Mental health in the music industry has been an increasing topic of discussion over the last few years with awareness being raised by some of the industry’s biggest stars. The suicidal death of Avicii in 2018 and recent testimonials from artists such as Big Sean and Beyoncé all address the mental strain of being in the music industry. It is important to have a balanced mind and body so make sure you take care of your physical well being. There are some simple tips that will help your body give you the strength you need to take on the busy seasons and give your career the longevity you desire.
Water is literally body fuel and will allow your organs and bodily functions to operate with the most efficiency. Make sure to hydrate as often as possible, especially before busy gig weeks. During the summer months it is even more important to stay hydrated. Whether you’re touring and constantly exposed to dry air conditioning in hotels, planes and buses, or you’re setting up large PA systems and lugging around heavy equipment, it is vital to stay hydrated. Find a water bottle or jug that works for you and keep that within an arms reach. If you find it hard to remember to drink water then set alarms or reminders on your phone to drink on the hour every hour and by the end of your day you’ll have a sufficient amount of water intake.
It is important to get enough rest for you! You should have a good idea by now about how much sleep you need to function and if you don’t you can certainly consult a physician. Some people can operate off of 4-6 hours a day and if they sleep anymore it slows them down, while others need a solid 8-12 hours to make the most out of the rest of their day. Whatever the amount of shut eye you may need, make sure you get that, even if that means giving up a night of Netflix and Chill. Sometimes we have to travel far distances and if we are the ones driving after a long day of set up, performing, and breaking down it can be a dangerously sleepy ride back. If you feel too tired pull over at a rest stop or even on the side of the road if it’s safe and take a nap until you’ve rejuvenated.
Stretch and exercise your muscles before and after gigs to prevent cramping and increase blood flood. If you are traveling on long flights or road trips take a few minutes to walk the isle or take a pit stop to stretch your legs respectively. If you know you have many upcoming gigs that consist of heavy lifting then you should be preparing your body for ‘game day’ and get some lifting and stretching in before hand. When you get home make sure to elevate your legs as you have probably been standing for hours on end and all of your blood has drained down to your feet. You may experience instant relief just from putting your feet up. All of these will help prevent injury which will enable you to work as much as your heart desires.
It is important to see a physician or health specialist of some sort often, even if you are taking good care of yourself and everything seems great on the outside. They are professionals for a reason and may spot something that you are unaware of. The only way to be a step ahead of potential ailments is to get regular check ups. A lot of DJs are their own employer or their employer may not provide health insurance for part time work so that responsibility will fall in their hands. It’s perfectly fine and highly recommend to obtain your own health care. You’re probably only a phone call away from applying for health insurance and you may have to put aside more money from your gigs, but your health is your biggest investment.
You are what you eat so if you’re eating a lot of trash food your body is going to eventually feel as such. It’s easy to grab sugar filled and starchy snacks when heading to and from gigs, it’s also easy to prep ahead of time and grab some fresh or dried fruit. If you know you’re DJing an event where there will be nothing but hot dogs and sodas, then either eat before or pack your own meal. Giving your body the nutrients it needs will help you operate at an optimal level and give you energy for that second wind on sometimes lengthy events. Take care of yourself so you can continue to do what you love for as long as possible. Taking an extra 15 minute to cut some fruit or do some stretching before a gig can extend your longevity by years.