You’re on holiday, so time has ceased to have any kind of meaning. You eat if you’re hungry. Sleep is for the weak! You even have ice cream for breakfast and spend all day every day in your togs because, in summer, clothes are for suckers!
Except if you keep going like that you’re going to burn out after a week because you feel super gross and miss out on all the fun. We’ve got some pointers on how you can look after yourself so you can last the entire season.
Mind your meatsuit
Your body needs the same kind of maintenance that you give it when you’re not on holiday, and it’s easy to get distracted and forget that.
Check your drugs
With the amount of eutylone that’s flying around this summer it’s a 50/50 chance of you getting something shit instead of getting real MDMA. The amount of hospitalisations that we’ve had so far shows that this isn’t something you want to play Russian roulette with.
Believe it or not, food can actually be a difficult thing to keep track of. If you’ve been getting intoxicated, or if you’re somewhere that’s super hot, you can quickly lose your appetite. Eating full-sized meals under these circumstances will make you feel a bit yuck, so you won’t want to do it.
Skipping food will make you feel tired, grumpy, and make you very easy to upset. The hanger will be real. You may also feel dizzy and have a headache.
Nibbling on fruit, muesli bars, jerky, or salads throughout the day is a good way to get nutrients into your system without overloading your belly and making you feel off.
You may be way too high to eat. Plan for this, make sure your body is ready for a session and plan for a gentle recovery too.
Waiting until dusk or until it gets dark before having dinner is also a good idea. When the heat of the day has gone it’s easier to stomach food.
Go get a drink of water. Yes now.
It’s summer, so it’s hot. You’ll sweat more. If you’re dancing, running about, or engaging in physical activity, you’ll be breathing heavily. This makes you lose moisture as well. It’s super easy to get dehydrated.
Not having enough fluids will give you a headache and make you super tired. People need to drink between 3 and 4 litres of water per day. Having a sipper bottle that you carry with you through the day is a good idea.
Hydration and MDMA
When you’re on MDMA there is a risk of hyponatremia — where you don’t pee enough for your body to get rid of all of the water that you’re drinking.
When you’re on MDMA your body temperature rises, you’re often dancing, and you’re often in a hot environment. You will most definitely feel thirsty and want to drink lots of water. However MDMA also restricts the hormone that tells your body it needs to pee, so you don’t. It’s important to keep an eye on how much water you’re drinking.
Your body can only really handle about 600ml of water per hour. Anything more than that in a situation where you can’t pee and the water will stay in your body. If the water can’t leave your body it dilutes the sodium in your blood and causes your cells to swell up. In extreme cases it can swell up your brain and kill you.
If you have been drinking a lot of water and suddenly feel confused, lose control of your body, or vomit unexpectedly, seek medical attention.
If you find you’re drinking too much water while on MDMA, hold an ice cube in your mouth. This will trick your body into thinking it’s being quenched while not running the risk of overloading your bladder. Ice blocks are also a great way to quench your MDMA-induced thirst because not only are they cold and wet, but they have all different kinds of flavours.
The festival environment can be pretty damn overwhelming, even if you’re a seasoned partygoer. Having a quiet space where you can chill out and decompress is very important. Lack of sleep will make you grumpy and give you a headache. It can lead to hallucinations if it goes on long enough, and not in a fun way.
If you’re finding that it’s too hot to get a full night’s sleep, see if you can find a shady place outdoors to have an afternoon nap in.
Summer is one of those times where, when the sun’s out, it’s bloody hot. And when the sun goes away for the night, it gets bloody cold bloody quickly, depending on where you are.
We wrote about how to avoid sunstroke and stay cool a couple of years back, but something else you should keep in the back of your mind is staying warm at night. Especially if it rains. People can still get hypothermia in summer, so having a warm, dry place to sleep is important.
At the risk of sounding like your nanna, make sure you’ve got a warm jersey and a raincoat that you can quickly throw on over your festival gear. Can’t have you catching your death!
Slip slop slap and wrap
The sun in Aotearoa New Zealand is ferocious. When summer’s at its peak our burn times can be as little as under ten minutes, and our UV index is considered ‘extreme’. We have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.
Wearing sunblock, a t-shirt that covers your shoulders, sunglasses, and a hat while you’re out in the sun reduces your chance of skin cancer. If it’s really hot, staying in the shade between 10am and 5pm will also reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Love your mind
Festivals can be super confronting environments. There’s people and noise everywhere, your sleep cycle is interrupted, and you’re not at home in your familiar surroundings. While on one level this is all very exciting and fun, on another level it can be super stressful.
Take some time to check in with how you’re feeling. Are you overwhelmed with all of the people and the shiny things to see and do? Underwhelmed with the person in the tent next to yours with the shitty music that they won’t turn off? When was the last time you unwound? Taking stock of where your levels of whelm are at and keeping them in equilibrium as best you can is about the best thing you can do for yourself in life generally, as well as in festival season.