10-Ways to De-Stress

The following article was written by Lidia Simoes Thomas (Event Service Coordinator, Global Halifax) for MPI's Toronto chapter.

In this industry, it is crucial to actively and unabashedly pursue self-care. We’re often so busy thinking about the needs of our clients and coworkers, we let our wellbeing fall to the wayside. Realistically however, the best thing we can do for everyone is make sure we are okay, or ideally even better than “okay”. Managing our own stress can make us happier, more efficient and more productive. It’s true, look it up!


Here are 10-ways that help me minimize stress:

1. Laugh! Sure, it’s cliché but laughter is still the best medicine. Find yourself some hilarious coworkers and when you’re stressed up to your eyeballs, just go laugh with them. My coworkers are the best at making me laugh in the most difficult situations. Laughter, especially belly laughter or tear-inducing laughter – really does make you feel better.


2. Hangout with kids. Yes, tip seems weird, but hear me out! I coach a soccer team of 12-year-old girls, and it’s unsurprisingly difficult to think about your work woes when a) you’re trying to help a kid improve their “stepover” or b) the kid is asking you when you had your first kiss. So, hangout with the kids in your life and if you don’t have any of those, hang out with the people in your life who are able to completely distract you from your day-to-day worries.


3. You’ve heard it before – regular exercise makes you feel good. I’m not talking about the physical benefits either, I’m talking about the mental health benefits. Even if it’s a 30-minute walk, I find exercise makes me feel better about myself. It improves my mental health because I don’t feel like I’m at a desk or at a couch all day. Get out there and move-it, move-it!


4. Treat yourself. Sometimes when I know I have a busy week ahead of me, I’ll plan to treat myself on Friday with a latte or brownie (or both). It seems trivial, but I find this motivates me to stay positive and push through the week.


5. Ask. For. Help. Most of us are too proud or too embarrassed to ask for help, but if your workload is getting ahead of you or your client has unreasonable demands, tell someone. Make sure you receive the assistance you require. In work and in life, when your wellbeing is at stake, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help.


6. Cherish time away from work. It’s difficult but try not to spend your weekends just doing chores, or just watching Netflix. Instead, plan activities that allow you to unwind and disconnect from your day-to-day. So much of our lives are spent working, so it’s important to protect and cherish your personal time.


7. Plan vacations well in advance. For me, nothing could have made our show season go faster than knowing I was heading off to Portugal after. And it doesn’t have to be Europe because that’s not always realistic, but the planning and anticipation of a trip (to the cottage, to the beach, across the world, etc.) makes your daily woes seem insignificant.


8. Get a massage. If you let it, stress can physically manifest itself in your body and sitting at a desk all day long doesn’t help. Speaking from experience, massage therapists can help expel this stress from your body, and also teach you techniques to avoid future aches and pains.


9. Do whatever you can to make your life easier. Meal prep your lunches. Simplify your workflow. Regularly declutter your inbox. Organize your digital filing system. Do things now that will make your life easier when work gets busier and the stress starts to settle in. It’s not glamorous, but you’ll thank yourself for it later.


10. Don’t take it personally. You must compartmentalize work and play because work is not personal. Mistakes, conflicts or stress that you experience at work don’t define you, so you should make sure not to let them affect your 5pm – 9am life.
They may not all work for you, but if any of my tips can help make your life a little bit less stressful, I’ll consider it a win. So get out there, work hard, stress less and laugh lots!

They may not all work for you, but if any of my tips can help make your life a little bit less stressful, I’ll consider it a win. So get out there, work hard, stress less and laugh lots!


Lidia Simoes Thomas is an Event Services Coordinator from Global Convention Services Ltd. in Halifax. If you have other tips you would like to share, or comments to share with Lidia, she would love to hear from you at: lthomas@globalconvention.ca