Post Tour Adjustment: Getting Back to Home Life
Sometimes when you’ve been in the ‘tour bubble’, coming home can be daunting. You may be facing a period of unemployment, or, you might finish one tour and immediately start on the next project without really resting – a recipe for burnout. Here are some ideas to adjusting to life post tour.
A time of change
Adjusting to changes – like how you spend your time or what sort of things you are thinking about – requires energy from our minds and our bodies. The bigger the shift, the bigger the adjustment needs to be, and the more mental and physical resources you will need to devote to it.
It can be helpful to view touring in this context – as a circumstance that inherently requires multiple and constant adjustments. The end of a tour is a milestone that, even in the nicest of circumstances, will require an adjustment.
Regularity and relaxation are great for softening the stress we experience during times of adjustment. Regularity is the antithesis of change, and relaxation helps us sustain the energy required to endure change.
At the very least, acknowledge that adjusting to change requires energy. It takes time to establish new patterns and to re-establish old ones. Be kind to yourself and affirm that post-tour life is unlikely to feel ‘normal’ straight away.
If you can, try to implement some ‘home life’ patterns towards the end of the tour – simple things like eating what you might eat at home, connecting regularly with friends that you normally see at home.
Consider having transitional objects – is there something that represents the tour to you, a memento or object that can transition from tour to home with you?
Perhaps even something you can take from home to the tour from the start. The object can then be a consistent symbol of the tour, and a permanent connection to your tour experience, even once the tour is over.
Pick up aspects of old routines one at a time, such as bed times, breakfast items, exercise and so on.
Block out time in your schedule to replenish and nourish yourself, employ relaxation strategies, plan familiar rituals and activities like catching up with friends, doing washing, walking the dog.
Good physical health and sleep are essential. Keep in mind that it can take at least a week of consistency to establish new sleep patterns.
The abrupt change to social habits formed on tour might make you feel lonely. You might even experience a kind of grief process when leaving the “tour family”.
Try to keep up social connections on homecoming – nourish old friendships, spend time with people you care about, visit your favourite local places, and continue to connect with colleagues.
You might not be the only one re-adjusting to the end of tour. Family or friends might seem resentful when you come home (even though they are happy to see you, they are adjusting too!).
It’s just an adjustment period – patterns of routine, roles and responsibilities have been changed when you are on tour, so it can take some time for patterns of ‘home life’ to feel harmonious again.
Don’t be shy – get in touch with your tour-mates! They might be wishing for connection too. Give them a call and share stories.