Coping with Stress

Holiday Survival Tips for Event Planners

For event planners, most of life is lived between the highs of important events. Maybe this holiday season you’re craving something simple, sweet, slow, and stress-free. The truth is inevitably there must be some downtime or you will burn out. But it can feel impossible to find the deep rest you need when even your attempts at self-care feel exhausting. Maybe all you have the energy for at the end of the day is scrolling through other people’s adventures and self-care routines feeling resentful that you can’t have the same ones. Here are some tips to end your exhausting search for the right kind of self-care and find a beautiful way to cope with stress: 

Scrolling (what’s really happening there?)

One of the reasons you can’t help reaching for social media but also never feel satisfied after a good scroll-shesh is because of a little brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a short-term fix or high you experience in response to cortisol release. It is associated with instant gratification, pleasure, and the reward center of your brain. The problem is that dopamine is highly addictive and can leave you feeling more anxious and stressed after you come off of the “high.” Try this instead…

Serotonin and Oxytocin

These happy, calm brain chemicals are associated with tight social bonds, trust, generosity, long-term health benefits, better focus, better sleep, and less anxiety. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and desperately need a way to cope with stress, leave your phone in a drawer and try a few of these things:

-Take a Group Exercise Class: Group exercise is a wonderful way to build supportive relationships while taking care of your health and completing the stress cycle. You’ll release tons of oxytocin when you do creating a calm, safe feeling, and decreasing your anxiety. 

-Take a Walk Outside: Exposure to nature especially when you move outdoors releases serotonin and endorphins leaving you feeling peaceful, revived, and in a better mood. Exposure to sunlight, even in the wintertime, can help counteract seasonal depression and help you absorb a vital dose of vitamin D which also affects mood. 

-Try Deep Breathing: There are too many health benefits to deep breathing to even fit in this article. One of the major outcomes of slow, deep, intentional breaths is the release of serotonin. Serotonin is necessary for feeling happier, experiencing better focus, and sleeping better through the night. Try breathing exercises and some meditation at the start of each day as a powerful way to cope with stress. 

-Express Gratitude: Gratitude has many positive mental health benefits. A daily gratitude practice helps your mind re-frame negative situations, see the best in people, and come to a healthy place of acceptance. Expressed gratitude and meaningful social connections also release oxytocin in the brain lessening the burden you feel with life. 

-Serve Somebody: Acts of service or volunteering may seem like added stressors, but if you set some healthy boundaries around the practice you can experience a profound sense of peace. You feel better and release serotonin when you show generosity. Sometimes the best way to get out of your own head is to reach out and serve someone else. You may be giving to someone else but your own mind, body, and soul will thank you for it. 

This holiday season, experience a deep sense of rest by giving your brain the break it truly deserves. We hope you find the space for a little happiness and contentment. Take care of you and be merry.