“Pace yourself” may not be the appropriate phrase at this time of year, with one performance after another the musician’s Christmas schedule can be a very hectic one.
Apart from the increase in playing time, add on performance nerves, hours spent travelling as well as juggling with family routine and the stress levels soon build up.
Regardless of whether you feel it or not, this physical and mental stress can add up to reduced healing ability for hard worked muscles, tendons and joints, so here are some tips to help musicians and other performers through the busy festive period.
- Practice when you are least tired; Short periods of quality practice are better than long periods of struggling.
- Keep periodically stretching those shoulders DOWN and OUT.
- Take steady deep breaths – we often shallow breathe when nervous .
- Keep your head on your shoulders – avoid extending forward.
- Increase your stretching / exercise routine.
- Take lots of relaxing hot baths.
- Get yourself a good massage a few days before the big events.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep.
- Eat well balanced meals and avoid the sugar / caffeine roller coaster.
- Make sure you get enough Omega 3, 6 & 9 to lubricate joints and feed the brain.
- Keep natural snacks handy for sustained energy release.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Keep warm when performing in cold venues.
- Plan journeys and give yourself plenty of time.
- Keep venue contact numbers handy and don’t place too much trust in the SatNav.
- Have warm clothing and a flask of hot tea or soup in your car if travelling in cold/bad weather.
Go out an enjoy your performances and have a great Christmas and New Year.