MMI's Tips for Surviving this COVID-19 New Way of Life
A little over a month ago, I was preparing for my busy spring season. I filled my days finalizing BEO, giving guarantees, and confirming vendors and registrants. Then that coronavirus we all heard about that had seemed a world away spread a bit too close to home, and clients and attendees started to worry. My usual busy season prep suddenly turned into a month of reading and rereading force majeure clauses. I was compelled to have SO MANY difficult conversations with clients and hotels.
Just when I thought I had handled the current situation with grace and compassion for all involved, reality set in. The coronavirus - COVID-19 - changed the entire world as we know it. For everyone. Now I find myself with little to no face-to-face interaction with the outside world as I work from home in what is the new normal for many.
I did not handle it well. Let’s face it: meeting planners are extroverts. All of us in the hospitality and events industry are. We THRIVE on talking to what feels like 10,000 people a day, solving event-related crisis, and hitting 20,000 steps on our Apple Watch before noon. SOCIAL DISTANCING is MUCH NEEDED, and we all need to do our part to stay home… but I’d be lying if I said this whole situation was easy for me to accept with a career based ENTIRELY on creating SOCIAL GATHERINGS.
As this new reality set in, I worked through the Kubler-Ross models’ five stages of grief:
I gave myself a Netflix binge day or two, (highly recommend The Great Interior Design Challenge!) but knew I must use this time to find fresh ways to provide better service to my clients - and to take better care of myself. Now is the time to focus on how to make the best of our new normal. One without deadlines, interaction, eating out and visiting the gym. The only way to succeed in this new way of life is to create a daily routine.
Structured days are much needed for planners like me who do not do well with “open play” time...
I don’t mean to sound like I have it all figure out - goodness knows I don’t. Heck, there’s a 50% chance next week you’ll find me lying in bed for ten hours a day, eating chips, and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls. BUT to hopefully avoid that downfall (and the 20-pound weight gain that would sure to follow), I wanted to share my tips in case it helps others - AND to hold myself accountable to it.
My point of all this? Let's help each other find the Bright Side in the situation. I will continue sharing posts of all the things I am doing to keep myself, and those I care about, sane during this crazy situation we all find ourselves in now.
What about you? What tips do you have to share to help navigate these times? Comment below! For now, here's a couple more tips below to get this thing moving!