Let’s face it, Disney fans are a group that knows the pain of PDB, or post-Disney (vacation) blues, all too well. For some, PDB (also known as PDD: post-Disney depression) comes in the form of powerful nostalgia, gratefulness for having uninterrupted time with family, and missing the precious days away from our jobs. For others (and I, for one, fall into this category) PDB can transcend from the general “missing” of Disney, and err on the side of an actual depression, complete with side effects like sluggishness, changes in appetite, and feelings of “just not being happy.” Though the effects may vary from personal to person, there is one universal truth that binds us all: PDB will hit the Disney fan after every single vacation, no matter how short or long the trip. In short, friends, the PDB struggle is real. Luckily, there are a few ways to give the blues a run for its money:
1. Plan ahead: PDB is coming, so ready the defenses! Make a stack of favorite Disney movies and vacation planning videos to enjoy when you get home. Make a playlist of your favorite Disney soundtracks and park loops. Schedule something fun with friends and family for after your trip. Sometimes when we’re feeling blue, we don’t feel like doing the things that will help us get out of a slump. So the main idea here is to have set activities in mind, in case all you feel like doing after your trip is, well, a lot of nothing. A little planning can go a long way!
2. Get social. Connecting with others can be a big help when you’re not quite ready to let go of your trip. Chat with your family about your shared experience at Disney, or tell someone else all about the fun you had. Look at other people’s vacation photos on social media; while seeing others have fun at Disney sounds agonizing, living vicariously can help you feel like you’re still a part of the magic. Watch YouTube videos of the Disney parks (The Dis has a ton available on their YouTube channel). Or, if you have a smartphone, try following fellow Disney fans on Periscope (an app that lets users livestream from wherever they are), so you can be a part of the action in real-time.
3. Walk it off. There is a significant amount of scientific research that suggests that being outdoors, as well as exercising, can help boost our mood and promote mental health. When PDB sets in, take a peaceful walk outside. Listen to Disney movie soundtracks or Disney Park loops as you walk (and put your playlist from Tip #1 to good use!). Remember what it felt like to be in Disney. Pay attention to the little details in the environment around you, and try to appreciate the wonder of nature, as much as you appreciate the magic and details of Disney.
4. Think of a wonderful thought. Yes, any happy little thought. Sometimes PDB is so persistent, that it’s easy to ruminate over the few moments at Disney when things weren’t completely covered in pixie dust – the times when fatigue took over and a park experience was no longer very enjoyable, or perhaps when the family wasn’t working in a particularly harmonious way. Whatever the issue may be, it’s over, and there’s no point in mourning the loss of an opportunity that has now passed. If you find yourself dwelling on the negative aspects of your trip, try focusing on the wildly abundant happy moments at Disney, and let them guide you through the days and weeks that follow your trip.
5. Embrace your normal routine. While it is hard (okay, very hard) to stop indulging in the goodies that we enjoyed while on vacation, getting back into a normal routine and diet is so important. Focus on eating nutritious foods, and don’t put off normal chores and tasks for too long. Stay busy. If you have an exercise regimen, restart it as soon as you can. To make ordinary tasks far more exciting while you’re missing your trip, try adding in some Disney-centric activities while you get things done (I like to set up my exercise bike in front of the TV and watch Disney planning videos, and sign checks for my utility bills with my gigantic Minnie Mouse pen – I know, dream big).
6. Seek the bird’s eye perspective. If you’re reading this blog, presumably you’re a Disney fan; I know that if you can be, you will be back at Disney, no matter how long it takes. Time flies faster than we often want it to, and in this case, that works in your favor. It won’t be too long before you’re planning another Disney trip, and the first time you get back on property will be a beautiful and glorious moment. In the meantime, there’s lots of life to enjoy – so go out and enjoy it!
No matter what strategies you use to ease the pain of the post-Disney blues, it’s good to have a few good PDB-busting ideas in your arsenal. Remember that if all else fails, the Disboards are filled with a wealth of tips, and that all Disers can relate to the post-Disney blues! Also, feel free to add any ideas that work for you in the comments section!
Please note that these tips are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
A frequent visitor to the parks as a child, Ashley rekindled her love for Disney after realizing that it had, in part, sparked the curiosity and determination that led her to travel the world, and to embark on her own adventure of story-telling through a career in publishing. She now enjoys experiencing the parks with a childlike enthusiasm, while appreciating the company's creative business strategies that inspire her own working style. She currently lives in New York City with her beloved husband, and cherished dog, Hojo.