Festival Wellbeing Tips


Let’s face it if you’re larging it up at a festival – you’re more than likely going to be pretty haggard the next day – unless you’re sensible & don’t drink, gasp!  As much as I would like to pretend I am an angelic little being, I love a ‘few drinks’ every now & then as much as the next person. 

So, without sounding like your Mum, here are my top tips on going to a festival & still feeling fabulous… or at least preserving a shred of your health & wellbeing! 

Prevention & the fallout!  Here are some tips for before & after.

1 – Super Supplements

I had a quick chat with Wendy Budd from Budds Herbal Medicine on Albert Road to find out some top tips for damage limitation.

“The best thing for overindulging is our Kombucha “The Mighty Bucha” find info at www.themightybucha.com  It is the best for detoxifying, a nice tasting health drink for the morning after. Very useful for liver detoxification due to its high amounts of glucuronic acid, B vitamins, pre & probiotics.

Also, Milk Thistle* (Silymarin) is a fantastic hangover cure. Both for detoxing the liver & protecting hepatocytes (liver cells) from damage. Take capsules or tincture before going out for a heavy session & when you get home again before sleeping.”  All products can be found in her shop on Albert Road or online: www.buddsherbalmedicine.co.uk  *seek advice on suitability if you are on the contraceptive pill.

2- Food before you go:

Good fat foods are best to set you up for drinking due to the amount of time they take to break down in your stomach, these stay longer, therefore help to slow the alcohol absorption into your blood.  Eating a balanced meal before you go also reduces the amount of acetaldehyde in your system (the chemical alcohol converts into in your body), this is another thing responsible for the crushing hangover. Protein, good fats, whole grains & some veggies is what you need – something like a Burrito is perfect, or try a salmon, salad, avocado & mayo wrap.

3- Before you hit the sack:

Above all you need to hydrate, supposedly it is worth adding a pinch of salt to your water to help replace electrolytes & minerals if you can stomach it, that however would have me running for a call on the big white telephone!  Coconut Water is your best option as it contains the same five electrolytes found in human blood.  Take your milk thistle too (see Super Supplements).

3 – Brilliant Bananas!

Your body loses a lot of potassium & magnesium (which is vital for proper nerve function & also leads to the booze blues) through alcohol consumption, bananas contain high levels of both so help you replenished lost stocks & have high amounts of Vitamin C & B6, these help to neutralize free radicals & prevent liver damage.  They are also loaded with natural sugars to boost your blood sugar & would you believe are 75% water so even go toward eliminating dehydration!  If you can manage one before bed – great, if not, have one first thing the next day.

4- Post festival down day

We all know one of those annoying sprightly people who after a night out jump out of bed full of the joys of spring don’t we?  Well, screw those guys it’s just not reality, they must be freaky aliens or something. 

Alongside the dreaded hangover, if you’re anything like me I get the blues pretty bad, I get so excited about going to events (I don’t get out much!) that I end up feeling really low afterward (it doesn’t help that alcohol is a depressant).  My tip is – get your crowd over for a post-festival down day & be sofa slugs.  Give your body a rest, eat fruit, drink plenty of water, vegetate, reminisce on the antics of the event, trawl Instagram for everyone else’s highlights.  This way you still have something to look forward to with your mates & you don’t have to cry alone into your Kombucha that it’s all over!   Make sure while you’re having your sofa slug day you plan something else soon that you can all look forward to.

Showtime! These ‘on the day’ tips may seem like obvious ones, but read on there will be some insights to be had!

1 – Know your limits

Now, I’m a fine one to talk with this one.  With the wind in my hair, music in my ears & no daughter in sight (I’ve not let her run away, she’s safely tucked up at Nanny’s) I. AM. ON. IT! 

It is easy to lose yourself in the atmosphere, having a great time, before you know it you’ve done ten pints & are past the point of no return.  Getting absolutely wrecked not only ruins your day, but also those around you – so don’t be selfish!  No one wants to look after the dribbling blob who can’t stand up.  Obviously, this is really bad for your health, but it is also super dangerous, for your own safety you need to stay in control, be vigilant & be aware of your surroundings.

Alternate your alcoholic drinks with soft drinks & take breaks, pace yourself by drinking lower alcohol content such as beer rather than getting straight in there smashing it on the spirits.   Who wants to be scraped off the floor & at home in bed before the headliner anyway?

2 – Drugs

Just say NO!  No, no, no, no, no, not ever!

