Have you been there? Done an event that starts at 6 am but doesn’t end until 3 or 4 am.
Afterward, you go home, get some sleep, but you still have to get up at a reasonable time to function that day?
Then you wake up feeling like you spent the night drinking way too much?
I call this the event hangover. It’s close to the same feeling as a hangover, but you missed the entire section of the night that was enjoying a few drinks and hanging out with friends. There’s the headache, body aches, your feet hurt, and you don’t exactly remember what time you got home. Does any of this sound familiar?
As I do more and more shows each month with hours like this, I strive to avoid the event hangover as much as I can. Here are the tips and tricks I have found that help me avoid feeling terrible after a long event.
Drink lots of water – forget the monster soda and coffee. Drink water all day and night long. If you must have something caffeinated pair it with a bottle of water as well. Along with this – make sure the water you are drinking doesn’t have any additives that counteract the point of drinking water. Be picky with bottled brands to make sure there isn’t added salt or bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain.
Eat right – Balance your meals and try to stick with your routine. Make sure to eat regularly to give you the fuel you need to make it through the long day. Most of all avoid the deep-fried food and the desire to overeat once the show is over. If you must snack – snack well, granola bars, fruit, protein bars, etc. will do the trick. Avoid the candy bars or the left-over doughnuts from the morning load in.
Wear the right kind of shoes – unlike a real night out where we might wear cute shoes, don’t! Wear durable and reliable ones instead. If it is a long show, consider a change of shoes. I find if I change shoes halfway through, my feet don’t hurt as much the next day. Wear your composite or steel toes for load in and out, and other shoes designed for standing and walking in-between.
Shut down and get some sleep when you are done with work – Stay away from your computer, tv, or phone screen. Unwind by reading a book or magazine or by listening to soft music as you fall asleep. Focusing on digital media can keep you up and focused on everything else but rest. Get as much rest as you can so you can recover from the long hours and hopefully avoid the event hangover!
Heather Holm: Based in Saint Paul, MN; Heather has held many positions in the sound, production, and events business. Most recently as a Production Coordinator serving the Twin Cities area. She holds a BA in Broadcasting and Digital Media Communication and an MS in Organizational Change Leadership. Prior to taking a position with a private production firm, Heather has over seven years of working in higher education dealing with event logistics and production technology and has also been freelancing in the field for several years.