Music therapists – do you ever hear colleagues talk about “conference hangover?”

It always makes me feel a little sad when I hear this term because I know the point of conference is for us to feel energized and not drained. That got me thinking about how we can have a really great conference experience, learn a lot, and connect with colleagues, but not leave feeling like we need a vacation.

Here are a few ideas I have:

Leave white space. I will readily admit that I’ve already downloaded the app (it’s called Guidebook in the App Store if you’re looking) and started planning out my schedule. It’s easy to get excited and add everything to your schedule. However, I do think it’s important to build in blocks of time where you can sit, reflect, and “digest” if you will, everything you’ve taken in that day.

Take advantage of creative outlets. On Saturday November 19th there will be an Art Room open from 7-9pm. “Nurturing Your Creative Self” is the tag line for the event; art supplies will be provided. This will be a great opportunity to take some time and space for yourself. Following that is the Drum Circle, which is another creative outlet not to be missed!

Don’t feel like you need to do everything. I started planning my schedule in the app and tried inputting multiple events into one time slot (how would that even work?!) I had to stop myself and remember to take it easy, only choose one event per time slot, and select only those things that really move me (like that presentation on replicating musical styles on piano and the use of hip hop in therapy).

These are just a few ideas for how to stay cool (and not get overwhelmed) at conference. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below!