Stress Busting Tips for Delegates

Conferences,
meetings and events are exciting, engaging and interesting forums for
communication and learning, and are powerful business tools. 

We
know however, that they can also be stressful sometimes. You’re out of the
office, sometimes away from home, under pressure to deliver your best or
worried about other work you should be doing.

When
anxious or stressed, people find it hard to focus so we’ve come up with some
top tips to avoid this and help you get the most out of your conference and
ensure you have an enjoyable and productive experience.

Sleep

Sleep
helps keep you healthy, mentally sharp and able to cope with stress more
effectively. It is important therefore that you get some good sleep before the
day of your meeting and conference.

Studies
have found that if you have 17 hours of sustained wakefulness, the impact is
equivalent to two glasses of wine, and this rises to four glasses if you have
had 24 hours of sustained wakefulness. Those who get extra sleep are better at
assimilating things they’ve learnt during the day and converting them into long
term memories.

Some
simple techniques, if you are finding it difficult to get off to sleep,
include:

  • Deep
    breathing
    . Close your
    eyes—and try taking deep, slow breaths—making each breath even deeper than
    the last.
  • Progressive
    muscle relaxation
    .
    Starting at your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then
    completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
  • Visualizing
    a peaceful, restful place
    .
    Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and
    peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes
    you feel.

Try
also to avoid alcohol at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime. While alcohol has
an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later, as the alcohol levels in
your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.

Diet

Make sure you have a protein-rich breakfast.
According to a report by Psychology Today, eating protein raises the levels of
an amino acid called tyrosine, which prompts the brain to manufacture
norepinephrine and dopamine which keep you energised because they promote
alertness and activity. Studies have also shown that protein reduces melatonin
which is what makes you feel sleepy.

Vitamin
B has also been shown to reduce stress as it helps boost the immune system and
maintain blood-sugar levels which help keep your energy and mood stable. Make
sure you stock up on vitamin B rich foods at lunch including broccoli,
wholegrains, lentils, nuts, eggs and lean meats like chicken and turkey.

What you drink can also
have an effect on your stress levels and your concentration. Although coffee
may seem the most tempting drink to reach for, research suggests that within
five minutes after you drink your coffee, the caffeine begins to stimulate your
central nervous system, triggering the release of stress hormones in your body,
causing a stress (fight or flight) response. This is great if you are in a
fight or flight situation but if you are sitting at your desk or sitting in a
meeting you may feel a short charge of alertness, followed quickly by feelings
of agitation. Within an hour or so, after the stress response goes, you will
probably feel more tired and hungry. It is therefore much better to drink
plenty of water throughout the day to help maintain your alertness and concentration.

Give Yourself Time

Being late is enough to stress anyone out.
We have to rush to get ready, rush to get to our destination, and then worry
once we’ve arrived about having missed the first few minutes of a session or
looking bad in front of other delegates.

Make a conscious effort to try and arrive at least half an hour early before
the conference starts. Arriving slightly early will give you a chance to settle
in and focus on the task in hand, read your notes or relax with a cup of tea or
coffee in one of our lounge areas.

Emails

We
know it can be stressful attending an all-day conference when you have a to do
list the length of your arm, but with free Wi-Fi across all of our lounge areas
and conference rooms and a business centre and internet café in our Scarman
Training and Conference Centre, we have made it easy for you to keep in touch
with the office and keep up to date with your emails during your breaks.

Relaxation

If
you are feeling tense before you start your conference, there are a number of
relaxation techniques you can try. Relaxation, breathing and meditation
exercises have all been proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
Here is a breathing technique that may help you relax:

If
you can, practise this deep breathing in a quiet place where you won’t be
disturbed and try and get yourself comfortable by loosening any tight clothes
such as jackets or shoes.

  • Fill up the whole of your
    lungs with air, without forcing
  • Breathe in through your nose
    and out through your mouth
  • Breathe in slowly and
    regularly counting from one to five
  • Then let the breath escape
    slowly counting from one to five
  • Keep doing this until you feel
    calm. Breathe without pausing or holding your breath.

Try
practising this relaxed breathing for three to five minutes or until you feel
relaxed.

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Author

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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