Mental health

Keep Your Flow! Navigating the Hectic Touring Life with Three Self-Care Hacks

Posted by Mike Schwartz on June 21, 2019
man playing violin in the street

It can be a tough go on the road. With festival season here, I want to share a few tricks to incorporate wellness daily, both before tour and while on the road, so you can give every single performance your absolute best. 


Here are my Top 3 Pro Tips for Navigating The Festival Season


Pro Tip #1. Balance


The most important thing I’ve learned (from my own experience unfortunately) is that work-life balance isn’t really a thing. I mean, sure, we can juggle a few things around, and from time to time that may work… but if you want to maximize your efficiency and live your best life, I’ve got the ticket:


Invest Fully in Being Present

To paraphrase the great Jim Rohn, keep work and play separate. When you’re at work, work. 


When you’re at play, play. Try not to work while you’re playing, and certainly don’t play while you’re at work. 


Look at this chart for priorities to help you manage your time effectively. It comes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People


chart showing the pillars of manage, focus, avoidance, and limitations


Here’s one way to keep your focus each day. 


The Phone-Free Mornings and Evenings Challenge

Social media can be a great use of our energy. It can also drain us of all human existence. Most notably, this new phenomenon known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has dug its nasty claws into our brains. 


To borrow from Shawn Stevenson, Fitness and Nutrition Expert, and Host of The Model Health Podcast, try the Phone-Free Morning and Evening Challenge. Here’s how it works:


1. Take your phone out and turn it off 2 hours before your scheduled bedtime (should be around 8pm so you can get winding down around 10pm on non-performance days).


2. Keep your phone out of your room and off until 9am or 10am the next morning. This allows the first full hour of your day to be yours. You can then focus on the schedule you want.


Removing the distractions like email and social media so you can focus undivided attention on yourself will significantly increase your productivity flow. Keep your phone away from you while you’re working if you’re really battling this one. You’ll have to consciously break your thought if you want to check in on things, and over time - let’s face it, we’re lazy. We won’t want to get up to check the phone.


Pro Tip #2: Take Care of #1

You are the most important person in your life. 


Don’t take it from me, take a look at the airline industry. We’ve all been there for the demo before liftoff. They go through that bit where the oxygen mask drops down, and who do you put it on first? Gramma? Little Johnny? Heck no. Love them both, but you’re not much help to them if you’re not breathing, right? In order to show up for everyone else, you’ve first gotta show up for yourself. 


Here’s one way you can show yourself a bit of self-love. 



Yes, I know. The M word can mean a lot of different things. Spooky things. However, for our use today I want to be clear. Meditation is a formal practice of constant observation of the mind. It cannot be forced.


That said, get comfortable just sitting in silence and observing your surroundings. The mind likes to distract itself from the uncomfortable, so once you start to incorporate meditation, you’ll allow yourself a freedom to be okay with not thinking about anything in particular. Or you won’t. There are no rules. It’s just a practice. Key word: practice. You should be totally cool with however you handle it, from frustration and anger to happiness or confusion, all emotions are fair game. I encourage all of my musician-athletes to meditate for at least 10 minutes every day. Except for those that don’t have time. They should meditate for an hour. 😉


For some tools to help you meditate on the road, click here.



Pro Tip #3: Be Okay with Being Okay

I quickly learned that not every day on tour goes perfectly. I’m sure you’ve realized this too. When you’re stuck on the road, there are situations that arise and there are people who want to create problems. This can lead to a bunch of unwarranted stress in your life. You can stress your butt off or you can brush it aside and understand that you’re in control of your feelings. 


Here’s one tip for staying in control of your emotions. 


Box Breathing

Trace an imaginary box with your eyes (or power your screen off on the computer). Inhale as you go up one side, hold your breath as you go across the top, then exhale as you go down the other side and hold your breath again as you trace the bottom of the box back to the corner where you started. Do that for 10 boxes and feel the relaxation set in! 


box breathing chart


Try incorporating these little hacks into your life and see what happens. When you’re out on the road and out of your comfort zone, formulating good healthy habits will help you rest and remain adaptable to whatever comes your way. 


If you’re looking for some more tips to incorporate wellness into a busy schedule, I’ve designed a quick little guide to help you get moving and eating better while doing 100 other things. You can grab it for free here!


That’s all for now. I wish you all the very best this festival season. Kick it and stay sweet!




About the Author 

With over 12 years of professional writing, recording and touring experience, Mike Schwartz has battled the hardships of the working musician’s lifestyle. During that time, Mike doubled as a certified health and wellness professional, specializing in corrective exercise, and nutrition for performance and stress resiliency. His dedication to the craft has helped him establish a reputation as the Trusted Authority of Musician Wellness. He’s the author of The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle and Start With U: 21 Day Self-Love Challenge. His skills as a Lifestyle Tech have helped coach thousands of individuals out of pain, stress and low energy into a sustainable, high-quality way of life.

You can connect with Mike here: https://www.therockdr.com/