Monday marked the beginning of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual initiative set in motion over two decades ago by UK-based charity, Mental Health UK.
Educating the masses on the importance of mental well-being whilst tackling the stigma around mental health disorders, the charity works hard to deliver information and invaluable advice, especially to those most in need, via their themed awareness campaigns.
True to form, the charity recently announced the theme of their 2023 campaign titled ‘Just Anxiety’. Focusing on one of the most common mental health issues in Britain today, affecting over 8 million people or 1 in 10 of us, the campaign also aims to validate those suffering from the complex condition, striving to get the message across that anxiety is never ‘Just Anxiety’.
So, with this year’s theme in mind, and given its relevance to those operating in the live events industry, we felt it necessary to shed light on the triggers of the condition whilst offering practical tips and tested coping mechanisms to help you take control of your emotions should the need arise.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an evolutionary response to periods of stress which triggers feelings of unease, worry and fear, and associated physical symptoms such as nausea and shortness of breath. Almost everyone suffers from anxiety at one point or another during their lifetimes but the severity of an individual’s experience can vary wildly depending on the level of stress they’re experiencing.
How does Anxiety affect those working in the events Industry?
Whether you’re an artist, a promoter or a member of a wider team working behind the scenes to bring an event to life, long hours in pressured environments coupled with the demand to deliver can generate high levels of stress and ultimately feelings of anxiety. Equally, periods in the lead-up to live performances or the opening of an event can bring about feelings and emotions associated with fear and worry.
Studies and surveys conducted over the past decade have consistently cited the role of events coordinator or planner as one of the top 10 most stressful careers in the world. A clear indication that event professionals must know and understand how to take care of their mental well-being.
What tips or mechanisms are there to help bring Anxiety under control?
Mental Health UK offers many different resources available to help with a varied range of situations with regard to anxiety, many of which are transferrable to those with careers in the events world. Amidst them are tried and tested techniques including the 333 Rule, Box Breathing and Adrenaline Burn-off.
The 333 Rule is a 5-minute technique which can help manage overwhelming situations. The technique prompts you to identify 3 objects of varying size, 3 things you can touch and feel, and to pick out 3 sounds in your locality at the time in which it’s needed.
Box or Square Breathing is a powerful 5-minute skill which enables you to bring your breathing under control after experiencing a stressful situation. To correctly benefit from using the relaxation technique, you must close your eyes and imagine drawing the lines of a square in your mind whilst slowly inhaling, holding, and exhaling for four seconds at a time. This particular technique is taught to serving police officers and military personnel.
Adrenaline Burn-Off involves physical exertion. This technique prompts you to undertake an exercise for no less than 10 minutes, whether that’s heading out for a walk, a run or simply moving equipment around at an event, helping to ‘burn off’ any adrenaline that’s produced when anxious feelings begin to arise.
To find a list of other coping mechanisms and for more informative resources, check out https://mentalhealth-uk.org/mental-health-awareness-week/
Who else can I speak to about my anxiety?
There are numerous charities with ties to music operating in the events industry – from EventWell to Mind and Help Musicians UK – all with websites stocked with resources and contact details. Members of your teams and superiors will also be able to give assistance when needed.
If your anxiety symptoms worsen and the techniques listed above are unhelpful, you should consider contacting a medical professional to explore what treatments might be available to you.
Got a question you need an answer to? Give us a call on 03333010301 or ask us a question over on the Skiddle Promoter Twitter account by clicking or tapping on the button below. Alternatively, you can also find a list of our most frequently asked questions over at https://help.promotioncentre.co.uk/