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Get your green smoothie ready to go, because it’s time to talk about staying healthy in 2020! So, it’s no secret to anyone that event planners have one of the most stressful jobs in the world. And it’s not uncommon for the events industry to be considered one of the most draining. But our health is something we should always prioritize. So much so that we’ve even done an episode in the past tackling the topic of burnout. And is there a better time than the year 2020 to start getting serious about your health goals?

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This is why we’re happy to welcome Kelly Treadway on this episode of #EventIcons. Kelly has been featured on the show before, and she’s here today to expand on the topic of staying healthy in 2020. Today, she joins our lovely hosts Brandt Krueger and Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey for an exciting hour-long conversation packed with tips and advice. So, are you excited to learn more about how you can stay healthy and be better at your job than ever before? Press play and let’s get iconic!

The Breaking Point

Kelly jumpstarts the staying healthy in 2020 conversation by talking about balance. “I think that everybody talks about work-life balance. And there is no real true balance. I believe that balance is a choice. It’s making the best choices for you at that time, and my choices change on a day-to-day basis, that balance changes. It really is what’s best for me. It’s about setting boundaries based on what your balance is, what you’re trying to get to and then creating habits and non-negotiables. That is really what changed it for me in 2014”.

“In 2014, I hit rock bottom and ended up in the emergency room the night before”, she continues. “At that time, our biggest conference client, the night before that conference, I ended up in the hospital. Thinking that I was having a heart attack when in fact I was just having high anxiety, but it was also not taking care of myself. The doctors said, “You’re not having a heart attack tonight. But if you don’t stop living on Coca-Cola, and if you don’t start moving and if you’re don’t take awareness of the 35 pounds that you’ve gained in three years, you are going to end up here.”

Setting Non-Negotiables

It was this scare that drove Kelly to implement what she calls non-negotiables. “You can be at the beck and call of clients, and the hard deadlines that we have. However, you can also pepper your day with what your non-negotiables are. And they may not be every day. A non-negotiable for me on Sunday is that I meal-prep for an hour on Sunday so that I can manage the rest of the week”.

“Non-Negotiables are I move my body at least 30 minutes a day. Somewhere in the day dealing with clients, I work in an activity. The other thing is meditation”, she explains. “Surely, clients can do without me during those few minutes that I take to calm my mind. So, I think that everyone always wants to look to a magic pill or look to somebody else to fix it. But I do really think that fixing it starts with us. If you don’t know what your boundaries are and what your non-negotiables are, no one else is going to know what they are. They’re going to set them for you. So, I really feel like that has to start with us”.

staying healthy in 2020Staying Healthy In 2020: Trends

“I would have to say the newest trend I’m really excited about started on Superbowl Sunday”, says Kelly. “And all of these women embracing that they’re in their 40s and 50s  and they can believe they are sexy. I love that. Also, having about to be 50, that just warms my heart”.

“The second one is people learning to set boundaries. That they can say no. And saying no to the right things means that you get to say yes to the things that are right, that are going to get you to the goals that you’re trying to get to. And that’s really hard in our industry because I think because we’re so passionate about what we do and a lot of us are creatives. So, I think for creatives and really passionate people as we are, sometimes saying no is hard. But that really hinders. That completely hinders you and being able to do the things that are going to feed your soul and make you a better person and get you where you need to be”, she adds.

The Art Of Meditating

Kelly already touched upon meditation as a step towards staying healthy in 2020. However, she elaborates further. “I had been doing meditation just once a day, like three minutes once a day. And what I realized was that I would be mellow at the beginning of the day because I had meditated. But then by the middle of the day, I was like high anxiety and then I couldn’t get to sleep”.

“So, that’s when I started dividing it”, she explains. “In the mornings, I do two minutes, so I just do a short session. In the afternoon, I’ll do three minutes. Then before bed, I actually do five minutes. Usually, 99% of the time, I’ll do it on Headspace. But if I don’t do that, I go to YouTube, and just type in two-minute guided meditation or whatever amount of minutes. Every now and then, I’ll rotate some of those down”.

Eating Healthy, Staying Healthy In 2020

“Your happiness really does come from how healthy your gut is”, says Kelly. “So, because of that, this year, I’ve added more talk about nutrition into my talks. And I’m not the biggest fan of keto. I believe in whole foods and clean foods, and I believe in the 80-20 rule. That 80% of the time you’re eating clean, but that you’re also not depriving yourself of the things that you enjoy. I love food. And I think as event professionals and hospitality people, a lot of us are foodies”.

Deprivation Is Not The Way

“Your body needs carbs, you have to have carbs to live. You need protein. And you can live off of plant protein instead of animal protein, there’s a lot of documentaries that have just come out about that. But you also need to be knowledgeable about it because plants today don’t have the same nutritious value of plants yesterday. So, I do think that you have to be careful about adopting any of those diets. I’m really a believer in whole foods, knowing what calories are in your food and knowing how many calories you’re burning in a day”.

“That doesn’t mean that you have to log them every day. But I think that you need to know if you’re holding an apple, how much sugar and how much calories are in that? You know that you haven’t even walked for 20 minutes today. You need to know what you’re putting in and putting out in your body. I’m a believer of that, of knowledge, of knowing it instead of adopting and going off of somebody’s book”.

staying healthy in 2020The Coronavirus

As we all know, the coronavirus has been one of the major health concerns over the last few weeks. “You have to be mindful”, Kelly advises. “And if you’re going to touch things above your head or your armrest, then don’t touch your face and make sure you’re washing your hands. One of my last flights, the girl next to me had a terrible hacking, like the whole flight hacking. And I had on a turtleneck. Here come my turtleneck. Most of the flight, my turtleneck was above my nose. You just have to be aware of and take precaution and more and more, I have to say I am seeing people wear the mask even on U.S. domestic flights”.

If you want to stay informed on the topic and check out some amazing resources relevant to the events industry, make sure you check out the Event Brew episode that came out last week. Now, let’s dive deeper into staying healthy in 2020!

Saying “No” Matters

Brandt brings up an excellent topic for Kelly to elaborate on. “What are other ways to encourage people to stand up for themselves, stand up for their health, stand up for their mental health and their physical health in this profession?”, he asks.

“I think as far as clients, sometimes they forget that at the end of what they’re asking for there’s a human that has to take action and execute it”, says Kelly. “And it’s educating the client and setting realistic boundaries with the client. And reminding them that just like they have a home life and have a family life and have time off, that you also have that. But I think that’s really hard”.

“I think that it’s personality”, she adds. “Certain personalities are better at setting those boundaries than others. But if you did it with your company, if you set the culture, if you set the standards, then you’re giving them the template. You’re giving them the words to use, the words to say, the parameters to stay in. And you’re empowering your employees to move forward with that. They’re not trying to figure it out on their own”.

Staying Healthy In 2020: Setting Goals

Staying healthy in 2020 is all about setting goals. “If I have to give a number one tip to an event professional, it’s start with drinking water”, says Kelly. “We are all walking around dehydrated humans. No one is drinking enough water and just that small little change, you will start to see so many changes in your health. And the way that you look and the way that your bowels move and how clear-headed you are. Start with your water consumption and then start with nutrition. What steps can I take to eat healthier meals, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and still have my pizza on the weekend? Just take small steps in that way”.

“The same with fitness”, she adds. “You don’t have to get out there and run five, nine miles every day. Just start with walking. It’s just adding little things of movement into your day. It doesn’t have to be so regimented. Start small. Then as you get more comfortable, or as you want it because you get addicted to the adrenaline of it and the endorphins of it. You’ll want to do more. So, start small”.


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Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey

Author Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey

An accomplished speaker (though she prefers to be backstage with a headset), #EventIcons host, event prof, and marketer with work featured in the New York Times, Lindsay and team have worked with brands including Ford Motor Company, American Bar Association, Harvard Business School, and many more.

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