Back to Reality After a Festival
February 18 2020 – Christopher Coughlin
Coming back from a festival sucks. You’ve just experienced some of the most memorable days of your life and now it is time to head back to your normal routine. Everything you once enjoyed feels dull and meaningless after such a magical experience. Although this process is always going to be hard, here are some things I do to make the transition back to my regular life easier, to help feel like I’m incorporating some of these new experiences, and to avoid getting the wook flu.
You’re probably going to be sad as you look back on the amazing memorizes you just made and long to be back. During this process, take care of yourself inside and out. Take that long shower or bath that you’ve been thinking about in the back of your mind since the festival began. Be extra about it too, use some bath bombs and bubble bath or heavily exfoliate and lotion. You may be used to the dirt and grime by now but getting yourself clean is the first step into transitioning back into the real world. Sleep and healthy eating are the other two aspects to this. You may want to continue the party and try to stay up since you’re used to no sleep, but I guarantee you’ll feel a million times better once you get that much needed rest. Sleep deprivation can cause depression so you may be surprised at the negative symptoms you’re experiencing that will go away as soon as you wake up. The last aspect to this is hydration and healthy eating. Water is still going to be your best friend. I also like to drink daily immune shots, the tiny bottles found at most grocery stores, to make sure I’m keeping the wook flu at bay. Eating healthy after a festival is also extremely important, but it might not be realistic to go straight into dieting and salads right when you get back. Just try to eat something full of protein; your body can’t live forever off granola bars and pizza.
Make exciting plans or changes
A good way to do this is to start planning your next show or festival. Even if its far away it’ll feel good to know that this experience isn’t over, it will happen again and the further away it is the more time you have to look forward to it. But this could also include making any fun future plans for yourself. One of the reasons I often feel sad after festivals is because my regular life can seem dull compared to the experience I just had. This is usually a sign to make some changes. Reach out to new friends, plan new experiences for yourself like road trips, get involved with an organization, dye your hair, get a new tattoo, literally ANYTHING that interests you or brings about an exciting change.
Bring the festival with you
One of the hardest realizations for me when coming back to the real world is that, after seeing a glimpse of what things could be like if everyone was kind and open to each other, this is not how things really are. I’m a pretty quiet and reserved person around people I don't know, but at festivals I’m the opposite. I talk to and smile at everyone, I go out of my way to make conversation and do random favors for people. It can be hard to keep this attitude and be shunned and ignored, but it is so important to do so. You really do attract the energy you put out. Although it’s discouraging at first when you compare the real world to a festival, if you smile and make conversation with strangers more often it will be reciprocated. Also to add onto this, being able to seek out other ravers is really comforting. I always leave my wristband and kandi on for a while after I get back, because chances are you might run into some people doing the same.
Cover pic (https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/588498/12-tips-road-tripping-budget)