How do you unwind with your team? Do you participate in any outdoor or wellness activities?

How do you unwind with your team? Do you participate in any outdoor or wellness activities?
Planning an event can be quite demanding. Add in 2 years of a pandemic with a 3rd looming, and 'demanding' doesn't quite cover it! Making time to relax and decompress is more important than ever.

In general, a good way to decompress is to step away from work, have a routine and take breaks, take walks - being glued to your computer is not healthy.

If it’s something I’ve learned during this pandemic it is how incredibly important self care is for yourself & your team! With our industry being so demanding and stressful it can take a toll on you physically, mentally & emotionally in general (let alone the stress of a pandemic).

In general, a good way to decompress is to step away from work, have a routine and take breaks, take walks – being glued to your computer is not healthy. Something that has helped me immensely has been becoming a morning person and having a solid routine before I start my actual day, it brings a tremendous amount of peace to your day. I start by meditating for 10 – 15 minutes and then going for a quick walk while listening to music and I have my hot tea waiting for me when I am back – that in itself sets the tone for my entire day.

Team building activities are definitely crucial in building a solid foundation outside of the everyday work environment, you want to make sure your team knows each other on a personal level outside of a work environment.

Lastly, go for a spa day once a month or as often as you can – mani, pedi and massage, you deserve it!

Narelle Allen

Narelle Allen

Founder | Creative Director

Narelle Janine Events, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

With the pandemic still in full swing, self care is critical to maintain a healthy head space.

With the pandemic still in full swing, self care is critical to maintain a healthy head space.

I try to unwind with my team by spending downtime at a weekend retreat, taking the time to disconnect from emails and social media is a great way to stay focused and balanced. It also is important to recharge. This industry can burn you out quickly, as witnessed last year and if you don’t step back – breathe and disconnect – you will not be able to complete the marathon. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it slow and take time with your team to get massages, do yoga or just sit in front of a roaring fire and drink hot toddys!

JoAnn Gregoli

Owner

Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, New York City, NY

Life is all about balance, work hard and relax harder is my motto!

Working in the hospitality industry means you give of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally to clients, which is so rewarding, but can also be draining so it is important to take time off to relax, refresh and rejuvenate yourself so you can give your best to your clients. Life is all about balance, work hard and relax harder is my motto!

I find the best way to relax and unwind is to completely remove myself from work, no computer and no phone, spending time out in nature hiking or walking with my dogs. I also love yoga, it is a great way to center myself and rejuvenate my mind, body and soul. Lastly, I love seeing live performances, so going to shows on and off broadway really helps rejuvenate my creativity and energy, to take in others’ creative arts reminds me to hone in on mine and push my boundaries and creativity.

Jove Meyer

Jove Meyer

Owner | Creative Director

Jove Meyer Events, Brooklyn, NY

I try to do at least 2 get togethers a year for my team...

Finding time to relax and decompress can definitely be a challenge during these times! Especially in the middle of wedding season.

One thing I found super important was to just make the time. Especially for my team.

I try to do at least 2 get togethers a year for my team for a couple of reasons. One to let them know how much I appreciate them and their hard work and two so we can all get together as a family. It’s a rare occasion when we all can get together and I think it’s super important for everyone to meet and get to know one another.

In 2021, to kick off the season, I did a little happy hour at our new office space so we could all get ready for the year to kick off. In August, I took everyone for a fun night at Selfie World and dinner afterwards for a fun way to unwind and laugh! Then as an end of season Holiday get-together, we went axe throwing and had tons of food and treats! It really was a fun time!

This year, we are going to kick off the season with a planner get-together. We are actually going to meet up with a few other planners and teams and do a workshop! Really looking forward to getting together and getting my team to network more!

Samantha Nelson

Owner

EVL Events, Ellicottville, NY

I've always had an idea in mind about teamwork: your team needs to feel totally valued and appreciated.

For most people working on social events means having a busy social life but that’s not true at all. It can be demanding, overwhelming but rewarding.

I’ve always had an idea in mind about teamwork: your team needs to feel totally valued and appreciated.

Having some quality time (our unplugged time without emails, texts, quotes or anything related to business) is vital for keeping updated, in total mental sanity and enjoying life’s little pleasures.

Just two months before the global pandemic I organized a party for my vendors and colleagues (nobody could foresee what was about to come) but that was the last time we could see and it was the best moment not to be the witness of the celebration, it was our party. I could see happiness, joy and gratitude on their faces.

Then the pandemic came and the rest is history. At the end of 2020 I had a different idea. I planned a photoshoot for some of them, it was the first time we saw each other since the pandemic started and it had to be special. In a new world – with masks and social distance – we had the chance to get together and enjoy the magic of timeless memories.

That’s life, humans adapt and revalue different experiences. The most important is feeling the importance of facing challenges and overcoming them together.

Jossy Quezada

Wedding & Event Planner

Jossy Quezada Wedding Planner, Lima, Peru

I try to take my bridal consultant team to lunch 1 -2 times per week.

We went to Las Vegas last year for a work/play trip and had a ball with champagne mimosa brunches, endless fun at the casino and delicious dinners in the evenings. We even saw a Vegas show or two. I try to take my bridal consultant team to lunch 1 -2 times per week. If Covid allows, we are planning all expense paid trips to Chicago Bridal Market, Barcelona, Spain, Paris, France, and especially New Delhi, India to meet with my fabulous factory.

Tess Mann

Tess Mann

Owner

Couture by Tess Bridal, Cookeville, TN

We try to get together with staff a couple of times a year outside of work.

It’s important to have team building events with your staff to promote goodwill and bonding between the staff outside the work setting. Good personal relationships between the staff make for a more harmonious work environment. We try to get together with staff a couple of times a year outside of work whether it’s a picnic at the lake with grilled hot dogs and beer or a Christmas party with lots of silly prizes and presents. It gives the staff a sense of community and they take more ownership in the business, its customers, and each other.

Serge Krikorian

Serge and Mary Krikorian

Owner

Vibrant Occasions Catering, Benton, AR

I like to provide lunch on busy days and coffee runs as needed.

Taking care of your team is important! I like to provide lunch on busy days and coffee runs as needed. But most importantly, I try to create a workspace that is not stressful.

Althea Wiles

Althea Wiles

Owner | Lead Planner

Rose of Sharon Floral Design Studio, Fayetteville, AR

I now 100% advocate for all my ladies to make time to unwind.

After years of high-demand and occasional back-to-back events, the exhilaration I got from running my business also made me grasp the importance of taking a step back to relax and find inner peace. I now 100% advocate for all my ladies to make time to unwind; whether it’s a Zoom chat with wine and discussions of our latest binge-worthy shows, or calming online yoga classes we take part in, taking a breather with my wonderful team is a high priority. Pandemic-depending, we will also find time to meet for lunches or dinners, happily fueling our bodies of course!

Fidan Ismayilova

Fidan Ismayilova

Founder

Designed Dream Events, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I tend to lean into fitness as a way to decompress after a long, hard day with a good sweat or some heavy lifting.

One thing 2021 has taught us is to decompress when we need to! Outside of personal training, I ride my Peloton almost every day. I tend to lean into fitness as a way to decompress after a long, hard day with a good sweat or some heavy lifting. I consider weight lifting a way to prepare my body for the manual labor of an event day and the bike a great way to stay connected and “ride” along with other event pros I’ve stayed in touch with through various conferences and meet-ups. It’s a win win!

Francesca Follmer

Francesca DiSalvo Follmer

Owner

Pure Luxe Bride, Charleston, SC

Sometimes the best stress reliever is a full body, heart-engaged laugh.

With the constant threat of the next variant and cancellations becoming an integral part of the planning process, sometimes the best stress reliever is a full body, heart-engaged laugh. As event professionals, our expertise lies in a controlled process and unfortunately the pandemic has relinquished that production requirement. Therefore, in unprecedented times like the present, decompression can simply come from brushing up on industry education by listening to a podcast on a morning walk or spending a quiet moment in nature to deeply breathe in your surroundings with the intension to ignite inspiration and creatively develop strategies that will ultimately benefit your future business, in conjunction to physically releasing stress.

Christy Bareijsza

Christy Bareijsza

Creative Director

Events By Red Carpet, New York City, NY

We also meet as a team often during the busy times for a catered lunch where we talk about our lives outside of the event industry.

Like all event planners, our team works extremely hard to produce hundreds of events annually which can often mean long hours and days, so when we get time to unwind as a team our goal is to step back from the planning and give our minds a relaxing reset. This is often in the form of a relaxing spa day!

We also meet as a team often during the busy times for a catered lunch where we talk about our lives outside of the event industry. These lunches are often filled with laughter and support and provides moments away from the planning which helps to ensure we balance work and play. These breaks in our work contribute to making us better planners because when we are working, we work hard, and when we take the time to unwind, we take that seriously too!

Holly Doty

Holly Doty

President

Connect Dot Management, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

As we are foodies, we love to do gastronomy related outdoor activities.

Eva and I do a lot of outdoor activities but it is difficult to do them together because one lives in Spain and the other in Germany. Nonetheless, when we see each other in Spain we do outdoor and wellness activities together.

One of our favourite activities is to find a nice restaurant in the middle of nowhere with some nice traditional Spanish food. Before and after lunch we usually go for a very long walk, the first to get our stomachs hungry and the second to digest. It is a very relaxing activity that we very much enjoy. When it is the mushroom season we go mushroom picking, as well as when it is the chestnut season. As we are foodies, we love to do gastronomy related outdoor activities. It is healthy and fun, we totally recommend it.

Eva and Sarah Samore

Owners

That'sAmore, Seville, Spain

Getting out into the fresh air helps us reset & be prepared to take on the day.

Since our team is typically glued to our computers as a software company, we love getting outdoors and taking screen time breaks. Our team loves going for walks, hikes, and most of us are passionate about gardening, too! Getting out into the fresh air helps us reset & be prepared to take on the day.

Mayuri Parikh

Mayuri Parikh

Founder

True Client Pro,

We intentionally scheduled planner round tables, happy hours at our various homes and hikes/walks out in nature to get away for a bit.

The wedding planner community has been vital to my mental health during the last 2 years of pure stress and exhaustion that we went through. I was incredibly appreciative of the community and relationships I’ve spent over a decade cultivating to have peers to lean on, cry with and release with.

We intentionally scheduled planner round tables, happy hours at our various homes and hikes/walks out in nature to get away for a bit. Without this community, the last couple years would have been unbearable with the amount of pressure that was on each of us as business owners. Thankful for the time away to refresh and refocus between work.

Rebecca Grant

Owner/Lead Planner

New Creations Weddings, Kirkland, WA

At Grace and Ease Productions, Inc we feel it is super important to incorporate wellness into every event.

At Grace and Ease Productions, Inc we feel it is super important to incorporate wellness into every event. We call it #DroolOnTheCouch day. After every event we take the following day off to do just that…Drool On the Couch or if the team prefers to be in nature, go for a hike, get a massage, whatever “drool” looks like for them but what it also means is NO looking at email, Slack, Google Drive, etc. It is time to put the mask back on you, refill the tank and get ready for the next event. That way we don’t burn out half way through the year.

One Year we actually went Paragliding after an event which was a fun experience! Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVfGXu0Y2M

Shay Wheat

Shay Wheat

Owner & Certified Event Producer™

Grace And Ease Productions, Inc, Sacramento, CA

I like to combat the urge to always be productive by specifically setting aside time to relax.

Given the current climate of the event industry (and the world in general), it is highly important to devote time to unwinding. This can be hard, because there is always something that could be done – an email that could be sent, a website edit that could be made, a call that could be scheduled, etc.

When you work from home, there is an even more prominent lack of boundaries of work vs. play time. However, I like to combat the urge to always be productive by specifically setting aside time to relax. I dedicate my evenings that I do not have calls to catching up on my TV shows and books, while resisting the urge to check my emails.

Also, I find it crucial to go on vacation during the off-season when you can, as it really gives the recharge we all need.

Brooke Weidenfeld

Founder | Lead Planner

Sunbursts & Stardust, Philadelphia, PA

Find Balance is one of our team values and something we talk about all the time as a team.

Find Balance is one of our team values and something we talk about all the time as a team. We have recently decided that starting in 2022 we will move to a 4-day work week (see our blog post on this here). This will give our team an opportunity to unplug for 3 consecutive days and spend time doing things that balance them from the inside out.

Julia O'Grady

Julia O'Grady

Founder

ITM Events, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I am fortunate to live in a mountain region, and therefore have access to year-round outdoor activities.

I am fortunate to live in a mountain region, and therefore have access to year-round outdoor activities. In the summer, I hike, bike and golf. In the winter, I cross-country ski, snowshoe and walk. And I do Pilates weekly all year long.

What would apply to anyone, regardless of where they live, is self care and pampering: regular facials and massage, walks in nature, eating good foods and the occasional top restaurant splurge, and other little self-love acts. These translate well to team appreciation and motivation as well. Especially in the ongoing saga of the virus reality we live in.

Rene Kraus

Owner/Chief Event Officer

Agnes Verano Weddings & Events, Big Sky, Montana

The one thing our team has in common is winter hiking.

It’s very tough here in Toronto Canada, as we are under lockdown again. But the one thing our team has in common is winter hiking. We bundle up and go up north or to wine country and hike for a couple of hours. We do that once or twice a month. It’s great because it gives us a lot of time to bond (lots of much needed laughter) as we are very much a family at hala inc.

Hala Bissada

Hala Bissada

President/CEO

hala events, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

One of my team members suggested that we give a mandatory day off to the team...

One of the challenges is that we invest so much time on the urgent and important, that we don’t make time to plan for the future. One of my team members suggested that we give a mandatory day off to the team, and delegate things to others and then another day to meet together and plan for our future together.

Bill Hansen

Bill Hansen

CEO

Bill Hansen Catering, Miami, FL

I love to travel.

I love to travel. I find it so rewarding to attend industry-type conferences. I love learning from others in our industry. I get a chance to see new places and meet others from all over the world. It also allows me to unwind and step away from my business but also be able to come back and share new experiences, and things with my team and my clients.

Colleen Bauer

Owner

Fairy Godmother Wedding & Event Planning, Bakersfield, CA

We respect time needed to get centered, to get out and PLAY, and to recharge our spirits.

We focus on maintaining a healthy balance between “work” and life via active sports and adventures and by sharing stories over intimate social gatherings outside, in the heart of nature. We respect time needed to get centered, to get out and PLAY, and to recharge our spirits. We look for opportunities to experience adventures together for memory-making fun and for greater connectedness.

I participate weekly in outdoor active sports. I’m an active competitive Masters athlete in the sport of springboard and platform diving and have my sights set on additional national championship titles this year. I also mentor and coach youth competitive club athletes and enjoy time with other adult professional teammates (my tribe!) for camaraderie and a great fraternity of friends.

Lisa Meller

Lisa Meller

Co-Founder

Rethink FIT Travel, Chicago, IL

We partake in self care days

We partake in self care days. I treat us to a full day of spa treatments and wellness activities. This helps us recharge and get ready for the season.

Michelle Norwood

Michelle Norwood

Principal Designer + Planner

Michelle Norwood Events, New Orleans, LA