The job of a wedding planner tends to be pretty high-pressure at all times. We’re responsible for making someone’s lifelong vision come true, after all. That’s no easy feat, especially when you factor in the perfectionist gene so many of us planners live with. Our clients’ weddings (and the expectations that come along with those weddings — both from others and ourselves), can absolutely consume us if we’re not mindful.
Even on our “days off” (ha!), we end up checking emails and responding to requests. While wanting to always be there for our couples and ensure their event is executed to perfection is a noble goal, we also have to take care of ourselves in the process so that we really can deliver that perfect, seamless, beautiful event they’re looking for. This month, we’re all about helping you create your best year in client experience and, though it may seem counterintuitive, the best way we can enhance our client experience is to take care of ourselves first and foremost. One of the best ways to do this is to truly refuel on our days off — creatively, emotionally and professionally. That way, when the work week rolls back around, you’re ready to approach each event with a fresh, full tank.
So, with that in mind, pour yourself a glass of wine, run a bubble bath and get ready to soak in our super-relaxing tips for refueling over your weekend:
This is one you’ve likely heard so many times. But, we’re going to switch things up by giving you a break. We understand that it’s probably not practical to ask you to completely unplug your entire time off. So, instead, we recommend setting a realistic goal that you stick to every time you get a weekend. Maybe this means unplugging completely for the entirety of your first night off. That’s better than nothing–start with that and stick to it. Maybe it means unplugging completely for the first half of each of your days off (no emails before noon, for example) — that works, too. The important part is that you set a time frame — even if it’s just for a few hours — where you are, under no circumstances, allowed to open up your laptop or turn on your phone. This shouldn’t just be work-related, either — make sure you stay off of your personal social media accounts during this time as well. The goal isn’t just to stay away from work — it’s to stay away from screens and the scrolling-vortex in general, whether that’s work-related or not. Give your eyes (and your mind) a well deserved break.
Reading is such an important thing for our minds and our spirit. It’s a way to entertain and educate ourselves while giving our eyes a break from the glow of a digital screen. While reading for work purposes is always great (fashion magazines, wedding blogs, etc.), for purposes of refueling over your weekend, we recommend sticking to a good-old-fashioned physical book (nothing on a screen) and preferably one that has nothing to do with weddings or events. Allow yourself to get lost in a story that won’t, for a second, remind you of that huge event you’re planning. A great way to tie this in with your unplugging goal is to keep the book handy (in your purse, on your coffee table, etc.) and play this game with yourself: every time you instinctively go to pick up your phone to check your Instagram feed or refresh your inbox, force yourself to grab the book and read a few paragraphs (or pages) instead.
Play a Game
Being a wedding planner is all about being strategic under pressure and thinking on our feet. So, we love the idea of refueling over your weekend with a game, and, in turn, enhancing your client experience when it’s time to get back to work (you sharp little tack, you). We love games like Scrabble, Heads Up and Cards for Humanity but also recommend card games that you can play with the entire family — Rumi and Poker are both great games for enhancing your strategic side.
This time of year, outside games or sports with the family are also just as rewarding as an indoor game. We love the idea of getting creative with your outdoor games and making up the rules on your own. Take a frisbee out back and try to hit different objects in your yard for different point amounts, for example. Or, set up a can or pail in the center of the yard and try to volley tennis balls into it without letting them hit the ground. Remember, the difficulty-level of the game doesn’t matter — it’s making up the game that you should focus on; that’s where the creativity and strategy comes in.
If you’re not someone who regularly meditates, this can sound intimidating, so let us explain: meditation doesn’t have to be about envisioning your future or repeating a mantra in a dim-lit room chock-full candles. Meditation can take on many forms, but it should always involve being both still and quiet. Giving your mind, your eyes and your body a break — in whatever form you choose to do so — is considered meditation. Maybe this means soaking in a bath in complete silence, maybe it means sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, maybe it means lying on your couch with the TV off. Any form of meditation works — it’s all about picking what’s easiest and most accessible to you.
A great tip to help turn of your mind while you lie (or sit, or stand) in silence is to close your eyes and focus on your breath. Try to breathe in and out for the same time-count (i.e. inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds). Think of your breath like a bike-pump — try to take in the same amount of air at the top of your inhale as you are at the end of your inhale (and the same goes for exhales). Focusing on steady, even breaths and counting your inhales and exhales is the best way to keep your mind from wandering.
We figured we’d save the best for last. We think one of the best things you can do to refuel as a small business owner is simply to treat yourself every now and then. This can mean allowing yourself to break that diet for a night, watching that TV show that you wouldn’t dare let anyone know you watch (cough — Real Housewives — cough), putting on your favorite song and cranking up the volume, or even just taking a walk completely by yourself (and maybe filling up that water bottle with wine while you do so). The goal is to do something that both makes you happy and completely distracts your mind from wandering to work.
Overall, taking time to refuel your creative tank is such an important part of being a planner and providing yourself and your couples a seamless client experience. We know taking time for ourselves is easier said than done, so we recommend making a hard goal of implementing each of these practice — even if just for a small amount of time — into your days-off. It can be as simple as creating a list that reads, “unplug, read, play a game, meditate, indulge” and challenging yourself to check off each one during your time away from the desk.
Have any tips we missed? Share them with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!