The Essential Post-Festival Care
Get back into the rhythm of your routine by speeding up your post-festival recovery with this kit.
Reviewed by: Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Written by: Kaylee Fang
As fun as it is to dance and sing along to your favorite tunes, there comes a time when you turn those moments into memories. Many festival attendees don’t realize that these music-filled moments can also take a toll on your physical and mental health. UT Health Austin Walk-in Clinic provider Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, offers guidance on how to get back into the rhythm of things.
“There was a ground-breaking study done during the pandemic that showed PCD, post-concert depression is a real thing. It was characterized as an emptiness, disappointment, longing, and heartache after a long-awaited fulfilling high moment,” explains Sarah.
Post-concert depression isn’t the only long-term issue you may experience in the aftermath of a music festival. Click here to learn more about preventing hearing loss at loud concerts.
As resilient as your body may be, you will ultimately begin to feel the aftermath of any concert or festival. When the speakers are unplugged and the flashing lights fade into the night, you may experience PCD. This experience of an emotional low can last up to two weeks and occurs at any age. Not only is it necessary to focus on preparing for the event, but also on how to take care of yourself afterward.
“Your serotonin levels might be a little low, so eating foods high in tryptophan paired with high carbohydrate foods are thought to help boost the body’s ability to make serotonin,” says Sarah.
Serotonin is known to be a natural mood stabilizer that regulates depression and anxiety. Foods high in tryptophan include:
- Nut butter
- Green Peas
Foods high in carbohydrates include:
- Sweet potatoes
Although getting rest may be a no-brainer, it is truly an important step of post-festival care. Avoid consuming caffeine to stay awake because it doesn’t alleviate exhaustion. The amount of sleep you may need varies. You may need about a week to completely recover.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a week in bed, it means a week of doing things that will aid your body in healing and recovering,” recommends Sarah.
Music festivals may be especially exhausting for children. Learn how to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and overtired at concerts here.
Mild forms of heat-related illness can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures without enough fluids. The combination of heat and humidity can be severe to your health. To reduce the risk of heat-related illness, drink cool, sugar-free, nonalcoholic beverages. Drinking enough fluids will help you recover from a hangover and protect your liver.
Soothe Your Throat
From constantly cheering at any concert or festival, you may wake up the next morning with a sore throat. It takes time for your throat to heal, but there are home remedies worth trying. Warm fluids will help soothe your throat, especially mixing it with honey. Cough drops may also be beneficial. You can gargle salt water to soothe a scratchy and sore throat. The salt and water can help wash away the mucus that lines the throat and reduce inflammation.
Your skin can burn if it gets too much sun without proper protection at festivals and concerts. To help heal your skin, it’s important to treat sunburn as soon as you notice it. Check out these tips to help relieve discomfort:
Avoid soap. Soap dries out the skin and makes it worse. Don’t take bubble baths. This will also dry out the skin. If you prefer to cleanse with soap, use baby soap that will rinse off easily. Make sure to rinse all of the soap off.
Hydrate. Hydrate your skin with aloe vera. Moisturize with locking cream or lotion. Hydrocortisone cream will help with the itch. Soak in an oatmeal bath. This can decrease inflammation and reduce itching. Many AVEENO® products have colloidal oatmeal in them, which will also help.
Absorb the Heat. Place ice in a damp cloth and onto your skin. This will absorb some of the heat. You can even try using tea bags that have been dampened with cool water. There are antioxidants in tea that pull heat from the sunburn and repair your skin.
Ease the Pain. Wear lightweight fabrics, nothing constrictive or too heavy. Resist the urge to pop blisters and peel skin. Sprinkle sheets with powder before sleeping to prevent friction and rubbing while sleeping. If the pain becomes too much to handle, take a pain reliever, such as Tylenol®.
Eating at delicious local food trucks and shopping at eclectic vendors can quickly catch up on you. Follow up the event with healthy, balanced meals with fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat. These nutrient-dense foods can help you feel energized. Try to avoid consuming alcohol, sugar, and caffeine as much as possible.
“Supplements are not necessarily needed, especially if you are eating a healthy diet. However, magnesium and potassium in small amounts may help with muscle recovery,” suggests Sarah.
Reduce Soreness and Inflammation
Being on your feet all day can result in muscle soreness and joint inflammation. A week or more may pass by before your muscles are fully recovered. There are ways you can speed up this process to help you get back to your daily routine. Follow these tips to reduce discomfort:
Stretch. Gently stretch your major muscle groups. Stretching slowly can loosen your muscles and ease tension in your joints. This allows your body to return to its normal state.
Massage. Getting a massage helps alleviate the tension and soreness. You can even use a foam roller if you’re not able to get a massage. Another way to release tension from your feet is to roll them back and forth on a frozen water bottle.
Rest. Rest is the best way to recover. With any extreme physical activity, your body needs time to recuperate. If you don’t rest properly, you become more susceptible to other serious health conditions.
“Listen to your body, you will know when you are ready to move on and get back to normal,” says Sarah.
Keep in mind there is always the next festival season to look forward to. In the meantime, take care of your body so you can be ready to enjoy it.