02 Apr '18
How To Hang On To Your Zen At Coachella
Our top tips for how to keep your mind and body aligned during the hottest festival of the year.
Coachella is a whirlwind of creative energy you have to experience to understand. The non-stop tunes. The mind-blowing modern art. Fireworks lighting up the night. Hordes of screaming fans. The avant-garde fashion. The uninhibited fun. All that said, this uber-popular festival in the desert also puts you at risk for sensory overload. Your eyes and ears will be hyper-stimulated for days on end. The best way to keep your child is to never lose it in the first place. Preparation will be your best defense against getting frazzled among 200,000 of your fellow music fans. Follow these tips to maximize your time and keep your mind, body, and spirit in alignment in this one-of-a-kind environment.
Dress For The Desert
It’s going to be hot. Dress comfortably and sensibly. You’re not on the runway playing the desert queen, you’re in nature and at the whim of the elements. Opt for athleisure wear in breathable fabrics that moves with you and that you aren’t afraid to sweat in. Pack layers, like a drop-back top to wear over an Onzie bra, so you can adjust your wardrobe to the weather. An oversized sweater, shawl, or cover-up can be repurposed as a place-marker or blanket. Bring a hoodie to cover up with when the temp cools at night. If you chill easily, bring thin gloves, too.
Wear closed-toed shoes, preferably athletic ones. Yes, your feet might sweat and they won’t look as cool as fashion footwear, but it’s better than getting your toes (literally) stepped on. Coachella means walking – up to 13 miles a day between stages – and you need your feet in tip-top shape.
You’ll need a hat – preferably an unobtrusive one. A floppy sun hat will block other festivalgoer’s view of the stage and you don’t want to be that girl. Leave the designer sunglasses at home. Chances are, you’ll lose them, step on them, or accidentally fling them away while dancing. Pack cheap shades instead and bring a spare pair, too. Earplugs will protect your hearing while still allowing you to jam out.
Last, but not least: you’ll need a scarf or bandana for your face. It’s essential to protect yourself from dust and the infamous “Coachella cough.”
Keep It Clean
If you’re camping on-site, set your alarm so you’re at the showers as soon as they’re open – unless you like standing in a stinky queue for hours on end. Apply sunscreen liberally and often. Still get burned? Hopefully you packed a container of aloe to soothe your skin. Chapstick will keep your lips supple while face wash and dry shampoo will keep oiliness at bay.
You’re going to get dirty before your next shower, whether it’s from dirt or sweat or beer. Keep your hands clean with antibacterial wipes and if you’re prone to germaphobia, wipe down those toilet seats before you sit down, too. Baby wipes (without the antibacterial ingredients) can also be used to cleanse your face and skin. Stash a small Kleenex packet and a travel size package of toilet paper in your bag or fanny pack, just in case.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
If you must imbibe, do so in moderation. Alcohol, tea, and even coffee will dehydrate you, so try to stick to water as often as possible. Stash a few protein bars or trail mix in your backpack just in case you have a blood sugar crash between meals or while waiting in a food line.
Navigating the Masses
Coachella is known for being an inclusive environment, one in which it’s easy to make new friends. This is one place where it’s not only advisable, but easy, to talk to strangers. Strike up a conversation as soon as you arrive. See where it takes you.
That said, Coachella is also known for its epic lines. Waiting is part of the Coachella experience. Eating, drinking, and bathroom trips will all take longer than you want them to. Be patient. Everyone is probably just as lost/frustrated/exhausted as you are.
Think of long lines as opportunities to practice your yogic breathing. An easy exercise to remember is: inhale to a count of 10, exhale to a count of 10. Gradually lower the numbers until you reach 0 (also known as inner peace).
If traveling with friends, designate a specific meeting spot to reconvene if you get separated. Keep track of your pals at night with matching glowsticks.
Check the schedules for Weekend 1 and Weekend 2 before you arrive and know where you want to be when. Allow extra time for finding stages and getting settled before the shows start. Don’t be afraid to hit concerts alone if there’s an act you’re dying to see that your friends just don’t get. You don’t have to be right up front to enjoy a show, either; sometimes the chillest way to take in music is to spread out a blanket and soak it all up while lying down.
Leave your phone in your locker or car (if you dare) or at the very least keep your phone on silent. You came all this way, so be in the moment, not on social media. A portable charger is a must-have if you want to stay connected. If you go cell phone-free, make sure you wear a watch.
Coachella will run you ragged if you let it. Take a time-out every day and find a quiet space. Do yoga. Meditate. Re-center. Tempting though those late-night parties may be, make sure to get some sleep. You won’t enjoy anything if you’re a zombie.
Bask in the good vibes. Coachella is nothing if not a non-stop itinerary of fun.