Happy New Years everyone! Hope you enjoyed your holidays. Kendra and I had a great Christmas together and spent the new year with each of our in-laws… Kendra’s in Texas and mine in Florida! We got back a few days ago and hit the ground running. We are constantly in the process of planning our next big event, running said event, or traveling. If you are in a job where you’re doing the same or maybe even volunteer at your church or just travel a lot you may have experienced the same “post-event zombie stare and walk” afterward like I have. It can be really exhausting to throw a quality event or travel for work. This weekend my husband and I threw our annual “New Years Bash” with our youth ministry. Every second Friday of the new year we go all out with music, lights, games, giveaways, chick-fil-a, henna, photo booth… you name it!
Every time I truck through a huge event or weekend retreat I go through a crazy recovery time. Normally I’m running these events or trips but even if I’m just attending them there is bit of recovery time after I return home. We also travel for work either to do missions work, social justice work, or speak. Even if it’s just a speaking engagement it can really take a LOT out of you. Over the years of travel and being on the go I’ve come up with methods that help my “big event/trip recovery process”. As you may have guessed the way to a better post-event is handling some things PRE-event.
Before the Event/Trip
1) Make sure your calendar is cleared the day you return home and the following day. If it’s a huge trip or you’ve been traveling overseas and dealing with jet lag – you need a FEW days! Don’t feel bad about taking that extra time to get your body clock back to normal. In the long run you will suffer if you don’t get the necessary rest and sleep before heading back into “real life”. For example, whenever I have a big weekend event to run from a Friday-Sunday it’s important I have Monday and Tuesday clear.
2) Stock up on your gatorades, cough drops, vitamins (Super B complex and D for me), medicines, power foods, and buy a water bottle (I often use my mason jar with the straw). When I started carrying around a water bottle it was life changing. I feel the difference if I forget it. It might be annoying to sometimes keep track of or carry in your arms while trying to run an event. It’s worth it.
If you’re traveling that of course makes eating healthy (or anything close to healthy) a challenge so pack your own snacks. My go-to power foods are bananas, apples, peanut butter, & KIND bars with a glacier freeze or grape flavor gatorade. Of course Starbucks isn’t even a question – even if you’re traveling overseas purchase those via packets before you leave! Other than that the best instant coffee are those Nestle little coffee packets the size of a sugar packet… in the middle east and parts of Asia they are everywhere! When traveling to a country where I know finding food for me will be challenging I always hit Trader Joe’s and get the mini crackers, nut butter, electrolyte water, nuts and other snacks, plus things I can just add water to and pop in a microwave (or use my hot water kettle). No matter where I go I make sure I have Nyquil and other prescription drugs. I also carry Afrin nasal spray (helps with ear/sinus pressure on the plane) and allergy meds. I’d much rather pack these things and be prepared than be sorry.
3) Make a list on your phone of things you absolutely cannot forget during your event. Do this beforehand when your mind is fresh and able to think about all scenario’s. You may even want to write out a little schedule for yourself so you don’t forget anything for set up or prep. Delegate as much as you can to others who you can rely on. Everything else – onto the list it goes!
During the Event/Trip
1) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. See what I said above about carrying the water bottle.
2) Take thorough notes during the event so when I get home I can focus on resting and not debriefing in my brain or asking what I could have done better. I can go over my notes with my team at our next staff meeting. If it’s a trip that I’m taking my awesome staff on I ask them to fill out an evaluation and turn it in to me.
3) When exhaustion starts to set in… look at that list (you can see what I mean by “list” on this post here)! You’re bound to get tired and foggy so make sure you have that list to look at.
After the Event/Trip
1) Rest, rest, rest. Don’t skimp out on the rest days. Don’t trick yourself into thinking a travel day can be counted as a rest day either! Even if you get home by noon it may be beneficial for you to take the following day off as well. Know yourself.
2) Treat yourself. Give yourself a little something to getting through your event! It may be a little gift that you’ve been wanting or a spa treatment. If you’re on a budget you can get a Lush bash bomb for $5 and have your own spa at home! Also, you could simply plan your favorite dinner to look forward to Monday night after a long weekend on the go. I make my post-event rest days something to look forward to so that when I’m dealing with an issue at my event that really sucks I can tell myself “…hang in there, that massage is coming on Monday!” Oftentimes I save a restaurant giftcard I got for my birthday or Christmas until the day after a long event. Who feels like cooking after that?!
These steps will certainly help. Lots of this may be considered “common sense” stuff but when you’re crazed and busy trying to get an event off and running you often forget the obvious. I get so exhausted sometimes I can’t even think straight. Now I just follow my list and get through. I used to want to avoid these events or trips just because of how terrible I would feel afterward. I’ve already missed out on a lot because of my health I didn’t want to add something else. The recovery process for me is intensified due to my autoimmune disease so I don’t have room to forget any of these steps. Although it happens. Those of you suffering from a chronic illness will certainly benefit from the tips I’ve listed. Maybe you’ve even found better ones! Comment below and let me know what you do.
Hope this helps! #47tipsNtricks