Whatever the cause, I was warned at BRMCWC and experienced it firsthand when I returned - Post Conference Depression (PCD). Maybe it's not quite as severe as PTSD, but it can definitely leave you sitting on the sofa with a remote in one hand and a bag of chocolate in the other instead of sitting at your desk typing away on the next great American novel!
Here are a few ideas I've heard and tried for getting over, around and through PCD (and they might just help with other acronyms ending with 'D').
- Spend time with God! This may sound like a no-brainer - I mean if you're on a mission trip or a retreat, you're obviously spending time with God, right? Not necessarily. I'm talking about your own quiet time alone with the Lord in prayer and in His Word. Don't let 'Christian activities' take the place of time alone with God, both while you are away and especially when you get home and face off with that mountain of laundry.
- Exercise! Even if you really don't want to, and believe me, you won't; keep up your exercise routine in some form while on the trip and when you return. I'm convinced that the sudden deprivation of endorphins caused by taking a break from my exercise routine fueled my case of the blues.
- Eat healthy! It's easy on trips like these to think of it as a time to indulge in all the yummy desserts that are offered, but coming home 5 pounds heavier will definitely leave you feeling bad about everything from your writing to the way your blue jeans fit.
- Press on! If you're a writer, make yourself sit down and write for a certain period each day, or a certain number of words each day, even if you don't really feel like it. What you write may not be good, it may stink, but you are maintaining the self-discipline of spending that time doing what you are called to do. If you paint, make yourself sit down and spend some time painting. If you garden, spend some time weeding and planting. The point is, don't let yourself get away with taking a long break because you're so busy. It makes it much harder to get started again and you'll feel miserable.
Whether you are going on vacation or to camp or on a mission trip, these tips will help you fight the post-mountaintop-experience blues when you get home. And they just might help you bring the mountaintop home with you!