I recently discovered that many people, including myself, feel a sense of depression after attending music festivals or concerts. It got me thinking, how common is this feeling, and are there ways to cope with these so-called post-festival blues?
I stumbled upon some interesting facts about how the post-sesh can trigger certain emotions, eventually leading to feelings of sadness and emptiness once they are over.
The technical term for this phenomenon is “post-concert depression.” According to the urban dictionary, the unofficial term is “the comedown as bad as heroin withdrawals after returning home from a music festival”.
To find ways to combat this unique demon, I decided to dive deeper and explore some potential coping mechanisms.
Part of this article is tongue and cheek; parts are genuine tips to help slay that Sunday evening dragon spawned from those festival shenanigans.
As long as you haven’t managed to develop festival flu, then you should be good to go after reading this guide.
🎓 Understanding Post Festival Depression
Serotonin and Its Role
Look, I’m no neuroscientist, but it turns out that there’s a biochemical reason behind it!
Our brain releases a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. During a sesh, serotonin levels can spike due to the exciting, stimulating environment. F**k I love flashing lights!
After the festival, however, serotonin levels can drop, and this can lead to feelings of sadness and irritability.
This phenomenon is similar to how some people experience a “sugar crash” after consuming a lot of sweets. I’m talking about actual candy here, not 🐴.
Connection to Anxiety and Depression
Attending a festival can be a source of stress for some people, especially if they are already prone to anxiety or mood disorders.
Crowds, loud music, and new social situations can be challenging to navigate, intensifying the blues once the event ends.
Taking care of your mental health and being mindful of how participating in a festival might affect your overall well-being is crucial.
If you’re prone to anxiety or depression, consider talking to a mental health professional before and after a festival to help maintain a healthy balance during and after the event.
😵💫 Causes of Post Festival Depression
Lack of Sleep and Rest
One of the main factors contributing to those post festie scaries is the lack of sleep and rest.
Who else finds it difficult to wind down and get proper sleep in a tent due to the constant noise and excitement buzzing around?
The result is an exhausted body and mind, leaving you more susceptible to the post-festival blues.
This sleep deprivation can exacerbate other factors contributing to your downer, including emotional highs and lows and substance use.
Excessive Partying and Substance Use
One surefire way to supercharge a chemical imbalance in your brain is excessive partying and potential substance use that often takes place during music festivals.
In my experience, the festival environment can make it difficult to resist the urge to indulge in substances like alcohol and drugs.
Make no mistake, using these substances can lead to intensified feelings of depression and anxiety after the high wears off.
Furthermore, excessive consumption of alcohol can also leave you feeling dehydrated and physically drained, which only worsens that post-festival slump.
Sensory Overload and Emotional Highs
I mentioned earlier that I love a flashing light or two! Except for Afterlife, they can fuck-off with that nonsense. But I digress.
The emotional highs and lows that come with the energy at a festival can prove to be too much for the system, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained when the festival’s over.
The post-rave depression is often a result of your body and mind attempting to recover from this sensory overload.
😴 Coping Strategies and Prevention
Here are some tools to help identify those emotions and practical ways to cope with them. An often overlooked aspect is proper hygiene, and staying clean at a festival can go a long way to keeping your post-festival spirits high.
Getting Adequate Sleep and Rest
This may seem obvious but prioritise getting enough sleep and rest after attending a festival.
The festival season can be physically and mentally exhausting, so you need to make up for the insufficient sleep during this period.
If you can establish a regular sleep schedule outside of party time, it’ll go a long way to recovery from the afters.
Healthy Eating and Hydration
Avoid heading to the chippy or the Golden Arches when you get home. You need to focus on eating healthily and staying hydrated. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give your body the necessary nutrients.
Drinking enough water is also crucial, especially if you have consumed those festival ‘treats’ or alcohol. Pay attention to hydration!
Moderation in Partying and Substances
During a fresh set at the main stage, it’s easy to get carried away with the party atmosphere but learn the importance of moderation.
To help prevent that post-festival depro from gathering too much steam, balance fun with more relaxing activities. Maybe head to that workshop you walked past earlier to calm those brainwaves for a bit.
Also, avoid overindulging in substances (that includes grog) that might worsen your mood once the festival is over. Pacing is the difference between a wily veteran and a complete noob.
💪 Post Festival Depression Recovery
When it comes to recovery from a bender, my top priority is always sleep. I make sure to get sufficient rest to allow my body to recover from all the dancing and physical exertion. Couch time, sleep, and sitting down outside are excellent ways to help my muscles recuperate.
It’s dead important to keep an eye on what you eat and drink in the aftermath. So wolfing down on foods that are chock-a-block with nutrients and drinking water helps to flush out any residual toxins.
Physical activity gets the endorphins pumping, which boosts your mood. I usually go for some easy exercises like yoga or a gentle jog to help clear the cobwebs.
Leaning on your fellow festival mates for moral support also significantly impacts your recovery time and progress. But don’t cross the line and dump your downer on them if they are also fragile.
Sharing memories and reminiscing about the good times helps keep the demons at bay and keep an upbeat mood going.
During the down moments, you might find solace in listening to the music that was played at the festival. It’s a great way to relive the memories and get in touch with the emotions the event stirred up.
💊 Happy Tuesdays
The last secret weapon you may want to try is Happy Tuesdays. The world’s first supplement package designed for after the afters. Each sachet contains 4 formulations served across 5 pills which are designed to:
- support relaxation and stress-relief
- relax the mind
- support serotonin production, which helps mood and sleep
- support liver function