With the highly anticipated return of live music, many musicians around the world are currently hitting the road for long tours. Some experienced artists are venturing out on big national or international trips after a hiatus, while others are touring for the first time.

Regardless of your performance experience, making sure your mental health is a top priority on tour is one of the best things you can do both yourself and your music. These three tips will help you stay mentally healthy on long tours:

Exercise at every opportunity 

Scientific research has shown that exercise can positively impact depression, anxiety, ADHD, and improve your sleep quality. Staying sedentary for extended periods wreaks havoc on both your body and mental health, yet this is the default position of long tours. Touring musicians will have to find ways to incorporate opportunities for exercise, as DIY touring doesn’t often present the chance for an active lifestyle.

Try to get up early and go on a run a couple times a week. Consider paying for a gym membership at a national chain, or find somewhere in the venues you play at to do a HIIT workout. If maintaining your mental health is a priority for you, you’ll need to make exercise a consistent part of your daily routine on tour.

Take time alone

Touring is an occasion where most musicians constantly find themselves surrounded by other people, whether it’s band mates, fans, or venue staff. Alone time is a great way to allocate a moment to focus on yourself. You could spend your time journaling, going on long walks, or simply do something that makes you happy.

Long tours have a sort of gravitational pull towards doing what everyone else is doing and always being a part of the group, so you’ll need to make a consistent effort to break away from the group and spend time alone. This applies regardless of whether you see yourself as an introvert or not.

Maintain regular contact with people at home who are important to you 

One of the things we tend to neglect while on long tours is our relationships with those back home. Scheduling calls and video chats with the people who mean the most to you will help you feel known and centered on tour – whether it’s your spouse, kids, or close friends. Long tours can be strenuous on relationships, but they don’t have to be if you put the effort to stay in regular contact.

It’s natural to want to give everything to your music, but you don’t need to sacrifice your mental health on long tours to make them successful. The better your mental health is on tour, the better your shows will be, so serious musicians should take heed of these tips.

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