Do you feel depressed when a major meeting is over? If so, you're in good company. According to M&C's recent survey on the topic, only 15 percent never experience the post-meeting blues. The rest report mixed emotions, sadness, or a physical and emotional crash, among other common symptoms.
Make a plan for what you'll do after meeting, advises Beth Sonnenberg, LCSW, a New Jersey-based psychotherapist and life coach. Following are her 10 tactics for beating the post-meeting blues:
List what you miss. During the planning process, jot down of all the things you didn't get to do because you've been so consumed. Include activities with your family, or self-care such as your workout routine. Then do them, and check them off as you go.
Fill the void. Planning a big event is like training for a marathon: As you're working hard toward the goal, you visualize the finish line and picture how the event is going to play out. When it's over, not having that goal taking up space in your head leaves a void. Replace it with a new goal, such as planning a vacation with your family.
Manage your expectations. Remind yourself that you might feel depressed or not as energetic after the meeting - and you should expect that.
Go easy. It's reasonable to lower your expectations for your own performance. Your first day back won't be the same as any work day; understand the reasons why.
Check your self-esteem. When you're working toward something big and challenging, you feel good about yourself. When you're not, you might feel a sense of loss and lack of purpose. Remember that you bring value to many facets of your life.
Accept the slump. It's normal to be disappointed once a momentous event has passed. And remember, it's temporary.
Get help if you need it. Give yourself two weeks to feel a little disconnected, a little lost, and to get back to your new normal. If more than a few weeks have passed and you're still not functioning well, seek help from a professional.