Finding Balance In Life – Life Lessons Learned at Tales of the Cocktail

This year marked my 6th year attending Tales of the Cocktail, the largest cocktail festival, in New Orleans. Each year there is a lot of physical prep that takes place knowing that for between 3-5 days, there will be non-stop drinking and eating, late nights, little sleep and hot, humid weather. Each year, with another Tales under my belt, I have gotten better and better at managing my schedule. But, no matter how hard I try, the days get filled with back-to-back tasting rooms, seminars, one-on-one meetings and parties. Somewhere in there, one has to find time to eat and sleep.

But, this year there was a new theme – Keeping It Real: Mind, Body & Spirits. Every morning from 8:30 am – 10:00 am, we gathered for a couple hours of yoga and meditation led by Natalie Bovis, Patricia Richardson and Dushan Zaric and a presentation by special guests – a nutritionist, an acupuncturist and a wellness nurse.

Starting each day early was a little challenging but what a joy to walk into a calm room that radiated positive energy, enjoy a few selections of green juices and then spend almost 2 hours stretching, meditating and learning about how to take care of ourselves while we deal with the stresses of work.

And what we did each morning gets carried into real life. It’s been more than a month since I returned from Tales and I am still maintaining what I learned on a daily basis.

The number one priority is to take care of yourself. It’s not a sprint, but more of a marathon. But, that marathon is not about how much you can drink and how long you can go. It’s about knowing your body and making that the priority.

Sleep is not under-rated. Of course, more sleep is always desired but the more you can get (at least 6 hours), the better you will feel the next day.

Yoga/stretching/meditation are a great way to start out the day, preparing yourself for the craziness ahead.

Giving back and hospitality are the foundations of our business and daily life.

Overall, the key is balance. This is something to remember each and every day. After all, when you love food, wine and cocktails, there are constant temptations to overindulge. It’s about pacing. We all know this but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.