Bartending Tips: How to Care for Yourself After Your Shift

Anxiety and stress affect professionals from all industries, regardless of whether you are a medical personnel or a celebrity. Bartenders are no exception whether they are serving celebrity branded tequila or other alcohol. It may have been months or years since you completed your basic bartender training at a local school. And now, you are feeling exhausted.

Many people end up feeling burned out after working too much for far too long. Each night is unique and different, but an erratic work-sleep cycle can get to bartenders as well. If you are in such a situation, these tips are for you.

Experienced professors teaching bartender courses in Dubai share their insights on how you can stay motivated and passionate at your job. We have ideas for things you can do from the comforts of your home, while others require more resources.


Maintaining a fitness regimen can be challenging. Each shift can be exhausting. But regardless of how you feel, finding a way to exercise is necessary.

Bartending can be a stressful job because you encounter many different types of characters and situations each day. Exercise provides an opportunity for your body and mind to shift from winding up to cooling down. At work, you may have a “fight or flight” response, but once you hit the gym, the machines, or the mat at home, it is time to rest and digest.

Stretching and yoga are equally useful given the physical nature of the profession. It is common to develop kinks and bruises as you frequently bump into counters and rails when you mix and serve drinks. Physical activities such as these may not eliminate the pain, but can relieve some of the strains while enhancing flexibility for the next shift.

Find a workout that works for you and your schedule. Some people go for a run or do stretches early in the morning. There are people who opt for meditation in the afternoon or go for trail hikes during the weekend.

Experts recommend exercising at least five days each week. If you’re just starting out, try to stick to a program that you can do over the weekend or every other day. Gradually, you can add more days based on what suits your schedule.

Take a vacation

At times, you need to take a break from your usual work routine. Take a few days off and go on a trip outside town. The change of scenery can do you good to help you rest, relax and feel rejuvenated.

Not everyone can take an extended break or go out of town, even if it is necessary for your physical, mental and emotional health. If this is you, why not opt for a staycation? You can stay at home or go to a place nearby and still get the same results as if you had traveled far.

Use this time to pamper yourself. Meet your friends for brunch, get a massage or sign up for a baking course. Perhaps, by spending a day or two doing something different from what you typically do at work, whether it is at home or elsewhere, you will remember why you wanted to pursue this career in the first place.

Put yourself first every day

Every day, make it a habit to do something for yourself. The service industry puts you in front of customers every day, and at some point, it can get exhausting. With your work involving constantly attending to customers’ needs, at some point, you may start to question and resent your job.

Avoid developing a feeling of resentment by finding a way to prioritize yourself again. It doesn’t have to be big or grand. But whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is an activity that focuses on your happiness.

Spend an hour doing something totally uninterrupted. You could watch a movie, get a pedicure, read a book, sketch, or prepare a home cooked meal. The idea is to do something that puts you and your needs first for a change. Care for yourself first, and you will be better at caring for others.

Drink tea

Drinking wine or cocktails at the bar may be one way for your patrons to unwind after a rough day, but for you, it isn’t the only way. When you get home, prepare a drink that can calm you down without leaving you lightheaded or drunk. Instead of alcohol, drink chamomile tea.

Why chamomile? Chamomile is free of caffeine and contains oxidants. After a hard day’s work behind the bar, a cup of this tea can nourish your body and keep it healthy, while preparing it for bed.

Listen to music

Music, much like painting, can affect the body in different ways. Studies show that some types can help your body and mind to relax. With the right tunes, you can fall asleep more quickly, and the quality of sleep may improve.

Find a genre that works for you. For some, this could mean classical music, instrumentals, or the sound of a flowing river. Use your phone or a music player to play a few tunes — just enough to help you fall asleep.

Put your phone away

There are many ways in which your phone can leave you stressed and make it more difficult to sleep peacefully. Notifications could come in every few minutes, or the device could be continuously blinking. Whatever the case may be, it can be tempting to check your device several times throughout the night.

Avoid the temptation of grabbing your phone constantly to check your email or scroll through your social media accounts. Most issues can wait until morning. If you are waiting for an urgent call or are worried that an emergency might happen while you are asleep, you can leave the call ringtone on, but turn notifications on silent mode.

Consider placing your phone at least an arm’s length away. By doing so, you reduce the chances of grabbing your device every time there is a notification. Plus, the added distance should minimize the volume of the sounds coming from your phone, making it less likely for you to hear any incoming calls, text messages or notifications.

Follow these tips to take care of yourself better. Prioritizing your health and well-being will help you stay productive and motivated at your bartending job, and happy and engaged while serving your customers.


Shanaaz Raja is the Course Director at International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai.