Stage Manager on the Road: Taking Care of Yourself
So, I know that most of the time we think that because we are not on stage we do not need to “look a part” but reality is, we do need to feel it. So taking care of ourselves should be as essential as post-its and colored markers. In Mexico, there are no unions and sadly no real laws, so we have had some 56 or 48 hours shifts and bodies after a while need rest, sleep and proper nutrition.
So I have found with time, that when touring and those long shifts, I take care of myself very differently, so here are a couple of tips that have helped me along the years, hopefully you will find them helpful.
Yes coffee is life, but water is even better!
Drink water when you feel tired and try to keep yourself hydrated, I like drinking fitness pre-workouts and bcaas. So if you are familiar with those, I highly recommend them instead of red bull or such.
If not, here are some cool facts:
ORANGE JUICE has high levels of caffeine plus vitamin c and will keep you active and less tired.
MATCHA TEA has high levels of caffeine, antioxidants and will help you not only be awake but also with stress levels and anxiety.
KOMBUCHA will help your digestive system and it helps with stress and anxiety. Plus it is a great afternoon pick-me-up if you want something without caffeine.
If you can, pack high protein snacks (protein will help your muscles to feel less tired from the travel and it will keep you full longer): dry meats, protein powders for shakes, roasted chickpeas, protein bars, granola bars, nuts, trail mixes (try the ones with dark chocolate and sea salt, trust me, you can thank me later), stuff that won’t go bad if you do not eat it, but that if you get hungry you won’t eat “just anything”. Your body is like a really expensive car; so if you won’t put just any fuel in a Ferrari, don’t put just any food in your body.
Gingseng and multivitamins… Need I say more?
Cosco sells big boxes of Gingseng “shots” and they have kept me live and alive when we have month after month of touring. I take also a high performance vitamin complex, and if you feel too tired or too stressed you can try Vitamin B shots.
Pack a blanket, a pillow (both for sleeping and for your head) and heat packs… In the States I have found them in CVS, or even the dollar store and in Mexico they can be found in drugstores and in Miniso. If you are not cold, you will sleep better, if you sleep better you will not get sick nor get as stressed and therefore you will work better… so… SLEEP!
Stretch and try to exercise, we all know that long rides on tour buses are awful for your muscles and for your back. So every time the bus stops, try to go down and stretch. While seated you can do a couple of arm and back stretches, you can stretch your neck. And when you get to your destination, try to exercise. Cardio is a great way to keep your heart and lungs healthy for those heavy load ins and load outs.
You can also do yoga and it will keep your body stretched, lean and healthy to endure pretty much anything. And you can simply download an app for it and do as little as 15 min a day.
Breathe, I know we are all passionate about our job but RELAX! If you feel like you need to breathe, do that, take 5 minutes and breathe… it has helped me to survive and in reality to not kill anyone!
There you have it… maybe this is all too familiar to you, maybe you found it to be helpful, hopefully it was the latter.
Never the less thank you for reading me!