Tuesday, 4 September 2018

How I Dealt With Anxiety At a Festival - and what I wore!

So this weekend I attended the first festival for me, in over 10 years. 
Approaching the date, I was full of excitement. What I’d wear, what artists I’d see play there, the brands and the people behind them, who I’d meet and of course, exploring a city I’m not used to. But as it got closer, that excitement was quickly replaced by fear. That gripping tightness in my chest, the fear of being lost, the paranoid feelings of people not liking me or people making hurtful remarks. Would I stand out in all the wrong ways? Would I be judged? All these things that I hide deep inside yet tell other people to ignore or embrace. That contradicting feeling only adds to my anxiety and I struggle to keep focus on the simplest of tasks. 
Now this was a relatively small festival. Think a single stage, some food vendors and some fairground rides with no camping. But with all day performances over the course of two days. 




So here are a few of the things that I do or did, in order to help my worried brain out a little;

Know my route. 
Ok so this one seems a given, right? Know the stations or roads that you’d need to take to get to the venue so you know you are heading in the right direction. I suffer massively with the fear of being lost by myself and find if my travel route or thoroughfare are listed in some way, I’m less likely to panic. 

Take your time.
If I’m rushed, I have less time for my rational side of thinking things through properly. I try to leave earlier to create a more relaxed journey or pace myself and allow the fact that I may just well be late. 

Take time out
We all know that self care is more than just bath bombs and cleansing, right? It’s knowing how much you can physically cope with within the amount of time to do them in. Taking time to relax your mind and body will help with the bigger challenges. This weekend I made sure I got to sit in the bath the morning before the second day at the festival so that I could hear my thoughts in a tranquil setting. The same goes for when you are at the festival too. Finding a spot on the grass to sit down and take a break for a few minutes is always good. 

Know your exits
So sitting in a somewhat quiet area of a festival is often going to be met with noise, people, sometimes litter and when it all becomes too much, be sure to know where the nearest exit is so you can remove yourself for a short while to gain some space and peace. We were by the coast this weekend and it really helped to look out at the calming water and feel the breeze on my face when I got too flustered. 




These are just a few examples of what helped me this time in an unknown crowded place. Obviously anxiety affects people in a multitude of ways but knowing what triggers you can also be a massive help to ease a bad situation. I made sure to eat and drink well, steer clear of overly crowded spots, keep alcohol consumption to a limit and took taxis to and from the festival to avoid more people when I needed space. I did attend this festival with my husband which helped massively. I know that I wouldn’t have done so well without him, given that our hotel was so far away from the festival and out of town. It took 3 trains from Bristol to Liverpool and I found it mentally exhausting. It’s was such a comfort having someone I knew, with me.

Massive thank you to Alloutbeautyuk.com that not only invited me along to Fusion Festival but for being such wonderful hosts to myself and my husband.