With the excitement of the festive season coming to an end, you may find yourself grappling with a peculiar emotional phenomenon — post-festival blues. Now that normalcy has set in after the vibrant festive season, people may experience a sense of dullness as they return to the slow pace of life.
Also known as a festival comedown, Dr Jyoti Kapoor, founder-director and senior psychiatrist, Manasthali, explains that post-festival blues refers to the feeling of sadness, letdown, or even “depression” that some individuals experience after attending a festival or a major event.
“Festivals are often characterised by high energy, excitement, social interactions, and a sense of community. However, when the event comes to an end, attendees may feel a noticeable contrast between the intense, positive experiences of the festival and the return to their regular, everyday lives,” she said.
While post-festival blues is not a psychiatric disorder, Dr Shaunak Ajinkya, consultant, psychiatrist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai said that this transient emotional state can be overwhelming and persist even for weeks.
So, why do we feel post-festival blues?
*Social withdrawal: Festivals often provide a strong sense of community and social connection. When the event concludes, attendees may find themselves returning to a more isolated or less stimulating social environment.
*Loss of excitement: The vibrant atmosphere, pulsating music, and immersive entertainment that define festivals create a sensory overload. The absence of these stimuli post-festival can lead to a sense of emptiness or boredom.
*Return to routine: The transition from a carefree, celebratory environment to the routine and responsibilities of everyday life can be challenging for some people. The contrast can intensify feelings of post-festival blues.
*Anticipation buildup: The anticipation leading up to a festival can be a powerful emotional experience. When the event ends, there may be a letdown as the excitement and anticipation fade away.
*Emotional exhaustion: The sensory overload and intensity of emotions experienced during a festival can contribute to emotional exhaustion. After the event, individuals may feel drained and emotionally depleted.
How to cope with post-festival blues
It’s normal to feel a bit let down after festivals, according to Kamna Chhibber, clinical psychologist, head- mental health, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare. However, taking proactive steps to take care of your well-being and maintaining a positive outlook can help ease the transition back to everyday life. Here are some strategies to help you beat the post-festival blues.
*Reflect on the positive moments: Recall memorable moments, performances, and connections you made. Focus on the positive energy and experiences rather than dwelling on the fact that the festival has ended.
*Stay connected: Keep in touch with friends or people you met during the festival. Social connections can help maintain a sense of community and provide ongoing support. Share photos, memories, and experiences with others to prolong the positive feelings.
*Ease back into routine: Gradually reintegrate into your routine rather than making abrupt changes. This can help ease the transition and minimise the shock of returning to normalcy.
*Plan future events: Give yourself something to look forward to by planning future events, whether they are small gatherings, concerts, or other activities. Having upcoming plans can help shift your focus away from the post-festival blues.
*Practice self-care: Get enough sleep, eat healthy, stay away from addictive substances and engage in activities that bring you comfort. If possible, schedule some relaxation activities like yoga and mindfulness to allow a smoother transition back to regular activities.
If feelings of sadness or depression persist, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. They can provide guidance and support to help you navigate your emotions.