Post playa depression is a very real thing, especially after your first burn. A lot of people experience it, I know I did! It’s a natural problem after returning from the best week of your entire LIFE!!! Transitioning back into the real-world and processing all the amazing things you experienced can be an overwhelming process. There are SO many incredible things we experienced in our little city for that full week that it is impossible that you are not wired differently now!
You may be questioning your job, your coworkers, maybe your friends, the fact that you have to drive your car now instead of your bicycle and are stuck in traffic. The lack of wide open, endless, liberating spaces… Even your appetite might have changed, you may not be craving sugar as much, or the television, or Facebook, etc!
Direct that newfound energy to make life more awesome
Don’t worry my friend! You can use this energy to make powerful changes that will make your default world more like Black Rock City. This is not the time to just go back to the way things were but to integrate the lessons you learned and make progressive changes in your life!
This is why, for example, I ride my bicycle as much as I can, all the time. It connects my spirit to the carefree and timeless way of life at burning man combined with healthy exercise. So one thing you can do is… ride your bicycle a lot more often! Integrate bike-riding and public transport with work or maybe even just have simple rides around a park.
Say hello / good morning / good evening to strangers even if they don’t want to look at you or respond like most people in the city. Even if they stare depressingly at the sidewalk as they pass you… it’s okay, say hello to them anyway, it will make you feel good inside and maybe remind them to look up once in a while.
Smile and wave at the driver stuck at the red light next to you! Who cares if they get confused and wonder why you would do such a crazy thing. Smiling is awesome and that will lift their spirits and raise the vibration of the situation. Who knows, they might just smile and wave back. :le gasp:
Take that “risk” of interacting with people like you did at the burn. Maybe it’s time you finally start that conversation with your neighbor of 10 years.
Do you realize now that you hate hearing the TV? Then leave it off! Or better yet, save some money and cancel your cable service. 😛
Do you realize now you have too many useless material possessions and can’t stand the clutter? Start that cleansing process by selling your stuff on craigslist and get some money for it while freeing up your space!
What about following… those dreams?
Remember how when you were on the playa, you had the choice of doing anything? If you wanted to find a place to do yoga, a cyclist with a yoga mat in their basket would magically appear and next thing you know you’re following them to the yoga class you requested internally just minutes ago. (This “playadipity” = synchronicity. Openness to spontaneity is the key toward synchronicity.)
On the playa, you might have been inundated with so many options you might have experienced several moments where you had to stop and question what it is you really wanted. Well, the real life is like that. You have all the options in the world to do anything you want. And you have the free will to request them. So the real question becomes, WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT? Choose the things that represent WHO YOU REALLY ARE and WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
If you realize you hate being an office drone then maybe it’s time to look for a new job! What is it your really want to do? Brain-storm. Look for openings in the different departments that you could transfer to within your current company. Maybe there are some new opportunities there you may enjoy more and learn new things. Either way, it is very important that you start doing what you love, at least on the side.
Having problems with your non-burner friends?
You might have friends who might seem a bit more distant now that you are being more REAL with them and maybe they don’t like that change or maybe you are subconsciously pushing them away. That’s okay… friends always naturally come and go. Don’t try to stick to the previous rules you had created in your friendships. Be sure to love the vulnerable-open-honest-you! The people who will love you are out there wondering where the heaven you’ve been. It may or may not work with all friendships and that’s totally fine.
A lot of people find comfort in reading stories, writing out their own stories on the burning man forum at: http://eplaya.burningman.com Go ahead and type your stories out somewhere for the world to see. They will undoubtedly be special, at least to you, and help you retain the shadow memories of your dream-like-week.
Look at the pictures or videos your friends posted such as I did here last year. Plan a get together with your camp mates to watch the pictures or videos together.
Check if your city has a decompression event because while it isn’t supposed to mimic BM, it sure does have a novelty factor to it and it’s nice to be there.
Anyway… keep your dreams alive! We got an immeasurable amount of inspiration so please don’t get bogged down. You were just a part of an amazing city that everybody took part in creating all together. A city built on freedom to be yourself. Keep those dreams alive and be strong to direct this new level of energy toward making your life as awesome as you can make it.
Also, eat well and reestablish a consistent sleeping cycle! 😀
Hope that helps!