The COVID-19 pandemic put a major halt on tours and live shows for two years. Now that things are starting to return to normal, musicians and fans alike are more comfortable getting back to live music — which means artists are planning tours across the globe again.
Music is a great healer. Throughout the pandemic, so many people relied on it to manage their mental health and express their emotions through times of uncertainty. Now, it’s time to celebrate how music brings people together by heading back on tour.
However, tour life doesn’t always go off without a hitch. If you’ve been away from it for a while, it might take some time to get used to it again. Thankfully, you can make it easier on yourself by keeping a few tips in mind before you hit the road and throughout your tour. So, let’s cover how you can get back into the swing of things while also taking care of yourself.
1. Take Care of Yourself
Touring is exciting, but it can also be taxing on both your physical and mental health. You’re away from loved ones and the comforts of home, which can make it hard to fall into a healthy, daily routine. However, some of the easiest ways to maintain your health while you’re on the road include following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
Whether you’re swinging through a fast-food drive-thru or grabbing a snack from the green room before a show, it can be difficult (and, at times, seemingly impossible) to eat nutritious foods while touring.
Eating foods that are highly processed, greasy, or sugary can make it difficult to focus on your work, result in physical discomfort, or exacerbate existing health conditions. For instance, if you frequently experience acid reflux or GERD, this kind of diet can trigger an episode. This means it’s important to keep the appropriate medications on hand — including any prescribed medications, but also over-the-counter treatments that can help reduce symptoms — so you can minimize those impacts when more nutritious foods aren’t available.
Whenever possible, opt for nutrient-rich foods while you’re touring. This can take many different forms, such as seeking out fresh fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains over refined grains, and selecting lean sources of protein. If healthy or nutritious items aren’t readily available to you, consider preparing and packing ahead of time so you always have nutritious snacks on hand, including:
- Dried fruit;
- Nuts and nut butters;
- Snack bars;
- Trail mix;
- Whole-grain pretzels and crackers.
In addition to eating right, it’s important to move your body. You might be in a bus or van for hours at a time each day, and leading a sedentary lifestyle can do more harm than good to your health. Not only can it lead to issues like obesity, but it can also increase your risk of developing a wide range of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, depression, and anxiety.
You might have to get creative with your physical activity, but that’s half the fun. Go on a morning run every day to explore new cities. Download fitness apps or utilize online videos that can help you work out on a bus. Stop by local gyms wherever you are to get a quick weightlifting session under your belt. When you choose to prioritize physical activity, you’ll find ways to make it happen.
2. Promote Work-Life Balance
We’re living in a digital world and that can make many aspects of touring much easier. That’s especially true if you’re working a remote job on the side or trying to further your education. You can do those things online without having to give up the touring lifestyle.
Whether you’re working, taking online classes, or keeping up with tour promotions and merchandise sales, there are a few rules and boundaries you should keep in place to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed.
First, if you’re working or taking classes, set aside specific hours each day to get it done. That will help you to achieve a better work-life balance without procrastinating or feeling too much pressure.
Second, consider separating your work or education space from your “living space” in your bus or van. If that’s not possible, head to a local coffee shop or somewhere with a strong Wi-Fi connection. Doing so will help keep your work from bleeding into everything else you need to be paying attention to, even when you’re on the road.
3. Get Creative
If you’re traveling in a small van or bus, you might not be able to bring a lot of “extras” with you.
However, you’re a musician and creativity is in your blood. When you’re traveling across the country (or even the world!), you’re bound to be inspired by different sights and experiences. Don’t let those sparks of creativity pass you by.
One of the best ways to kill time on the road — and to feel more comfortable in getting your musical groove back — is to bring equipment with you that will foster creativity and let you shine right away. That includes things like:
- Notebooks or journals;
- Portable instruments, such as a guitar;
- A laptop or tablet;
- A microphone for recording.
You can test out any new material you come up with on your upcoming audiences before polishing them to record. Allowing yourself to express your creativity and get back into songwriting while you’re on tour is a fantastic way to take care of your mental well-being and reduce stress. It’ll make you more comfortable with the songwriting and performing aspect of touring again, which can be beneficial to any musician getting back into things after some time away.
Finally, as you’re getting ready to head out on tour, don’t forget to have fun. Let inspiration strike as often as possible, embrace every moment, and don’t take your well-being for granted.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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