When you are a wedding pro, you’re in the business of taking care of others. Because, whether you are a wedding planner, DJ, caterer, or florist, or any other type of pro, you’re really doing the same thing—making sure someone else feels calm, confident, and taken care of. It’s the reason you can feel emotionally exhausted after a day of client meetings and why it’s hard for you to not take negative client reviews personally after pouring your heart into a wedding. And, as often as you put your clients’ needs over your own (admit it, you’ve skipped meals or stayed up late in the name of getting it done), today we thought it important to move taking care of yourself to the top of the list and talk through ways to avoid burnout. Why today? Because it is World Mental Health Day and we see you powering through everything 2020 has thrown at you. Read on to learn more about World Mental Health Day, what burnout is, and how you can decrease your chances of finding yourself there.
World Mental Health Day
Many people don’t think about the importance of mental health until they find themselves or someone they care about struggling. So, in 1992 the World Health Organization (WHO) started observing World Mental Health Day on October 10th with the goal of educating the public on matters of mental health. Since then WHO has focused on creating yearly campaigns that spotlight a different aspect of mental health and, this year, the campaign is centered on increasing investments in mental health.
What is burnout?
Burnout can happen at any time but it is especially important to talk about it in a year like this. 2020 has been stressful to the point of excessive, has made us all feel exhausted, irritable, and defeated to varying degrees—not to mention, we’ve all lost some sleep! And, while everyone has days (or weeks) where we aren’t thrilled about work and feel stressed out, burnout is something very specific. So, what exactly is it? According to WHO, burnout is:
A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.
- You identify very strongly with your work
- You have a high workload
- You try to be everything to everyone
- You work in a helping profession
How to avoid burnout
Does any of this sound familiar or feel a little too close to home? That’s okay—the first step to avoiding or overcoming burnout is to understand what it is and then what you can do when you find yourself running right towards it. So, whether you needed these tips yesterday or want to take them down for future reference, here are 4 things you can do to avoid burnout.
It starts by taking care of yourself: This might seem very basic, but the perhaps the most important thing you can do to avoid burnout is take care of yourself. Getting 8 hours of quality sleep every night, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a regular routine of exercising, and making the time for self care (whatever that looks like) all contribute to a happy and healthy you—burnout happens when you are holistically out of whack (not a technical term, but you know what we mean). Make these things a priority and you’ll be less likely to get physically and emotionally depleted.
You have to learn how to say no: This is hard but it gets to the core of why you might be burning out as a wedding pro. Because, as a service provider (and self-proclaimed people-pleaser), saying no can make you feel like you aren’t doing your job. The thing is, saying no help will you maintain the boundaries and routines you need to stay energized about your work! So, whether you need to start saying no to others in order to keep your calendar from getting crazy or no to yourself in order to get to bed on time, we promise it will help you avoid burning out.
Only control what you can: Increased anxiety is common with people who are battling burnout and you can reduce those feelings by only trying to control the things you actually can. This is easier said than done (especially in an industry where it’s your job to think of the ways things can go wrong and create backup plans for them), but accepting that some things are out of your control and learning how to identify the moments your worry might not be productive can help keep your emotions as healthy as they can be. The best way to do this? Don’t let things that might happen in the future take up too much space and stay focused on solutions as opposed to being obsessed with the problem.
Go to therapy when you need it: Whether you feel like you are heading towards burnout or are already dealing with it, it is important to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes that is leaning on a friend because you just need someone to listen and sometimes it’s scheduling a session with a therapist to unpack the reasons you did burnout. Burnout often happens when you keep pushing for and pouring into something that just isn’t giving you back what you need—and working with a professional mental health care provider can help you not just work through it but learn the tools you need to avoid burning out again in the future.
So, as you keep working to make sure that each of your clients experiences the wedding they’ve dreamed of, don’t forget that you’re best suited to do that when you’re physically and emotionally taken care of. And, if you ever find yourself feeling burned out, turn to this great community for support because we’re in this together!
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