How to get through festival season without breaking your sobriety

How to get through festival season without breaking your sobriety

Festival season is upon us and across Britain it’s a brilliant chance to get out and see some of the biggest bands and hottest new acts on the planet as they touch down in the likes of Somerset, the Isle of Wight, across London, the Peak District and beyond.

However, for people who are living their lives in sobriety, it can also be relatively daunting if they have booked their ticket, with temptation rife and dangers at every corner. Yes, festivals are known for their excess, and if you’ve spent time in alcohol or drug rehab, going to a festival can certainly curtail all the hard work you’ve done if you’re not careful.

Does that mean you shouldn’t go to a festival? Well, it’s something to consider. And it’s each to their own. However, there are also plenty of top tips out there to get you through them sober too, making them festivals to remember, for all the right reasons…

Plan Ahead

Naturally, one of the first things you’re going to need to do is plan, plan, plan. Before attending any festival, do a full reccy of the festival to understand its layout and environment. You’ll typically find maps on the festival’s website as well as all the amenities they offer.

For example, you may find sober friendly areas like wellness zones and chill-out spaces, while some even have alcohol free camping areas these days and various support groups. Setting yourself up in these areas can minimise the risk considerably.

Bring a Sober Buddy

Consider strength in numbers. Being around other sober people will only enhance your commitment to sobriety and can be hugely beneficial. Whether it be bringing along a friend who is also sober, or finding a group of people online who are committed to sobriety too, this can be really powerful for mutual support and accountability.

At big festivals in the UK, you’ll often find online communities that are all about sobriety and are going to a festival. It’s not only a great way to stay committed to your sobriety, but it’s also a brilliant way to make new friends!

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Staying hydrated and well-nourished is crucial for everyone at a festival, but it’s especially important for those maintaining sobriety. Carry a refillable water bottle and drink water regularly to avoid dehydration, which can affect your mood and energy levels. Pack healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar stable and avoid the temptation of using substances as a quick energy fix. Eating regular meals and staying hydrated helps keep your body and mind in balance.

Create a Personal Escape Plan

You can do all the planning in the world, but sometimes it can be just too difficult. And there’s no shame in that. Having an escape plan if it does become a little overwhelming can be a good option. That may be a quiet spot in the festival to regroup and take a break, or it could be having someone on call to come and pick you up.

Practice mindfulness and stick to your daily routines as best you can and this can aid in remaining composed and remaining on track.

Engage in Sober Activities

Speaking of mindfulness. At festivals, you’ll find so much more to offer than just music, drinking and partying. Many have wellness fields these days, such as Glastonbury’s famous Healing Field, where the likes of yoga sessions, meditation workshops and various other activities all take centre stage.

It’s an opportunity to relax and experience the festival in a unique and enriching way. Here you’ll also find many other people in similar positions to you too, who you can feed off and appreciate the support of.

Set Clear Boundaries and Be Assertive

It’s important to set clear boundaries regarding your sobriety and be prepared to assert them. Practice saying no confidently and have a few responses ready for when someone offers you a drink or other substances. You don’t need to explain your reasons in detail – a simple “No, thanks” or “I’m not drinking” is enough. If someone pressures you, be firm and remove yourself from the situation if necessary. Your sobriety is your priority, and setting boundaries is a crucial part of maintaining it.

Celebrate Your Sobriety

Finally, recognise that it’s not easy to stay sober and celebrate your decision to do so. Reward yourself for each sober day at the festival, whether it be enjoying some tasty food or treating yourself to a band t-shirt. It may even be enjoying a ride, such as the big wheel or taking a moment to just reflect and sharing successes with others.

Ultimately, acknowledging your achievements will reinforce your commitment and motivate you to continue on your journey of sobriety throughout the festival.

Discover more from Home

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading