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The Stress of the Busy Season - How to Relax and Recharge


By: Rachael Riggs | May 29, 2018

It is the busy conference season and you are taking care of everyone but you.   However, for you to take care of everyone else, you must make yourself a priority.   For you to produce a good meeting/event, you need to be the top of your game.  

I bring lots of experience in health and wellness.  Originally, I wanted to run corporate fitness centers and then I went to work for the Association for Fitness in Business.  It was the perfect place to meet the people I needed to know.   I had no idea it would change the path of my career.  I loved both the health and wellness side as well as the meeting side of working for AFB, which later came the Association for Worksite Health Promotion and then eventually was integrated into the American College of Sports Medicine.   Flash forward today, I have a unique opportunity to bring my 2 career “loves” together…health/wellness and meetings/events.   It is my belief that you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others.   In this Spring/Summer series on health and wellness, I will provide you with tips and tricks on how to take care of the best you and ways to help you stress less this season.

As a former planner, I get the time crunch and the deadlines and the stress it causes. You never want anyone to see you sweat. There is always the “buzz” you get from being in the thick of it all and the adrenaline rush is great, but it can take a toll on you.  Balance is key and we all need reminders of how to do this.   Over the years, I learned a few tools that I would like to share with you that really help me. Here are the top two:

Tip # 1 - First thing in the morning….even if it is 4am….give yourself  at least 5 – 10 minutes to get in the right “headspace” before you even get out of bed.   Meditation and breathing are the best ways to do this. I use an app called Headspace that walks you through a meditation. After a little stretching, I listen to Headspace.   Not only does this help me listen to my body, it prepares me mentally for the day.  Try it and I promise it will be a good way to start your day.

Tip #2 – Luckily, I attended a session on breathing by someone who studied under Deepak Chopra.   They taught us a breathing technique that really helps in stressful situations and I use it a lot on-site when everything is going 110mph or when I can not go to sleep.  It centers my mind and suggest you try it.   It is called the 478 Breathing Technique.   When you are stressed or can’t sleep, try the following:  

This is followed by the five-step procedure listed below:
  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
478 will help you relax before you respond to a stressful situation or when the sheep are not working. 

I hope these questions spark some thought and inspires you to pay attention to you.   Being in great space mentally will help your stress level.   Any questions, feel free to reach out to me at rriggs@tourismvancouver.com or 847-853-1647 happy to help!
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