On Friday I spoke for the first time as a speaker in front of a "proper crowd" and I was so nervous. And yet as soon as I got up there I felt so relaxed and calm...and realised I'm here thanks to the very subject I spoke about. Mindfulness.
Bringing mindfulness into my daily life has allowed me to know myself better and catch my reactions to situations. To understand my triggers and breathe and relax into them - so the nerves I used to have talking to even a room of 5 or 6 people, would fill me with dread, my voice would shake and I would be nervous for days before.
This time of course I had nerves, that's the adrenaline preparing me for something new and scary! Yet I was able to catch myself before the panic took hold. I used breathing exercises to stay centered and I was so much more aware of how I carry myself, that I had a new level of confidence and self assurance.
It's no coincidence that for the past 8 months I've been teaching yoga and mindfulness at work - the very subject that I was speaking to the group about at the launch EventFuel wellness breakfast.
The event itself was a great success and a perfect example of wellbeing and mindfulness at its best. Taking time out of your busy work day to spend time in a calm environment (with a healthy superfood wellness package from the Andaz and lush fragrances from Scentered)
The lovely attendees who made space in their morning to be there were treated to a mindful moment to start the morning, interesting debates and discussion about how to truly bring wellness alive in the workplace and some chair yoga to stretch out after a long morning. The feedback was positive with attendees saying they loved starting their day in this way and that they would be taking the stretching and mindful moments back to their offices.
I was overwhelmed with the interest in such a sensitive yet prevalent topic. Stress in any industry is present and difficult to identify and manage- yet in events it is almost a badge of honour- to be working under pressure, to ridiculous deadlines with demanding clients...of course it's stressful! We love the pressure! And yet we don't deal with it at all - we look after ourselves last - grabbing a danish pastry in between setting up the event and checking on speakers, after a really late night and an eye-watering start. We drink coffee all day to stay alert and often are the last to leave the conference/drinks/dinner after being the social butterfly (checking everything is running smoothly) and packing up.
I took part in a panel along with some other amazing women- all of whom have been through stressful roles in events, and have brought wellbeing into their events and their event teams after realising the power of looking after our own wellbeing and the impact it has not only on our own performance, but the rest of the team and the event.
I've shared some of talk in another post here in the hope that sharing my personal experiences and what I have learnt and implemented, will reassure and inspire others to know that they can combat a stressful event role and make it a better environment to work in.
After all, my new-found passion is to raise awareness of the powerful effects of mindfulness in the event space and simultaneously lower stress levels, one event professional at a time.