So, you’ve just returned home from the experience of a lifetime. Perhaps you spent a week in paradise with an amazing group of humans and you’re bursting at the seams to share your experience with others. As a result of the time away, your life has changed for the better. Your goal is to share this new positivity and outlook on life with anyone and everyone you know.
You’ve spent the trip home imagining what everyone is going to say. Maybe you’ve even envisioned the praise and joy they’ll express when you tell them about this transformational experience.
You arrive home and excitedly begin telling everyone around you about what you’ve just encountered. You’re unprepared for how underwhelming the response is. “Awesome, that sounds really fun. I’m happy for you.”
Life has continued on as it was before. People are going on with their regular way of living. To your surprise they are ‘happy’ for you but not in the way you imagined. Do they even care? You can’t understand why life is going on in this fast-paced, crazy manner. You start to feel alone in the world and want to go back to the place where everyone shared in the joy, the love, the connection.
If the above sounds familiar you may be experiencing what I call Post-Retreat Blues–or ‘PRB’ for short. This has happened to me after returning from a wonderful Mentorship retreat with the Animal Flow team in Costa Rica.
Spending 7 days at a beautiful retreat with Flowists from around the world, immersed in Flow practice, laughter and learning was mind-blowing. From early in the morning until late in the evening we gathered together to share movement, stories and experiences. No-one wanted it to end.
Chris ‘Flo’ Flores (bottom right) and Flowists at the mentorship in Costa Rica.
This is not the first time I have suffered from a case of the PRBs after an inspirational experience and I know I’ll face it again. I also know that many others have felt, or will feel, this way at some point.
I’ve created a short list of things to do in order to deal with these issues and help you re-acclimate to the real world. This list is in no particular order; hopefully these tips can help you readjust by minimizing the blues that are inevitably experienced off the back of such a high.
1. Remember that this is a part of your journey.
It can be hard to keep this in mind but try to remember that this is an experience that you had. It can be difficult for those around you to relate to something that they haven’t personally gone through. They can’t smell the smells, feel the feelings, or begin to comprehend the views you took in. Photos and videos won’t do the event justice; you can try to recreate the experience through words but it will never replace being there.
Your loved ones likely won’t share your new-found enthusiasm and that’s ok. This is part of your journey, not theirs. Be happy you had the opportunity to be a part of something great.
2. Your ordinary life makes the extraordinary possible.
When you return to the day-to-day work that you do, try to remember that doing so makes it possible for you to attend such events. The money you make is what affords you the opportunity to travel, take a workshop, or attend a special event. Keep this in the front of your mind as you return to your job.
3. Draw inspiration from it and share that with others.
Think of ways that you can create this same type of experience for others, right where you live. Not everyone will take a week away from work to better themselves or escape to another country. Perhaps you could bring the essence of it to them instead, creating the sense of community and connection that many others crave.
Did you attend an incredible workshop? Why not hold a session that allows you to pass on some of that knowledge. Or perhaps you participated in an unforgettable retreat? Deliver your own day retreat in your area with a goal of helping others share in the adventure.
4. Expand your network, nurture your relationships.
It’s highly likely that you’ve met some amazing people on your journey. The end of the experience doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship. You’ve expanded your network and it’s up to you to keep these new relationships intact. Just like any relationships that you value, these new ones will need to be nurtured to keep the bond strong.
Try setting up online meet ups, jam sessions, or just reach out and collaborate on new ideas. This is the perfect time to capitalize on the energy generated by the shared adventure so don’t wait, strike while the iron is hot. You never know what can be achieved when you combine a few positively charged minds.
5. All great things must come to an end.
Last but not least, try to remember that part of what made the moment special is knowing that it must end. While your time was amazing, if it was your everyday life it would lose its magic. Bask in the glory of the memories you take with you while also recognizing that it’s time to get back to your daily life. Allow the joy of the occasion to be sprinkled into your life. As Dr. Seuss once said: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
If, like Chris, you’re suffering from a case of the Post-Retreat Blues (or you’re just looking to meet like-minded movers), why not also look for other Flowists in your area. Our Community Groups on Facebook are the perfect place to connect with instructors, or find out about upcoming Jams or workshops in the region.