For my dears down in Whoville, and my friends in Siam; to the ones in Gander and the Palais Garnier, for all the theatre artists near and far who find themselves once again center stage on a major holiday in a city they've never been, I am thinking about you and acknowledge what it takes to be away from your families to do that thing you do!
Pilot Light Blue is all about Self-care, Self-reflection and Self-love, and since I myself have spent many a holiday on stage and on the road, I thought I'd pass on a few cherished tips that kept me grounded and joyful over the years.
I've left off the really excellent obvious ones like, get real exercise, eat well, hydrate, you know, the super practical stuff that you are already really good at. But have you tried these babies on for size?
1. Warm up your hotel room with candlelight. I used to travel with a few easily managed votive candles (you can use your socks as cushion if you're on a bus and truck tour) so that as soon as I woke up, or came back to my hotel room, I could create a warm and soothing atmosphere in my space. Even the nicest hotel rooms need a little loving touch. Candlelight can make a cold and impersonal space feel warm and alive.
2. Take a walk outside. I know plenty of you who go for runs while on tour and that is fabulous, but I'm suggesting that you take a nice slow meander around the city you're delighting with your special skills. Whether you're in Jacksonville, Chicago, Seattle, or Nashville, get out in nature (safely) even if "nature" is downtown; you'll see a tree or two. The point is to take it slow.
3. Invest in a special mug for hot drinks. Do not underestimate the power of a really good mug. I can not tell you what a huge difference it makes to sip tea, coffee, hot water, and hot cocoa out of a container that is not meant for traveling and not a to-go cup. I'm talking something that you would have in your kitchen at home. Something that pleases you aesthetically, that has a perfect handle and is just the right size. Get all Goldilocks about it and find the mug that speaks to you! Now when you use your hotel room's Keurig at least you get to sip from your perfect vessel of goodness.
4. Find some stillness with meditation. Adopt a practice, go to an Intro Talk, find a practice that speaks to you and do it. Close the eyes at least once a day without going horizontal. I happened to learn Vedic Meditation a few weeks before going on a National Tour that went to seventy three cities in six months. I'm not joking! I took a picture of every chair I meditated on in every city. I tweeted it as #73cities/73chairs. My practice kept me grounded and even jolly despite the demand of that tour. Close the eyes! You'll be glad that you did.
5. Give your space a spritz of calming lavender. I'm not an expert on aroma therapy, but I do know that lavender is a calming scent that helps promote sleep. Sometimes hotel rooms can have that strange "fake clean" scent. You know what I'm talking about. A generous spritz of lavender will transform your space into a healing, relaxing, more natural smelling environment.
6. Turn your bathroom into a spa. I actually started doing this when I was working at Tokyo Disney Sea and then took it on various tours and it is a keeper. Invest in a few yummy bath oils, switch your Pandora station to Spa Music, bring your candles into the bathroom, spritz your lavender, run a lovely hot bath, but keep a few washcloths on hand that you covered with ice cubes, and Voila! Your hotel bathroom is now a fancy Spa!
You'll notice that many of these tips hardly cost a thing and yet, they provide so much joy, calm, and relaxation!
I know you're saving your per diem so that you can buy a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. I know how you take bananas and hard boiled eggs from the free breakfast so that you can also have a free lunch. I also know how tempting it can be to go out after a two or in some cases, three show day, because you're still buzzing from the awesome high you get from delivering the smiles to thousands of people over the holidays.
Thank you! I love you!
Please take care of yourself so you can keep doing that freakin' AMAZING thing you do.