then you may find it difficult to…
  • Get a full night’s sleep, every night
  • Keep a note pad and pen handy at all times – once you’ve written something down, your mind will be clear to concentrate on the most immediate need
  • Download a calming app – the sound of waves on a beach or birds in the countryside – whatever will create a calming oasis for a timeout. We like Headspace for meditation made simple.
  • Make sure you have a friend on speed dial to vent your frustrations – and ideally, they will be someone who can offer suggestions to help
  • Don’t let an event overtake your personal downtime – if events isn’t your full-time job, use a local coffee shop as an office space and keep home for home life.

5 top tips for event professionals to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle

Get Fit Daly: Fitness & Wellbeing Expert, James Daly, offers 5 top tips for a healthy, balanced lifestyle for you busy people working in events!

 

Achieving a better work-life balance can feel challenging. Especially when you’re constantly trying to juggle so many different things in life.

But nothing will change, unless you do.

So, it’s time to create a little space for what matters most. Some small day-to-day changes can really improve your mental and physical health, fitness and wellbeing.

Here are my 5 top tips for a healthy, balanced lifestyle:

1.Nourish

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Think of your body as a performance car. If you’re constantly putting poor-quality fuel into your car, don’t be surprised if it gives you a poor performance – or worse – breaks down. The same goes for your body. A little more wholesome, fresh food and a little less processed, refined stuff can make the world of difference.

But it’s also important to thrive, not deprive. Make room for some of the indulgent treats that you enjoy because, in the long run, it will keep you going.

2.Move

It could be a quick, early morning run, a light lunchtime stretch at your desk or a gentle after-work evening stroll. Don’t underestimate or overcomplicate the power of exercise and movement. Keep it simple and make it “doable”. Find what works for you because you’re much more likely to stick with something you enjoy.

3.Unplug

It’s easy to find a constant distraction in our modern-day world. Technology is an amazing thing but we could all benefit from spending less time in front of a screen. Try switching off before bedtime. Go for a walk, read a book, have a bath or just enjoy some quality time with loved ones.

4.Meditate

Meditation might sound like it’s not for you but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Thinking can be draining, especially if you tend to be an over-thinker. According to Headspace*, research from 163 different studies suggest mindfulness meditation had an “overall positive effect on improving anxiety and stress”. Just 10 minutes of daily meditation practice can prove beneficial.

5.Prioritise

At the start of this blog, I used the phrase “create a little space for what matters most”. That will only ever come to fruition when you commit to prioritising the important stuff. If you truly value your health, fitness and wellbeing, then you must prioritise food, exercise and downtime. Grab a pen and paper right now, write down your priorities and keep them to hand.

Check out James’ Facebook page for more health, fitness and wellbeing support.

* Headspace is a digital service providing guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training.

How to re-gain your work-life balance and still stay on top at work

There are many articles out there about how you need to maintain a good work-life balance whether they be backed by mental health stats or advertising the latest yoga fad. Here’s the thing with those of us that work in events, we might want a healthy work-life balance but we can’t afford to drop the ball on our projects. So, here are a few things to step back, have a cuppa and consider…

 

  1. Set boundaries and stick to them

However you choose to do it, set timings in your diary for project work, client liaison and so on and stick to them. It might not be realistic to keep all weekend free for family time so allow yourself 20 minutes after you’ve fed the kids breakfast or before you walk the dog to check your email and respond to issues.

Some people call this a default diary. You define chunks of each day for specific tasks and, unless there’s a dramatic issue, you don’t divert your attention from what is planned. If a typical 9-5 isn’t possible for your workload, set timings that are. How about allowing yourself 15 minutes to assess the most important emails at 6.45am and then everything else can wait until 8.45am? Be regimental about it and I promise you’ll feel more in control.

 

  1. Don’t be a slave to traditional timings

Since when did a call have to be 30 minutes or a meeting be an hour? Our Outlook calendar loves to schedule things every 30 minutes but how about you aim to claw your time back and only give it 8 minutes for a team update?

If you are looking for a way to control stress levels across the team, I recommend 45 minutes of powering through work and then 15 minutes of total distraction to switch off, even if it’s looking at cute puppies on Facebook or listening to a meditation app!

If you’re craving a day off, how about getting ahead at 10pm the night before with an event schedule. Then you can hit the ground at a suitable pace the next morning and get work wrapped up by midday. Take the afternoon off at a spa – and you can always preschedule some tweets!

 

  1. Got wifi, can work

You’d be surprised how flexible bosses can be nowadays. As long as you can prove you are not in your PJs, working from home is perfectly acceptable for an admin catch-up day. If you don’t have a dog yapping at your back door, you can also take client calls from home! The pay-off? Your boss isn’t paying a tired you who has spent 2 hours commuting in when the trains are on strike again!

Talking about getting to work, I’ve started incorporating exercise into my morning routine as it sets the tone for an energetic and productive day. Recently, I’ve been parking in Richmond Park and walking the rest of the way to the office, spotting some deers at the same time!

 

 

  1. Leave work at work

I know it’s tempting, I do it all the time but if you work somewhere that requires someone on call 24/7 then share out the shifts and when it’s not your turn, leave work at work. You can have an on-call mobile and train your team to deal with out-of-hours enquiries. When you aren’t on call, there is no need to check your email, that app or corporate social media channels – just chill out.

 

 

  1. Learn to delegate

You might LOL at the last of my tips but I’m deadly serious, even if you are in an events team of one. If you can’t delegate something at work, choose something you hate at home – the ironing or cleaning the car. Free up some ‘me’ time wherever it might be. I’ve just hired a local PA and I can’t believe the impact she’s had – those things niggling me in the back of my mind that I should have sorted out weeks ago are done. Yes, of course there is a cost but does her hourly rate cost more than what I value my relaxation time? And my garden shed has space to store my bike again!

 

If you liked these few tips that come from real life and not a theoretical study (or five bods from Harvard) then keep an eye out for our next blog from a bonafide fitness expert.