21 Mar 2013, 12:49pm
Thirteen Thursday

Managing energies: Preparing for a Festival

I know when I go to a festival (or a convention or on a vacation) that I will take on more than my usual energy needs, between the new information and the social, and the extended hours out and about. I have 13 strategies to help myself.

  1. Rest up. A column of airtime for a few days ahead so my energy is fresh.
  2. A few weeks ahead I start doing extra posts. [Making a clockwork universe, I usually run Eaten Up 3-4 days ahead so there isn’t stress on getting a particular shot, or need for internet access. That gives me flexibility to skip days.] I run the food blog out to 6 days ahead for the festival. So that’s covered, with a leeway so I don’t have to divert time to take photos or process and make posts.Likewise other blogs often have a skeletal post in the wings for every week or two so when my energies flatten out, it will already be going.
  3. Groceries done ahead of time, so there’s no running out of a staple and trying to fit in an almond milk run.
  4. Quick cook meals and slow-cooker meals planned out so I don’t have to spend neurons on decisions. I want to use my decision-power elsewhere. And I’ll need that time to process photos and information not have the indulgence of a couple hours free to do food.
  5. I make sure I eat greens and regular meals. I make sure there’s some fruit, nutritional bars and rice cakes because I know myself well-enough to know at least twice, I’m likely to get too anxious about being late to be able to eat. It has to have something portable and with a sustained energy so I don’t get caffeinated and don’t get sugar drops.
  6. I make sure I settle into conversation, ground myself instead of just buzz about.
  7. I act as sleep police to myself and go to bed even if my mind wants more and there’s more going on. More people to talk to, more to look at. I need to yadda myself.
  8. I let my body take whatever it needs. (The first two days sleep was normal-human and then repair sleep cranked up to 10-11 hours. The inconvenience of my body.)
  9. Laundry is done ahead. And I lay out my clothes, a stack per day before it all starts, because I won’t want to divert the energy during the rush. It improves my mood to be have my own valet, even if played by me.
  10. I pack for the journey into info: extra pens, camera, double-checking I packed both lenses, water bottle, notebook,battery charger, books to have signed, antihistamines, sunglasses, migraine and headache meds, just in case. (Basically what I would need for a vacation.)
  11. I take notes because if I try to remember something it’ll slip. Taking notes allows me to surf the next moment instead of lose it by trying to hold the last one.
  12. I want to pace myself so I don’t try to absorb more than I can. I make a prioritized list of what I want to see.
  13. I set my expectations and schedule so that I have a clear schedule for a few days after because I’ll likely be exhausted, even with best intentions and better than usual results.

In this case I nearly did it right, except I hit a wall and got a migraine partway. (Thankfully I have meds for that which take away most of the pain and shallow out the trough after.) Then two days later an exhaustion and headache so getting out of bed looked unlikely.

It’s worthwhile going. It just takes some planning. I get a wealth of inspiration and ideas.Here I am on Day 3 with Stuart Ross.

Stuart and Pearl

Lovely bits of social and I find the whole fascinating. It just takes some juggling.

I did better than for most festivals so far. I pulled back and gave myself permission to step out before I became a twitching heap.

When I overdo it, there’s no big gain. I can’t compose a photo that satisfies me. I won’t be perceiving properly. I’ll hear on a skew and I get cranky and overstimulated. Monkey mind has a riot. Or I’ll trigger a flare where my muscular-skeleton system runs a red alert and any sensation gets dumped into the pain category. Nobody wants any of that. Moderation.

Noteable Quotable: “Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.”  ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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