Talking About Our Mental Health

October 10 is World Mental Health Day. It’s timely for us as event professionals because it coincides with us entering the busy season of holiday event planning.

This year, we’re using it as an opportunity to reflect on our lives and how we take care of our mental health. By talking about our mental health openly, our hope is that we contribute to normalizing the conversation.

Eryne Sarabin
Event Planner, business owner, dog mom x2

Being the owner of Tycoon Events and an event professional means I am working both on and in my business. While I do have a dual role, my main priority is always focused on running the business, and I also just so happen to be a great event planner to boot. 🙂

As a result of COVID, I find that I’ve become far more adaptable and flexible. While our industry is all about planning and preparation, when that rug of stability and timeliness is pulled out from under you, you must react quickly and be willing to roll with the punches, even if you do get knocked down quite a lot – especially over the last 18 months. While it seems weird to say, I think that’s one good that came from COVID. We’re now so much more resilient, creative, communicative, and proactive than we’ve ever been.  

Losing 97% of our business within the first week of COVID, the constant zigging and zagging, the ups and the downs, the passing of family members, getting a new puppy, moving into a new home, moving offices. All of the things that have occurred during the pandemic have also taken a toll on my energy level, mental health, and ability to find balance.

So how am I managing all of these areas of struggle? It’s something I struggle with as I tend to prioritize work over my personal needs. Having an office space has been a big help, giving me the opportunity to work from home or in the office. Establishing a sleep routine, getting outside, introducing more social connections with our team members, and reminding myself of why I’m doing this and who I’m doing this for have really helped me forge ahead.

Stephani Harvie
Account and Event Manager, mom

Them: “Let’s talk about our mental health!”
Me: “Oh man, here we go…”

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that talking about mental health, educating about it how it affects people individually, and learning how best to deal with your specific stresses is essential and I am so happy our society is seeing the full importance of prioritizing it. But do I ever feel unqualified to talk on this subject.

Since becoming a mama just over a year ago, I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this new life and incorporate it into my old life with a career, friends, travel, etc. The best way to summarize how I take care of my mental health is with lots of self-care (even in minimal ways – that morning coffee is key) and having next-to-no expectations. This has allowed me to enjoy life more, relax easier and ultimately has let me come to terms with the fact I will never really be the person I used to be.

So, on that note, sit back, block out the world for a few minutes, take that deep breath and keep. on. going.

Lindsay MacDonald
Social Media Coordinator, mom x3, small business owner

As a Mom of three young children, a social media manager, and a small business owner, my life is in constant motion. Some days I feel like everything is going smoothly and all of my proverbial ducks are in a row; and other days the ducks are flying all over the place.

In terms of taking care of my mental health, I am mindful of adding mood-boosting moments into my day. Whether it is drinking coffee in the peaceful, early hours of the morning, going out for a short walk, or chatting with a neighbour, I try to take a few minutes for myself each day. 

Being on Team Tycoon contributes to my mental health positively because our teammates are all so thoughtful and encouraging to one another. And while we often aren’t all in one place together, we are all connected digitally and ready to cheer each other on.

Laryssa Szmihelsky
Marketing and Communications Coordinator, business owner

I’ve always struggled with mental health, with some form of depression or anxiety.

It all came to a head at 27, when I was trying to ‘prove myself’ in the workforce, volunteering too much, and not saying no to anything. I hit my breaking point in December 2016. I was having panic attacks regularly, dealing with severe tension/stress headaches two or three times a week, and struggling to get out of bed in the morning.

I started seeing a psychologist regularly (who I still see!) and was really taking a hard look at my life. I didn’t want want to keep the pace I was living and felt a strong urge to do something about it. We looked at my values (which is quite the task when you’ve lost your sense of self) and started figuring out how I could better connect to them.

I realized the corporate world wasn’t for me and decided to start my own consulting business two years ago. Yes, it’s incredibly stressful at times, but I love it. The fulfillment outweighs the stress 10-fold.

I’ve learned that saying no is okay. Setting boundaries is okay. Ultimately, you’re the only person who is going to look after you and have your best interest in mind. So don’t shy away from being your best cheerleader.

Going to therapy regularly has helped me so much and I can’t encourage it enough to people. I’ve been going for so long that there are times I go into a session not knowing what I want to talk about. But things always come up, and it’s always helpful.