I am back from camp and finally have a chance to sit down and get back to blogging. It was an amazing, beautiful experience.
Here’s the thing though-I’m a fairly introverted person with a higher than normal level of social anxiety. Festivals are fine, even great, if you’re an extrovert that finds it easy to talk to other people. It took me a long time to find the balance needed to get an enjoyable social experience out of the time.
1. Move at your own pace
It’s your vacation. Do what you want with it.
I had a couple of comments made to me this year about ‘those weird people who just want to read’-and yes, it made me bristle a little. If you need to ground out and recharge-or if you just want to sit around reading or knitting or cloud watching just because you want to-do it. You don’t owe anyone else high energy.
2. Maintain boundaries
If people are overstepping, tell them. If they’re asking too much of you let them know you need time away to calm down and recenter. If you don’t want people on your site or out of certain areas, vocalize that.
3. Maintain your routines
If there are things that you do every day that you can still do while at festival, do them. If you shower every day at 11 and you have the ability to do so while at camp/festival, shower then. Stay on your normal food schedules. Go to bed at your normal time. Having the baseline of ‘normal but not at home’ will help.
4. Ground out
Festivals are very social events and you might overload more often. Finding some place to zone will help with that. I spent some time just sitting in the grass in the sun. It helped greatly.
5. Push boundaries in a non-threatening way
I tend to socialize with a core group which means that a lot of time I sit around waiting until that group involves me or isn’t busy. I frankly am getting tired of that approach, so this year I decided I would try to get involved in at least one conversation a day with someone I didn’t know or didn’t know well. It worked. This was the most social I’ve been the entire time I’ve been going to festivals.
6. Find a way to stay involved
The experience will feel less alienating if you find a way to get involved that doesn’t overload you. Take a class a day. Go to the group events that don’t require a lot of interaction. Find a way to stay social without being overly social.
The length of time you need to use these tips may vary. You may not need any of them. You may need all of them. You may only need them a couple of days a week, or only a few hours. You deserve your own comfort, whatever that looks like.