One of the best parts about living in freedom and putting yourself first is all those awesome adventures you get to go on! Whether it’s attending conferences of World Dominators, playing at adult summer camp, going on a kick ass yoga retreat, backpacking trip, or something completely different, immersing yourself in experiences that light you up is definitely a highlight of this thing called life.
And then there’s the after effects. Sometimes even the mid-conference effects. Ever need to crash in the middle of everything, even though your FOMO (fear of missing out) is through the roof? Or come home from an absolutely epic week of heart opening, booty shaking, hanging with your new best friends, and feel absolutely terrible? Sore throat, body aching, so tired, no focus- and all those plans you had for post-epic-awesomeness (that’s a thing) seem totally daunting and unattainable.
So how can you avoid, or at least vastly minimize, the burnout and deflation that come during and after these epic adventures?
First thing’s first: You’ve gotta get real with yourself.
What happens when you get around a group of people? Are you someone who is energized by crowds? Prefers one on one interaction? Do you need time to recharge no matter what the circumstances? Knowing which way you lean is huge in understanding what you’re going to need before, during, and after to keep yourself healthy and powerful.
Choosing the Right Experiences:
This is important for everyone, and is especially important if you identify as empathic, highly sensitive, intuitive, or introverted. I used to get super overwhelmed with all the options of conferences and events and retreats and trainings I could attend- I wanted to be at them all!- and have had my fair share of experience hangovers and spreading myself too thin.
The way to choose the right experiences is to know what you want to create in your life and business, and to be clear on how each experience will serve those wants. If you need some time off, consider a digital detox retreat. If you’re seeking marketing training, look into business events. If it’s a deep dive into personal growth and expansion, look for what’s going to challenge you and confront areas of your life that’s going to be uncomfortable-yet-awesome (I know you know what I mean).
If you’re not sure, or still feel like every experience will be the best one (and, if you’re like me, sometimes I put three events that are on the same weekend in my calendar because I want to be at all of them), you gotta get real with yourself. What’s your motivation for each one? How much time and energy can you really commit to events, trainings, experiences? Which ones will move you forward the most?
Before the Experience:
The way you set your schedule up BEFORE you head out on retreat or to a conference is, in my opinion, almost more important than what happens during and after. Chances are, going to this event is taking time out of your schedule, and the stuff you normally do in that time has to go somewhere in your calendar.
Have you ever tried to cram everything in the week before or a few days before an event, staying up late and feeling stressed to get it done before you go? I am so guilty of this- in fact, it happened two weeks ago before I left to go teach at Camp Nerd Fitness.
Normally I go to sleep around 9:30/10pm (still not sure when I became an ‘adult’ like that) and wake up between 6 and 7am. My flight to get there was at 6:30am, which meant leaving for the airport around 4:45am. In theory, maybe I’d go to bed a little earlier than usual- 8:30/9, and get a fairly complete night’s sleep. Instead, I left a bunch of things to the last minute, stayed up until midnight, and began a weekend of very little sleep already being sleep deprived.
Had I followed my own advice, I would have planned out everything I had to do a lot better and spread it out over the previous week, actually leaving myself space to sleep.
It isn’t exactly sexy advice for me to tell you to take care of yourself the week or two leading up to an event by resting, eating in a way that makes your body feel good, planning out your time, and being intentional about energy output. These are also the things that work and will allow you to show up fully and play with everything ya got during the experience you’ve chosen.
So, beforehand (in the week or 2 weeks leading up to an event):
- Sleep as much as possible. This is a great time as well to go home early from nights out, sleep in a little later, and take naps when you feel like it.
- Eat the foods that support your immune system and your body. I’m guessing you have a pretty good idea of what that means. If you’re not sure, email me- we can talk.
- Plan to get everything that needs to get done before the event done 2-3 days beforehand. That means look at your schedule. Look at your to-do list. What’s a real priority, and what can wait? (Can those three coffee dates be rescheduled?)
- Conserve your energy. See sleeping as much as possible. As well, what are you doing that’s an energy suck? Now is a great time to get aware of that.
During the Experience:
Woo hoo!!!! The day has come! Total confession, I’m kind of an experience junkie. You may have gathered that already, and while nowadays I’m a lot more discerning about which events and retreats I attend (see Choosing the Right Experiences), all of my experience hangovers have given me a lot of, well, experience in knowing how to show up my best and sustain my energy over the course of the day, weekend, week.
The biggest key to sustaining your health, well-being, energy, and awesomeness throughout an event is knowing how to manage your energy. Remember up there when we talked about understanding how you are in crowds? So. Key.
If it’s available, check out the schedule of events beforehand. Know when breaks and meals are, know your limits for being around people, and have a couple of things in mind that you can do if you need to restore. Naps, drinking water, going outside, sitting alone for 10 minutes- what will be most helpful for you?
If you’re at an event that might stir up your shit and have you confronting and resisting things, the best possible thing you can do when faced with it is to actually let yourself and your body process what’s going on. That could look like sleeping, moving your body, being alone, writing- don’t worry about missing a session if you have something in that moment that needs to be taken care of.
Breathing is your best friend. Check in with yourself frequently- put your feet on the ground, take a deep breath, and take inventory of your energy level, your emotional state, what’s going on physically. Even if there isn’t anything you’re processing specifically, notice when your energy levels are getting low, and ask yourself what you need to do to bring them back up.
This weekend I was at an event, Awaken Your Impact, and on the first night instead of going to dinner with a group of people I took a nap in my car. There was a part of me that felt panicked at missing out on networking opportunities and getting to know more people, but when I checked in, I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to make it through the final session without feeling terrible if I didn’t get alone time immediately.
Regardless of what your new friends are doing or what the schedule says, take care of you, and notice overall that you will actually be able to enjoy your experiences.
After the Experience:
This might sound crazy, but after any experience I encourage you to plan to take the day off. Even if you’ve already taken off the whole week, this one thing has been a major game changer for me. Giving myself down time to recover and restore energy for a day has led me from feeling off and tired for an entire week after an event (and not really getting anything done), to just needing about 24 hours to fully recover and be as good as new.
And just like before the experience, this is a great time to eat really well, be mindful of where you are expending your energy, and take care of yourself.
The more you can build self care and recovery into your schedule and your experiences, the better off you will be all around- whether you are attending events or not. All of this can apply to if you are launching something online, if you have a big deadline or presentation at work, a wedding to go to or friends in town visiting. Whatever it is, the more you are able to be aware of your energy levels and what you need, the more you’ll be able to sustain energy and enjoy your experiences!