Every late January and early February, I crash. It never fails: I’m flying through the holiday season, excited for my pumpkin spice everything (and I am not ashamed to admit it), only to run with open arms to gingerbread scents, trees and lights, and BOOM! Like clockwork, I feel down when it’s all said and done.
I know I’m not alone and felt a little better while prepping for this year’s slowdown when I heard about the concept of post adrenaline blues. I’m willing to bet even if you don’t get the same post-holiday blues as I do, you get some kind “meh” emotion after “high” moments.
Maybe you’ve been digging into work hard, and you’re finally done – YAY! – only to be miserable afterward for no good reason.
Perhaps you’ve felt the aftermath of a major event, and suddenly with all this time and energy that was previously spent on the event, you find yourself in the dumps.
Post adrenaline blues are quite literally the symptoms you experience when you are going in withdrawal from stress hormones – also called the “let down effect” it can also manifest physically. Remember getting sick AFTER the big stressful holiday get together? Your body held it together just enough to make it through, and then, BAM.
In prep for your next slowdown, here are a few tips to make the aftermath a bit easier:
Think about what just happened and how you feel about it. What went well? What didn’t? How did you feel about it? Giving yourself space to reflect on what just happened, good or bad, gives you time to process.
When I turned in a big project, I felt panicked: what is all of this time? What happens now? After looking back on how I accomplished that project, I realized that next time, I would be a little softer on myself and understand that off days are important. That reflection helped me get through that sudden panic.
Recover and Relax
“Learn to rest, not to quit” is one of my favorite quotes. Take time for you and do whatever fills you – if that is taking a moment to read a favorite book, having a nice snack or sleeping an extra hour on an off day, do something that is solely and selfishly for you.
If you are always pushing and working, you won’t move forward because your body needs that time to recover – whether you’re doing something physical or mental, that space between you and your work is critical.
Dig back into that old routine! After major stress-inducing events, going back to your routine might help in your bounce-back. Keep busy (after you reflect and recover, of course!) and focus on tasks that need to be done, and you’ll be over that funk in no time.
When things seem a bit out of control, finding a routine to hold on to can make things feel a bit easier. If you don’t have one, start one! Even if it’s work for a few hours, then take a walk around the block before you hop on a call or do another email round, that’s a routine. Consistency can equal calm!
I promise you; you have something coming up “next” – even if it’s in a few months! Start to focus on that “what next” as well as your next set of goals and accomplishments, and you’ll have a new plan. If you don’t give yourself extra time to wallow, you won’t. Focus on what’s coming up!
The next time you’re bummed after a big event, try these tips and see how fast you can get back to your normal. And always remember, if things are more than you can handle, there is nothing wrong with seeking help.