3- Don’t forget to eat

Be sure to PLAN eating into your schedule of running from stage to stage.  It’s important to fuel your body especially as you are on your feet all day & potentially using your energy busting some moves! Food in your stomach helps to slow the absorption rate of alcohol into your bloodstream.  Southsea has an amazing array of independent street food companies & there will be plenty of world foods, so you’ll be sure to find something more delicious & nutritious than the greasy old burger van.  If all else fails & you end up at Ken’s afterward, for Pete’s sake go for chicken salad, not a doner! At the end of the night avoid fats & go for protein & vitamins, lean protein will be beneficial to help stabilize your blood sugar & also steer you from feeling like you’re about to vom!

4 – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

I know it’s boring but drinking water (in preference to other soft drinks) will not only help you pace yourself but it will pay dividends the following day. Your liver needs water to process alcohol, the scary thing is when you drink in excess, your liver takes water meant for your other essential organs, including one particularly important – your brain! This is part of the reason you’ll have a stinking headache in the morning. If it’s sunny, double the H2o!

You are permitted to take sealed bottles of water in, so there is no excuse!  Whilst I’m not a fan of single use plastics this is your best option so fill your bag (as much as you can carry without back ache obv).

5 – Sun or showers protect yourself

Yeah ‘pack a macs’ aren’t the trendiest item on the street but they’re so damn handy!  Small enough to keep in your bag & enough to keep you dry in a downpour (great windshields too) – once you’re wet it’s hard to get dry & warm, so prevention is key.  Keep a ziplock sandwich bag in your pocket too, just slip your phone & other items to protect them from moisture.   As for wellies, always a good idea unless it’s a blistering forecast, just don’t wear brand new ones – you’ll get blisters!

Glorious sunshine, how we love you! A whole day in it can be pretty intense though, especially if you are drinking. Pack a hat & most importantly SUNCREAM! Don’t be that blistered lobster, it’s not good for you & it’s not a good look either!  Any sun cream is better than no sun cream but pick wisely, mineral sun creams are best for several reasons:  Chemical sun creams have a plethora of hormone-disrupting & carcinogenic toxins, they also soak into your skin & absorb sun rays & hold them on your skin which can cause heat rash & other skin issues.  Most also contain Oxybenzone (gah, don’t even get me started on that) which amongst other things is super harmful to aquatic life (dip in the sea or shower it still gets there).  Mineral sun creams will sit on your skin as a shield & deflect the sun rays, they are kinder to your body & are better for the environment.  Tropic sell a fantastic range of mineral skincare called Skin Shade Tropic Skincare 

6 – Hand sanitiser

When there is no water in sight, it is the only way!  However, TAKE YOUR OWN sanitiser & pick a natural one.  Hand sanitiser whilst great for killing nasty germs is also pretty nasty itself.  Packed with chemical toxins & alcohol it really isn’t something you want to put on your skin (it also can accelerate aging as it strips the natural barrier, damages skin cells & causes dryness).  Thankfully though as always, nature has all we need to do the job so there are some perfectly suitable natural alternatives.  I picked a couple of my faves here – the bottom one is great for kids too.

Organic Hand Sanitiser

Children Sticky Hand Sanitiser 

7 – Toilets

A bit of bacteria is good for immunity but jeez, festival portaloo’s are another breed entirely! My last toilet trip at the IOW festival gave me nightmares for weeks!  If you’re paranoid about these things give the seat a wipe with a few pumps of sanitiser on loo roll before you grace it with the presence of your bottom.  Be sure to sanitise your hands once you’re out (door handles, shudder). ALWAYS take a few packs of tissues, being caught short with no loo roll is not fun.

8 – Stick with your friends & be an Angel in the crowd

Stick together or always set a time & place & be there.  You’re safer in a crowd of people you trust, especially as the day goes on & the drinks are flowing.  Have each other’s back, make sure everyone is accounted for & most importantly you all leave together.

Whether they’ve fallen in the mosh pit or looking a bit stressed out or alone, help your fellow brothers & sisters.  Check they’re ok, have a chat & make sure they have what they need. Festivals can be an overwhelming place, the noise, crowds & the bustle, it’s a bit of a sensory overload, it can be a stressful experience particularly for someone with anxiety.  People leaving alone are particularly vulnerable, especially if they’re intoxicated. 

Places like festivals sometimes waiver my faith in humanity, there will be a few scum bags, just make sure you’re an Angel in the crowd…



By Vicky Heard

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