One of the key trends for 2019 is mindfulness, wellbeing and mental health. It’s something that is being focussed on more and more. And as people think about how they can make improvements to their lifestyles to give them positive mental well-being, businesses are also making extra effort in this area.
But it’s not just all about the support offered in a workplace. There are things that can be done in the way we work, including how we plan and host meetings and events.
At The House of Daniel Thwaites, our hotels and inns are already providing great environments to support wellbeing for delegates and can offer additional ways to increase mindfulness. Here are some of the ways we’re seeing this develop:
More people are seeking a better balance between their work and personal life, so they can enjoy the benefits this brings. There are some easy ways to incorporate this into meetings such as bringing clarity about the hours and commitment needed so expectations can be managed. But thought around the environment in which a meeting takes place can be just as rewarding.
Comfortable settings, unusual seating such as beanbags, and outdoor meetings can create a more natural ability to switch off from other external influences or just as effective is to use an unusual meeting space, like the private meeting areas in some of our inns. It keeps people focused on the meeting, sparking a positive feeling towards work which ultimately leads to more productivity and a happier group of people.
It may sound simple, but being able to prioritise tasks and time can be a real help. We’ve all been in meetings where the agenda has run on and on or you never really get all the outcomes you intended to due to the sheer volume of discussion or tasks. Make an achievable list of tasks for the meeting, and delegates will feel more fulfilled as they can tick things off the list.
Understanding there are different energy types can increase productivity as you start to think when and how to take time out for brain relaxation. If your delegation are all early birds, catch the worm and schedule the big tasks in early.
Allowing ‘me’ time for delegates is something to encourage. Take time out for an outdoor walk or a drink break to get some distance from the working environment to strengthen personal mindfulness and create some thinking time. That’s why our conference facilities work really well, with outdoor areas and the conference café networking spaces.
Food for Thought
We all need to refuel throughout the day, but what we refuel with can make all the difference with diet playing such a big role in energy levels. Our conference cafes have had to adapt, bringing in different dietary options, including brain food and high energy treats.
Whatever the meal, there are simple ways to add ingredients to keep the mind active, concentrated and free from fatigue. For breakfast, berries are a great choice. They are packed full of antioxidants which are good for memory, fibre and glucose (a main energy source for the brain).
Similarly, olives are high in antioxidants for your lunch menu, while complex carbs found in whole grains can help maintain energy. Thinking about lunchtime options could help ensure your afternoon sessions are just as productive as the morning.
We all know the importance of water, filled with minerals and electrolytes it is the easiest way to hydrate the brain and combat, fatigue, dizziness and brain shrinkage. And of course, it’s on tap wherever you hold your meeting, so there’s no excuse for not helping your delegates reach their two litres a day target. Providing a brain-healthy diet that optimises the mind will maximise the productivity and leave delegates with a happier, healthier disposition. Great for meetings!
However short or long the meeting day, getting delegates physically active will keep their mind active too. That’s why icebreakers and breakouts that encourage people out of their seats work so well. If that’s not suitable for your event, using active breaks can also help with recharging energy levels.
Alternatively, just a simple mindful minute at the start or end of the day can help focus delegates and provide the opportunity to stop, reset and be in the present. This can be a good way of providing the mental space for people to come up with new ideas or focus on the objectives of the meeting so it's worth building into your programme.
For a more active approach, talk to our event teams about a more structured exercise session using our spa and gym experts. Team exercises are great for connecting and building relationships and enable the time to talk, discuss and relax in other’s company.
On-Site Spa Benefits
Most people probably don’t think about what our on-site spas could bring to a meeting or event. Yet there are some great resources there that could make a big impact. We’re not just talking about providing the perfect haven to relax and unwind before or after your meeting (although they offer that too) but how about during?
Our team of professional therapists are skilled at helping revitalise the soul and body, whether that’s a shoulder massage or hand massage either during breakout sessions, lunchtime – or even as part of the meeting if it’s requested!
What a perfect way to escape to restore your delegates’ mental equilibrium.
Using a Stopover Destination
To make the most of the opportunity of getting people together for a meeting or event, think about their state of mind. You’ve got a short period of time to be productive and you want every minute to count.
Traffic problems, train delays, clockwatching at the end of the day can all take the focus away from the agenda. So using your meeting venue as a stopover for delegates is a useful approach.
It’s not just about getting a good night sleep and all the benefits that bring, such as reducing stress, improving memory and putting you in a better mood, but is a great opportunity for relationship building, either to continue discussions over dinner or even a pre-meet get-together.
We’re continuing to see the nature of meetings and events evolve and with it the expectations of delegates. It shows no sign of slowing down which means meeting organisers need to put their delegates first for the most success.
If you want to know more about how The House of Daniel Thwaites can help you do that, speak to our event teams.