The season has finished; Indianapolis is now a memory. You’re home, ready to kick back and enjoy the last few days of summer. But instead of relaxed and happy, you’re feeling…sad? Lonely? Irritable? Restless?
If this sounds like you, you might be experiencing the post-tour blues. And you’re not alone! Many DCI participants across the country experience feeling down-in-the-dumps after the end of the season.
What causes the post-tour blues?
The reality is: drum corps is a physically and emotionally intense activity. Everyday is packed full of personal challenges, and the summer moves so quickly that it is difficult to find time to process all of your thoughts and feelings. When the season ends and there is finally time to think, all of this can be difficult to manage.
Additionally, sunlight and physical activity, abundant during the summer season, promote the production of hormones that contribute to good mental health. After the season ends, the lack of these hormones and the rush of emotions can cause you to feel out of sorts.
It is also very normal to miss your drum corps community! Going from spending 24/7 sharing common joys and goals with 150 of your best friends, to being hundreds of miles away from them all is never fun.
Finally, drum corps members become accustomed to having a set schedule and set of expectations every day. When the season ends, and every day is open-ended, some people are unsettled and uncomfortable with the lack of structure.
Ways to cope!
– Show your friends your favorite pics and videos from the summer
– Call and text your drum corps friends
– Eat your meals outside with friends (even eat on the curb like you did during the summer!)
– Practice your instrument/equipment
– Plan and follow a daily schedule – complete with lunch-block and nap-block!
– Sleep on your air mattress or camping pad
– Take a cold shower in your shower shoes, and sing your favorite corps shower song (if appropriate)
– Journal your thoughts, or read over your journal/social media entries from the season
– Try yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises
– Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling
– Enjoy time with your pets (or your friends’ pets!)
– Restart an activity that you enjoyed before the season
– Join a group exercise class for community
It’s okay to ask for help
The post-tour blues happens to more people than you think. Know that it is okay to feel sad. With time, it will usually fade.
However, if you are constantly feeling sad, anxious, numb, or experiencing any other symptoms that are negatively impacting your ability to live your life the way you want, we encourage you to seek help from mental health professionals. Just like doctors or physical therapists who manage physical issues, mental health professionals like therapists or counselors are trained to help you with any mental health issues you are experiencing.
If you or a friend are experiencing thoughts about self-harm or suicide, you can call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255