September is a busy month for the people all over the word who work in the fashion industry.
It is a time when designers show their collections to the public, the hair and makeup artists are running from show to show to make the models look beautiful, and the models? Well, they are running even harder in between castings, agencies, shows and somewhere in between that, to their beds to sleep a few hours.
I said in my previous column that sleep is very important to live a healthy lifestyle, but what if you have a few weeks coming up where your agenda just does not give you enough time to rest? Model or not, everyone has weeks where they are likely to get stressed out. Are there other things you can do to take care of yourself when getting enough sleep is not an option?
As a model, I have been involved with many fashion weeks. During these weeks your rhythm gets totally messed up. You start at 5 a.m., go to castings and shows all day, and come home at midnight. But I learned how to deal with it. My secret is to be as “Organiced” as possible. Be organized and bring the right things with you, like Organic, Nice (two words that are the basis for Organice) foods!
I think when you go somewhere, whether it is a fashion show, or a birthday party, or a long trip abroad, what you bring in your bag is quite important. I sometimes see people being a bit jealous of the things I have brought with me, like fresh fruits, nuts or even something as smart as a blanket, in case it gets cold, or a small pillow, in case I have a moment to relax backstage.
Nothing is as annoying as being hungry, cold, tired or stressed out, and not having anything to take care of it right then and there. You don’t have to bring three suitcases, but in your purse or travel bag you can bring a few things that can come in very handy while rushing around.
Here is a checklist of items I bring with me to help me stay beautiful during crazy times:
A bottle of water, always: I always have something to drink. During show season, models often don’t drink enough water and they can get dehydrated. With a bottle you can see exactly how much you drank that day.
Something healthy and tasty to eat: When the food backstage or at the airport is not so good, I bring something healthy to eat. Dr. Oz says that eating a handful of nuts is good when you get into a situation where you know foods might not be good for you. Nuts are healthy, and it will stop your hunger and make you stay away from bad foods.
Phone charger: You always want to have people be able to reach you and vice versa! For models, your agent might call to tell you got booked for a show. For you, what if your kids need to call you to get picked up, but you have to make last minute work calls while you wait for them? This way you can avoid the stress of seeing the bars on your phone shrinking as it starts to run out of juice.
Gum and freshening products: It is not fun if your makeup artist who is right in front of your face smells exactly like what you ate last night. Also, deodorant, toothpicks, toothbrush and paste, and a hair brush will help you feel pulled together if you are running around.
Vitamins: When you know you are going to lack some essential nutrients for a few days or weeks.
Makeup and makeup remover: I am allergic to some products so I try to bring my own makeup remover to the shows, and I bring my own makeup if I need to “fix my face” at any time. You always want to look flawless when the whole (fashion) world is watching you.
Entertainment: Whether you are stalled backstage at a fashion show or stuck in the waiting room at the dentist office, having a book or iPod with you can help ease the stress of waiting.
Business cards/comp cards: If you happen to meet someone new and interesting, you want him or her to remember who you are!
Pen and paper: For when you need to sign your autograph. Hey, you never know!
Something warm: A sweater, big scarf or blanket.
Pillow, if I expect long wait times: So I can take a power nap somewhere backstage.
A small umbrella for unpredictable weather.
A fold-up bag: I always seem to acquire more things as the day goes on (I’m sure you do, too)—this way I can easily carry them with me.
I spoke at the IMG Model Prep, a fun night with healthy drinks and food for the young models of my agency, IMG. These girls are doing New York Fashion Week for the first time, and I gave them some of these tips to help them survive fashion week. This was my third year doing it, and I still find it to be a great initiative that IMG started, to guide their young girls, who are basically clueless on what fashion shows really do to them physically and emotionally.
I believe that being prepared for all the things that might come your way really relieves stress, makes you calm and gives you a confident feeling. And you need that confidence to put your best foot forward (like on the catwalk). I hope the girls I spoke to feel good at the castings and shows, and maybe you can use some of these simple things to be prepared and calm when you have a stressful time coming up. Finding peace and being relaxed during busy times are the right feelings on the path of success.
What’s in your bag next time you are traveling, or rushing around?
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