Health Witch tips on how to survive and thrive at a multi-day music festival. Learn how to minimise harm and maximise self-care if you want to leave the festival feeling better than when you arrived.
ETHER ~ SLEEPING
Sleeping is essential for longevity. Lack of sleep increases stress, disturbs digestion & limits immune function. You may want to stay up & continue partying forever, but it is literally not possible. Your body will tell you when it needs to lie down, there is no need to fight these signs. Sure pull an all nighter if your feeling good, but don’t kid yourself into thinking you can do it the following night too. Bring some ear plugs & a sleeping mask because sometimes the music, lights & people shit talking do not stop. You’ll have a better day if you get yourself a decent chunk of sleep, especially if it’s dark and cool.
- Allow yourself to take it easy. When we are partying hard for long hours we use a lot of metabolic elements that cannot be restored while we are being constantly physically active. There is more at a doof than just a dance floor. Enjoy everything the space has to offer. Walk around & appreciate the art, attend some workshops, sit under a tree & enjoy the company of the people & nature around you. You will have a more nourishing experience because of it.
- Stay in tune with your needs. These needs may not be the same as those of your friends. Listening to your body is more likely to take you to where you need to be than following the pack. While it’s nice & safe to stick with your doof crew, sometimes you just need to do your own thing. When you have the urge to take a break, get something to eat, fill your water bottle or go to the bathroom let your mates know where you’re going and just do you. Even if you lose everyone know that you’ll see them again, and who knows what other adventures you may end up on?
FIRE ~ INTOXICATING
- Dose yourself right. If you decide to take any drugs at this festival really pay attention to what you are putting in your system & when. Start by dosing yourself low & give yourself plenty of time (60-90 minutes) before you dose yourself again. You don’t want to be that persxn who took too much too soon & end up in a puddle on the ground, or worse in the medical tent.
- Be careful with what substances you are mixing. Most uncomfortable drug experiences & overdoses are caused by poly drug use. Make the effort to educate yourself about your substance choices & how they interact with other substances. Don’t forget that alcohol is also a drug, mixing it with ketamine can land you in a k-hole, mixing it with GHB can lead to a blow out or even death.
- Get help if you need help! Drugs can be unpleasant or even dangerous for many different reasons. If you or someone else is having a bad experience do not hesitate to go to places like DanceWize. The people there are trained to offer unbiased & educated support for people having a shitty time. They have water, electrolytes, great personalities & the knowledge of whether or not a persxn may need medical intervention. Even if you just need somewhere to chill while you are coming up or coming down you can go there for support. Dancewize have tonnes of amazing flyers on drugs & their interactions too, a definite must visit for any doofer.
AIR ~ BREATHING
- Get something to wear over your face. It gets dusty as fuck out in the paddock. This dust can get in your sinus & turn into an infection. Protect your respiratory system on the dance floor with a bandana or flu mask.
- Keep it clear, blow your nose! Especially before you go to sleep so that dust & misc white powder congestion doesn’t penetrate deep into your sinus while you sleep. Use an inhaler, nasal spray, neti pot and/or a throat spray to really clear & coat your breathing apparatus. Get yourself some lozenges too. You won’t regret it.
- Do you really need to charge as many darts as you think you want to? Doofs can be intense stressful places, & it can be easier to smoke much more than usual. Nicotine has a way of highjacking our stress response when we actually may just need to centre ourselves by breathing. When you’re brain tells you it wants a smoke check in with yourself to see if prehaps you just need to take a moment & have some deep breaths instead.
- Alcohol is not the only drink of choice. Booze is very dehydrating, & a hangover in the heat can be hell. Make sure you buy nonalcoholic drinks to make mocktails between your cocktails. Try diluting something like pineapple juice in mineral water with lime and a splash of bitters or red cordiol for a refreshing summery bev.
- Keep your electrolytes up. If you find you need to pee lots, or are very thirsty without being able to quench yourself eat some salt. This will keep water inside your cells, instead of in the drop toilet, to keep you hydrated for longer. Drink coconut water & mix hydralyte sachets or lemon in your water bottle during the day.
- Buy ice every day. No one wants to deal with an ice box that has gone wrong in the heat. Keep your food fresh & your drinks chilled by doing the ice mission on the daily. It will make it enjoyable to eat the food your brought, & easier to make delicious beverages. And you’ll be crowned the Chiller Quing of your campsite.
EARTH ~ EATING
- Eat an actual meal! Especially before taking drugs or drinking. If you want to party better for longer you need to sustain yourself with solid meals made with a variety of whole foods (rice and beans with salad, or vegetable and protein curry). Even if you don’t feel like eating, know that your body literally needs it to continue functioning. Once you start getting some tasty morsels in your mouth your body will remember how to digest again, and it will thank you for it.
- Eat Snacks. Sometimes it’s hard to eat a whole meal, so think strategically about easy snacks that can keep you going back at camp. Tasty PROTEIN (like tuna, hommus, boiled eggs or those tasty flavoured tofu slabs), FAT (avocado, nuts, chia seeds, cheese) & unrefined CARBOHYDRATES (fruit, raw vegetables like capscium, cucumber, beans) will keep you feeling balanced and satisfied for longer.
- Leave no trace. Pick up your rubbish & keep your campsite clean. Respect the land & the land will respect you. I promise you will feel better if you are not surrounded by empty tinnies & food wrappers. Packing up at the end will be much easier too. Don’t let trash blow into the bush to pollute the nature that surrounds you. Call out tossers when you see them polluting, we need to hold each other accountable for how we treat the Earth.
Most importantly have fun, and when you’re not having fun ask yourself why. Are you tried? Too high? Dehydrated or hungry? Listen to yourself, don’t worry about what other people want or need. You know best.