My friends, the 2015 National Sex Ed Conference has been over for a month, and I’m finally back at my desk writing. Why has it taken me a month to get back into the grove of things, you may rightfully ask me? Between conference wrap-up, back-logged emails, and the holidays, well, things just got a little crazy for me. I’m fully back on top of things now, fully enthusiastic to be part of 2016, and diving headlong back into blogging.
As a reminder to myself that in order to effectively manage post-conference activities I need to prepare myself pre-conference, I re-read Reid Mihalko’s blog post The Morning After: Con-Drop & the Art of Surviving Workshops, Retreats and Conferences. Here’s the part that I specifically forgot about doing:
Front-Load Your Pre-, During, and Post-Game Needs
Front Loading is figuring out what you can prepare for in advance and implementing those things so they’re ready to go. Many seasoned “seekers” and teachers are great at planning what they need to do before an event and during an event, but often forget that there is a whole “post-game” that is just as important, if not more so!
Learning what your body needs is step one of the self-care foursome of body, mind, soul and relationship needs. I add relationships to my trinity of body/mind/soul and make it a foursome. Why? Considering what the people in your relationship sphere might require of you pre/during/post is pragmatic and can help avoid relationship train wrecks when you get home.
Get up to date. Before I disappear for 3-5 days for a seminar or conference, I try to get as many emails and “digital work” done as I can so my brain feels like things are handled and I can focus on the event. That’s an example of a pre-game need of mine, which means I have to schedule time in to get that all done before the event starts. If I don’t, I’ll feel anxious, distracted and will be playing catch-up the whole event. Sneaking off to the lobby to check emails might mean I miss an awesome lecture or networking opportunity.
Go on a date! In a romantic relationship? About to disappear off-grid for a retreat or lock yourself away in a hotel conference hall for 4-days? Take your relationship vitamins before your trip by grabbing some intimate date-time a night or two before you leave. Bonus points if you schedule a date night on the calendar for when you return! Why all the fuss? The extra connection-time might just save you all from a heated phone argument on day three… Trust me on this one!
Bonus Reid Relationship Tip: When I head out on the road for several weeks, not only do I schedule plenty of date-time on both sides of my trip, I secretly order a gift (usually a tee-shirt) on the internet to be delivered about a week after I’ve hit the road. #Winning!
Do your homework! Assessing your needs and front-loading them can make for a much smoother takeoff and flight into workshop mode. And charting out your post-game needs can aid in a smooooooooth landing as you return into the “real world.”
Ask yourself: What would be an example of a mind need of mine? What are some body needs I have, things I could do to ensure that I’m properly rested, fed and hydrated? What are some “soul needs” and “relationship needs” I might have?
Attending to your needs the whole way through rather than denying them will help you soar to greater heights of awareness, experience, and self-mastery.
“Well, that was an excellent example of what I forgot to include and how to never do it again.”
Sometimes you won’t know what you need until you’ve experienced the lack of it. So, please, to the extent that you can be kind and gentle with yourself, embrace your learning curve by telling yourself, “Well, that was an excellent example of what I forgot to include and how to never do it again.” Take note of what was missing and plan to implement that next time around.
From extra water and food, to planning a wrap-up/decompression phone call with a peer or friend the day after, to scheduling a quiet day hiking in nature without other people around… It’s all front-loading, which is to say that it’s self-awareness of your needs applied in advance.
So now I’m back, after having caught up post-con rather than pre-con and I’m excited to be here.
I hope you’ll go take a look at the rest of Reid’s post – it’s fantastic stuff!