After a weekend packed with music, community, and good vibes, the last thing you want to do is re-enter the real world. Coming back to reality after an event can be shocking—especially as the realization hits that you have to go back to work (you may be wishing that you took a day off to recuperate), be around normal people (ew!), and give yourself a chance to rest after long days and sleepless nights.
If you’re feeling “off” after coming home from a festival, don’t worry. You’re not the only one! Feeling this way is more common than you might think.
When you get home from a festival, you may experience:
- Disconnection from the real world
Why might you feel this way after a festival?
Festivals are carefully curated experiences designed for ravers to have the time of their lives—enjoying beautiful stages and mesmerizing art installations, mind-melting sound production, and the best part of all, being surrounded by like-minded people who share the same passion for raving!
At a festival, you look around and realize that everyone there shares the same goal - to dance, to make friends, and to create memories. The camaraderie you feel in a crowd is unparalleled. Odds are, you won’t find the same feelings of interconnection and belonging in the real world.
Raving creates a space for you to experience, to feel, to thrive, and to love. Festivals are intentionally designed for you to connect with people who share your same vibration. They carve out a place where you belong, where you matter, and where you can feel unmatched happiness.
Cut to the real world: your commute, your office your grumpy wait in line at a coffee shop. Reality sucks in comparison to the magic you experienced at the festival. It’s no wonder why you may be feeling lonely, disconnected, irritable, and sad. Normal people are boring!
But, we all know we can’t rave forever. Reintegrating back into society is a necessary part of the cycle for festival-goers. You’ll have to find a way to trek on (until the next festival!).
So, in order to maintain your mental health following an event, it’s vital to follow these tips to cope with any difficult feelings you may experience upon your re-entry to reality.
- Before you leave for the fest, plan ahead. Put fresh sheets on your bed, make sure your floors are clean and clear of clutter, have clean clothes waiting for you, and stock your fridge with healthy, easy-to-make meals. Future you will be thankful!
- Throughout the festival, stay hydrated, well-fed, and be sure to take your vitamins. Try a hydration boost with Liquid IV drink powders (these things are game changers!), or supplements like vitamin B-12 or RaveAid to take care of yourself at the event.
- Get as much rest as you can throughout the festival weekend. If you pull all-nighters all weekend long and don't get any supplemental rest during the day, your lack of sleep will definitely contribute to feelings of sadness and irritability. If you do go through the fest on minimal sleep, be sure to catch up on your z’s when you get home.
- If possible, take a day off work to ease your landing back into the real world. This isn’t always realistic, but if you can swing it, an extra day of rest and recovery will be helpful.
- Stay in touch with your rave family once you get home to relive the highlights of the weekend. Instead of focusing on how much reality pales in comparison to the festival, celebrate the beautiful moments you shared with your squad. Practice gratitude and appreciation for the experiences you had.
- Try not to make any impulsive decisions or act on any impulsive feelings in the days after you get home. Your body and brain are recovering from a rave marathon. Take it easy! Festivals take so much energy and stamina, so you will probably feel exhaustion and irritability from all the hard work your body did for you. Avoid major changes and decisions until you’ve had a chance to fully recover.
- Work on integrating the things you learned at the fest into your day-to-day life. Journaling can be a great way to channel the post-festival feelings of inspiration. What did you take away from the experience? A new sense of love for your friends? An appreciation for new types of music? An inspirational itch to pursue something new or to create art? Channel your experiences into your home life and use your memories as fuel for your own creative fire. Maybe you can use that inspiration to create music of your own—or try your hand at making art, writing poetry, or cooking.
- Remember that you’re not alone. Many people experience a comedown after returning home from an event. Reach out to your friends and create a support system if you start to feel low.
- Focus on restoring balance. Attending a festival can be a major inspirational high, filled with a buzz of excitement and energy. But, the highs and lows always find a way to balance each other out. Create a sense of balance in your life by laying low and taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Focus on the now, knowing that there will be more fests ahead in the future.
- Once you’re recovered, you will probably feel a strong desire to connect with the festival community again. Look into your local scene to see how you can find like-minded festy fam in your area. You may find some local shows, flow meet-ups, or other gatherings where ravers hangout. Boost your social meter by connecting with other festival-goers. If you live in a particularly rural area, you can always turn to social media to connect with other ravers.
This article is not meant to replace professional help. If you or someone you know is struggling, we strongly encourage you to seek help from your primary care provider or a mental health professional. You can also reach out to the Crisis Text Line via text or Facebook message by texting 'HOME' to 741741, or check out this list of resources for other types of support.