It’s no secret event planners have emotionally stressful and draining jobs. Long days and nights on-site, months of planning, last minute client curveballs and a never ending to-do list. As a result, planners may feel a wide variety of negative emotions all at the same time: anxiety, fear,  or even sadness.


When faced with tough planning circumstances, you may suddenly think that you’re unprepared to deal with an event’s inevitable challenges. But you don’t have to wave the white flag and head immediately for the door. What you need to do is channel your mental strength. Mental strength is a collection of attributes that allow a person to persevere through difficult circumstances (such as conference wifi on the fritz or a short staffed dining service) and emerge without losing confidence.


So how can you make sense of your distress and instantly reduce the intensity of any emotions? Call in the expert. Amy Morinis a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Morin has spent 14 years as a psychotherapist to some of the country’s top CEOs and helps people to adapt to stress and adversity. Below are a few of her tested methods that can help anyone build their mental strength, especially in the trying times when you really need it.



Think about the future

When you’re worried about what’s going on today, think about how much this will matter in the future. Morin encourages to “imagine yourself looking back on today one year from now.” While upsetting events -like the last-minute cancelation of entertainment- may not be a big deal down the line; other events- like the loss of a client- will still affect you (but perhaps in a less catastrophic way.) Imagining the future can show you that you’ll find a way to get through the tough details you’re facing now.


Talk to yourself like a trusted friend

When you’re feeling stressed out, your inner dialogue may start predicting doom and gloom. Example: the event will be canceled! Morin warns “making catastrophic predictions will drain your mental strength quickly.” Commit to talking to yourself like a trusted friend. Ask, ‘What would I say to a friend who had this problem?’ and give yourself an optimistic pep talk. Taking the emotion out of the equation will help you tackle problems with renewed insight.


Mantra, Mantra, Mantra

Harsh criticism and self-doubt waste brain power when you need it the most. Establish a helpful mantra you can repeat to yourself to drown out the negativity. Whether you tell yourself, ‘I’m stronger than this problem,’ or you say, ‘I can handle my client’s needs,’ you’ll affirm your ability to deal with whatever challenge you face.


Recall hard times

This may seem counterintuitive, but Morin says, “questioning your ability to deal with adversity wastes time and energy.” So rather than continuing to tell yourself, ‘I’m not sure I can do this,’ recall the tough times you’ve endured in the past. Reminding yourself that you’ve persevered before can give you the strength you need to step up to the plate.


Healthy Coping Skills

While you may be tempted to drown your sorrows with an extra glass of wine, temporarily escaping the truth will only add more stress to your conference duties. Look for healthy coping methods that will help you deal with adversity. Journaling, exercising, talking to friends and meditating are just some of the many positive exercises that can help you work through your struggles rather than avoid them.


Baby Steps

If you’re not sure what to do, do anything. Take one small step. Write a to-do list, make a phone call or simply, confide in a co-worker. Break down your problems one step at a time, and push yourself to take an action. No matter how small that step may seem, as long as you’re moving in the right direction, your productive behavior will help you build mental muscle.