Glastonbury may be over for another year but festival season is just beginning, which means there are plenty more opportunities for revelers to enjoy some live music in the sunshine after a long pandemic-induced hiatus. The only downside? The small matter of dealing with the physical and mental fallout of a weekend of non-stop hedonism.
Between walking for miles, dancing all night, drinking way more than usual and running on very little sleep, it’s no secret that festivals can take their toll on your wellbeing, leaving you feeling less than enthused about the prospect of heading back to a working week.
If you’ve got festival plans in the diary, fear not, we’ve rounded up some expert tips to make the journey back to your desk less of a turbulent one.
As tempting as it is to head straight to the nearest pub in an effort to mitigate the post-festival blues, it’s a good idea to skip the beer garden and give your body a chance to rehydrate in the days following a heavy weekend.
“Fuelled by sun, activity and alcohol, dehydration is common at music festivals, so it’s important to keep up your fluid intake throughout the day,” says nutritionist Tina Sabbagh, speaking on behalf of Coffee Friend. “We should aim to consume around six to eight glasses of fluids a day, and as water is cheap and healthy, it’s an easy choice.
“Juice and food with a high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber, can also contribute to your fluid intake,” she adds. You don’t have to skip your morning latte either, as the diuretic effects of coffee and tea don’t offset their hydration.
Take An Ice Bath
It might not be the most relaxing way to kick-start your morning, but submerging yourself in a bathtub filled with ice and cold water can help to soothe niggling muscle soreness.
Aching legs and feet after a festival, otherwise known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), happen because of micro-tears in your muscles that occur when you put stress on them through walking or dancing.
The reason cold water helps with pain is that it causes your blood vessels to constrict, which reduces blood flow to an area, helping to reduce swelling and inflammation. If you don’t like the idea of cold water therapy, you could take a hot soak with epsom salts as an alternative, which are believed to relax muscles and relieve tension.
Catch Up On Sleep
If you’ve ever been to a music festival, you’ll know that sleep is rarely at the top of the priority list. In fact, research has found that the average attendee at Bestival gets just 3 hours and 2 minutes of sleep each night.
“In the days following a festival, ensure to sleep well to allow your body to recover,” says Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click. “Poor sleeping conditions and sleeping with high alcohol levels in your blood can negatively affect sleep, meaning that your body does not get proper rest.”
National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re struggling to hit your targets, practicing good sleep hygiene, having a solid wind-down routine and setting a consistent bedtime can all help.
“After a festival, the liver is busy breaking down toxins from alcohol into non-toxic substances, and then trying to eliminate them from the body,” says alternative health expert Claire Snowdon-Darling. “To effectively do this, the liver requires dietary amino acids – which you get from protein sources – and sulfur, which you’ll find in green veg.”
“Carbohydrates [like chips, bread and pasta] won’t help you here, even though you’ll likely crave them.” For a post-festival breakfast of champions, Snowdon-Darling says: “Eggs are a good place to start, ideally with something green on the side, like spinach.”
Look After Your Skin
Let’s face it – festivals are all about indulgence. While late nights, fried foods and sugary drinks feel like fun at the time, they can easily wreak havoc on your skin. The result? A dry, dull-looking complexion with angry outbreaks to boot.
Avoid popping pimples, washing your face in hot water (which strips the skin of natural oils) and overloading your skin with too many products when you get home. You may also want to take a daily skin supplement (such as Form’s Radiant beauty supplement) which packs in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E for a healthy post-festival glow.
Booking in for a relaxing facial is a good idea too, especially if you’re suffering with a sudden acne flare-up, as a facialist will gently cleanse your face thoroughly. Plus, you can’t beat the mood-boosting powers of a bit of self-care, especially if you’re emotionally crash-landing after a weekend of fun.