Touring musicians and performers know that life on the road can be stressful and uncomfortable. However, many things can be done to ease the tension and create and promote personal happiness and well-being during those long stretches away from home. Here are some ideas to make your tour time pass a little more smoothly.
1. Eat well. During long nights of performance and days spent on the road, it’s easy to grab the fastest (and often greasiest) options you pass at roadside diners and fast food joints. Resist the temptation to chow down on fatty burgers and filling beers. Instead, choose healthier options from more upscale restaurants. You can find great choices on your smartphone or Zagat guide before you roll into town.
If your tour has private catering, speak with the head chef about what’s being served. Many touring catering companies opt for carb-heavy comfort food which might taste great but can wreak havoc on your digestive system and energy levels if consumed night after night. Most catering services will happily accommodate your menu suggestions and make small changes to integrate healthier ingredients or leaner options into your nightly dinner menu. If you’re looking for a quick tip: eat more salad!
2. Call home. Often. Today’s technology makes it ultra-easy to connect with family during long stretches away from your family. Use these new tools to stay connected to your spouse and children by video-chatting a few times per week, or setting aside a special time each day to call home. Sometimes the little details of life back home can put your work into perspective and remind you why you work so hard.
3. Find a private place and just be quiet. With all the hectic ups and downs and surprises that come along for the ride while touring, it’s easy to get caught up in backstage drama, whether it be inter-personal or equipment failures. Speak with your tour manager and other performers about needing a set period of time each day when you are to be undisturbed, then go to a quiet, private spot (be it in your hotel room, a corner of your tour bus or a hidden area backstage) and relax. Calm your emotions and focus on your performance, your family, or anything else that rejuvenates your spirit without causing you to worry.
Touring can be a challenge for even the most Zen performers among us. However, none of the problems that accompany a professional tour are worth sacrificing your happiness or health. Remember what’s really important in your life: your family and friends, your passion for your art, and your freedom to be able to perform for others.