Taking care of your body and well-being at festivals is a difficult task when you’re busy having the time of your life. It’s that party you’ve been waiting for since last year and you’re clocking out of reality and into vacation. We totally understand, but we also know it’s easy to let self-care go out the window.
Have you been to what feels like a million festivals but still need a refresher of what it is you need to do for yourself? We’ve got you. Never been before? We’re here to help!
Going to a festival takes some preparation and there’s so shame in seeking out some guidance in order to make your experience as good as it can possibly be. This laid out list of tips is an accumulation of my own personal experience as well as fellow festival goers who know a thing or two.
#1 Prepare Meals
As easy as it is to want to jump in the car and start your adventure, some planning and prepping beforehand will ease your stress once you arrive and give you the chance to really think about what you want to consume versus rash decisions at the food stands in the venue. The night before you leave, take some time out to cook a meal that won’t perish quickly and would be easy to heat up on a camping stove.
An idea: whole wheat pasta with chicken, garlic and olive oil. This option may only be good for the first two nights, but it is a practical way to: 1) save money on expensive dinners inside the festival 2) load up on some good carbs and protein to give your body the energy it needs to stand, dance, walk, and frolic to your hearts content.
Get creative with it and make a meal you’ll truly enjoy out on the festival grounds!
Yes, I know, super basic but super important! I always tell everyone who is attending a multi-day festival for the first time to drink water like their life depended on it. You don’t want to get dehydrated in the middle of a crowd or feel lethargic the whole time.
You want to have a good time and being thirsty shouldn’t stop you! And for people like me who like a change of pallet, we shan’t not forget coconut water. Coconut water is rich in potassium, which helps balance out sodium. Like plain water, it’s delicious and super good for you!
#3 Eat Fruits and Veggies as Snacks
I know as adults we don’t have to eat them. But fruits and veggies are essential snacks that keep you replenished after a long day of adventuring and dancing. If you are in a hot environment and have a cooler, try keep them chilled. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to bite into a cold apple after being hit by beaming sun rays for hours.
Not to mention, fruits and vegetables have water in them to help keep you hydrated, healthy and most of all, satisfied.
- Bananas but eat those fast if they look like they are browning.
- Carrots, maybe with some hummus if you have a cooler
I know sticking to a pill regime isn’t exactly on your to-do list, but having some important vitamins and supplements on hand wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Vitamin C has an insane amount of benefits that could be of use to you in the unpredictable festival terrain.
Trying to sleep but you have some loud neighbors? Hyped up on adrenaline but know you need to rest for the next day? A capsule of melatonin will gently help you fall asleep without the grogginess of harsh sleep aids.
Potassium and B12 can provide some awesome energy boosts. And for people who hate swallowing pills, there is no shame in bringing gummy multi-vitamins to help keep up your immunity.
#5 Take advantage of the free classes, seminars, and workshops.
Whatever is your stress relief, favorite leisure activity, or endorphin releasing exercise, festivals are the gathering place of many options from which you can choose. My personal favorite is taking yoga classes, familiar and new.
When you’re having fun you can forget that you are straining your muscles without giving them the TLC they need, and stretching out just a bit refreshes my body for whatever lies ahead that day. Plus, you meet tons of cool people and make connections within the festival community.
#6 Keep It Clean
Being clean is being comfortable. Put trash cans around the areas where you sit so you can simply reach over and throw away your trash instead of promising that you’re going to “pick it up later.” Your campsite is your home away from home for the duration of the festival and it should be set up like so.
Make it known at the beginning of the weekend that keeping the site clean is a priority for the sake of everyone’s comfort and the environment in which you camp upon.
BONUS! Last But Not Least: Sleep
When your body is wrecked all you want to do is plop on the cold, hard ground…wait that doesn’t sound right. That’s because you don’t want to sleep like that when you deserve to be snug as a rug.
An air mattress will make a world of difference in your festival experience. Don’t worry about the cost breaking the bank, some air mattresses are cheaper than sleeping bags and can often be borrowed or shared among friends! Waking up refreshed and comfy will boost your mood, energy, and well-being during your time at the festival.
Staying warm is crucial. You don’t want to freeze because you brought the wrong gear. There is a wide variety of sleeping bags to choose from that were designed for any and all kinds of weather. If you’re unsure of what kind to get, just go to your local sporting or camping store, tell them where you’re going to be staying, and they can help you pick the right one. Also, bringing fuzzy blankets in addition to your sleeping bag can make your tent feel more cozy as well as providing some extra warmth if the night gets unexpectedly frigid.
No matter how simple or obvious these may seem, don’t forget them. Taking care of yourself at a festival will not only make your time there more enjoyable, but can also ease the recovery process after you’ve left.
Festivals are magical places where you can get lost in another world for a weekend. But even in other world’s, you need to be hydrated, healthy, and happy. Go dance for six hours, take a 10 classes, watch someone create something, but don’t forget yourself and your well-being!
About the Author
Rachel Pratley: I am a senior at University of California, Berkeley. I spend my free time working is music journalism and volunteering at festivals. The music community is one that I thrive in, amongst others who share the same love and passion as I do. There’s nothing like eating, sleeping, and living a life full of positive vibes.