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Staying Well Through General Conference

General Conference can be hard on your overall well-being. To stay positive, healthy and productive throughout General Conference, it’s important to proactively care for your well-being. Identifying just a few tips from the lists below–adapted from Wespath’s Resiliency Toolkit–can help you stay energized and healthy throughout General Conference.

Leading Up to General Conference
  • Prepare by setting realistic goals. General Conference can be overwhelming—there are myriad topics and issues of discussion, many that you may find emotionally taxing. Break down your focus areas into manageable tasks. For example, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can accomplish or learn today to better prepare for General Conference discussions?”

  • Connect early and often. As a delegate, you know the importance of strong relationships. Preparing for conversations at General Conference creates opportunities for you to engage with fellow delegates and members of your annual conference. Embracing support from those who care about you, and having meaningful conversations with others, will bolster your resilience and motivation in the months ahead.

  • Make self-care a priority. General Conference can feel like a two-week marathon. Consider where you need to be emotionally, physically and spiritually to thrive during this time. Prioritize your own needs leading up to the event. Engage in activities that relax, spiritually nourish, and energize you.

When packing for the event, think about what you need for a mental break, or to decompress after-hours. Bring a good book or download some of your favorite streaming shows or podcasts. Be sure to bring snacks to have on-hand, a water bottle to stay hydrated, and comfortable clothing and shoes (plan to dress in layers too, as the temperature can vary between the convention center and outdoors). Perhaps pack a small, framed photo of your loved ones to make your hotel room feel a bit more like home and to keep your loved ones a bit closer while you’re away.

During General Conference
  • Build relationships. Now that you’ve arrived, you will find yourself surrounded by fellow United Methodists from across the globe. Engage, listen and learn from those around you to keep your energy and inspiration high. Exchange information or connect on social media to maintain connections even after the event. Seek out one to two individuals at a time to strike up a conversation or join someone who’s eating or sitting solo for a few minutes.

  • Take care of yourself. It’s fantastic that you prioritized self-care leading up to General Conference, but it can’t end there! Stave off the exhaustion that will come after long hours and days by closely attending to your own needs. Don’t feel guilty if you need a break—make time for a short walk around the convention center, or step outside for fresh air.

    Also finding time to quiet your mind can help you recharge and refocus your energy. Both prayer and meditation can take a variety of forms and help you return with a clearer mindset.

  • Keep it all in perspective. General Conference is sure to come with stressful times. How you interpret and respond is something within your control. Remember, everyone is facing similar challenges and pressures, so don't hesitate to lean on your colleagues for support and guidance. Keep in mind your larger goals and objectives for the conference, and the valuable contributions you are making toward them.

  • Stay focused on the task at hand. We know your home and work lives don’t stop just because you’re at General Conference. Acknowledging and accepting that most home and work issues can usually be handled by others, or wait for your return, can help you stay focused on the General Conference work at hand. Because in reality, most things actually can wait. Taking this approach will help you give your full attention to your General Conference objectives and ensure you have a better and less stressful experience.
After General Conference
  • Make time for reflection and recuperation. The event has come to an end, and you can finally come up for air. Make sure to allow for much-needed rest, recouperation and reflection.

  • Continue to connect. Continue to nurture your new (and old) relationships. In today’s world there are so many virtual options available to keep long-distance friendships strong.

For more tips on caring for your well-being, download the Resiliency Toolkit.