David León Jr. is a Chilled 100 member from the Chicago area who has a passion for education.

He works to spread his love and creativity for the development of craft cocktails both behind the stick and through his Instagram @ArtsyBartender. We caught up with him to learn some tips for staying well behind the bar!

David León Jr.

David León Jr.

Photo by Caroline Denning

What are some of the less obvious signs for you that you’re overdoing it at work? 

One less obvious sign can be as simple as being thirsty when behind the bar, not drinking enough water can easily lead to fatigue, headaches, and injury. These are all things that affect bartenders on a regular basis, and I think that one thing that can help is making sure to drink several glasses of water during a shift.

Share some of your top tips for staying well behind the bar.

A few tips for staying well behind the bar would definitely be to drink water, stretch, stop and take deep breaths, and to make sure to cook a good meal and bring it to work with you.

Do you have any recommendations for tools bartenders can use to stay well?

Foam roller, tennis ball, and a cork yoga mat. All of these tools if used everyday after a shift will make you wake up feeling rejuvenated guaranteed, you just got to give it some time.

What are some of the ways you keep stress and fatigue at bay?

It can be hard to fight stress and fatigue, especially when behind the stick, but not drinking before bed, having a glass of water before bed and after you wake up, stretching, and working out can all make or break my entire day. Not to mention making sure I start my day with a fruit smoothie for some good energy and maybe a black coffee!

How can bartenders work with their employers to create a healthier work environment?

Request mandatory stretch breaks and food breaks! I think that recognizing you need these things, and all employees deserve these things can be a great step moving in the right direction not just for you but for our entire industry, let’s shake it up!