Beating post-World Cup blues

2010-07-14 00:00

IRRITABLE? Sad? Feeling empty? It could be post-World Cup withdrawal.

The post-mortem on South Africa’s World Cup drew a near perfect score but locals are now grappling with a once far-off question after a month of celebration and rare unity: how are you going to get your life back?

With a touch of the blues, say experts.

“This World Cup has provided us with a fantastic natural high,” said Cape Town psychologist Helgo Schomer.

“Now we have to replace it because within 31 days and a few games you get hooked.”

South Africans lapped up the chance to welcome the world and celebrate without the constant shadow of apartheid’s ills, in a outpouring of national pride and unity little seen since multi- racial democracy in 1994.

All the country’s social barriers had come down during the month-long tournament, which is not often seen, Schomer said.

“We are a social animal. We need to admit that something like this in a group in a stadium with 60 000-plus people cannot be replaced by anything else,” he said. “Humans among humans are the most happy people around. We forget about our worries. Nothing like a World Cup event alleviates worry about the mundane.”

The championship created a vacuum of euphoria with a bump to be expected, said Charl Davids of the psychology department at the University of the Western Cape.

“It’s the sudden set-in of okay, now things are back to normal, and I think that is the kind of blues and almost depressed feeling that a lot of people have.”

As reality crept in, the hype of the mega-event was suddenly gone, once the 64 matches had finished after years of build-up.

The freedom of opining on the game’s minutiae — which dominated conversations for four weeks — by instant football experts who perhaps lacked thorough knowledge might also have evaporated.

“It’s quite normal after a big event,” said Davids.

“Suddenly today that is gone because now if you talk about something you need to know what you’re talking about,” he added.

South Africans have been urged to harness the current spirit, amid hopes that the benchmark set by staging the world’s most watched sporting event will turn to huge challenges of poverty, crime and divisions.

For those itching for a vuvuzela or remote control, Schomer said some could face withdrawal symptoms of irritability, frustration and even more swearing.

“There’s a touch of melancholy about the fact that it’s over, it’s done,” he said.

But the blues will pass, he said, calling on people to replace the natural high.

“We level out. It takes a bit of time. Normally it takes about a seven-day period on average but that varies from person to person.”

Some fans were already feeling the blues before the last whistle on Sunday.

“I’ve already started suffering from post-World Cup depression,” said Melanie George queuing for the Cape Town fan park eight hours ahead of the final on Sunday.

“It’s like amazing, all the people who are here and everyone said South Africa couldn’t do it and we really showed them.”

And next? “Sulk. Save for 2014.”

— Sapa-AFP.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.