What goes up must come down – handling post event blues

Anyone expect to be dancing on sunbeams after an event only to find themselves tired and wanting to hide on the couch the next day? Have you ever wondered if it’s something other people experience too? And where does it come from? Is is perfectionism? Resistance to the next steps? Restorative? 

Putting it to the brains trust! This week I spoke to a number of coaches and trainers in my networks about whether they ever feel inexplicably ‘down’ the day after a workshop/ lecture/ training seminar, why they think that is, and how to handle it.

If you’ve ever experienced this and wondered if you were alone – you’re not!

They had some great tips on how to handle this and create space for it – what I now like think of as making down time for the ‘down’ time.

What they had to say….

This is totally and completely normal! It’s part of the creative cycle, especially when you’re running an event yourself – you put so much of yourself into making it amazing, OF COURSE you’ll be drained afterwards. When you know to expect it, you can plan for it so it doesn’t hit you so hard. Not just in the sense of scheduling down time after an event, but also in making sure that you amp up your self care *before* and *during* the event (so you don’t need quite as much down time). – Heidi

I think it is very nomal. Its an energy phenomenon. You give your energy to thers, but then suffer from a lack, which is why you are tired and have to fill yourself up again. The more workshops you have done, the less tired you will get, as you will learn to handle your energy. Take a look at master presenters like Barbara Sher. She seems to not to get tired as a result of her training, as she seems to get into a flow while a workshop. She deals perfectly with her energy. So maybe it would be a good think to learn something like energy balancing. but yes, it is definitely normal, while you are still learning to make workshops without losing your energy, but rather to to keep it or double it (like masters do). – Lisa

I think just like every actor needs to be a little nervous before each performance, in order to be good, so do presenters. Similarly we all will be a little worn out afterwards.  I guess it also has something to do with recovering, getting your strength back. – Carolina

I know this feeling, the after-workshop-blues. When I give a two-day-workshop I often feel sad in-between the two days. The day after the workshop is finished I leave completely free: I am only allowed to do crochet and I often book a massage. At the beginning I could barely speak after workshops (me!! someone who loves to speak), now it’s much better. I think that’s because I used to have to work much more to prepare and I had to deal with a great load of insecurity. I have also learned with time to let the participants do much more during sessions so that I am not 120% ‘on’ all the time. – Maria

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Thank you so much for bringing the topic up Jade! I always thought I have personal problem here. My after workshop blues is always a massive feeling of depression which I could never explain especially when things went very good and felt right! After a recent 2 days seminar in Germany I could hardly do anything the day after it finished, I felt very sad and sleepy at the same time. – Hajo

I have a similar experience: feeling completly empty after a success … and super excited and/or very tired. I meanwhile learnt and accepted the yin-yang-principle: after a lot of work you need a rest, after stress you need to relax – so after a weekendworkshop, I block Monday (and sometimes even Tuesday) as “day off” – and after a day-workshop in another town, I am too tired to drive home, so I will often sit in a cafe, do some windowshopping – even real shopping. After high performance you need a rest to recover, after a lot of stress, you need also a rest or another activity to reduce stress-hormons in your body, otherwise you risk your health longterm (burnout). It’s just like when you do sports to get more muscles – they grow in the rest period. The best would be to have better energy-management, to avoid getting too exhausted by being in a flow :- ) – Astrid

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An ex colleague of mine made a wordgame in German long ago. I said: after a training (Lehre) I feel so…so… And she finished my sentence: empty? (leer?). So in German, teaching and emptiness sound exactly the same (Lehre/leere). Although I don’t tend to interpret too much in that, it is a good reminder that you have to fill your tanks up again after standing in front of a group. – Maria

I’m afraid, it is normal and you should only be proud of yourself and good to yourself, do what ever you love and celebrate your success. It is also important to let all the problems go, which are not yours. I sometimes shower with a little salty water or do other things to clear anything I may be holding onto from the group our participants. – Gabriele

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YEP! The same here! After a workshop I always need some time off. The “day after” is good for doing some small things and rounding up the training (How was it?) and that’s about it. – Claudia

It’s the same for me: after a challenging workshop I keep the following day free: too many new thoughts looking for a place and circle around – it must be quiet around me to sort all the new impressions I always bring from days like this. It’s like cleaning after a party – Hilke

Conclusions

It’s a common experience and you’re not alone! It’s certainly a pattern I’ve noticed personally after delivering training sessions or guest speaking, especially if there has been a lot of preparation or excited nervous energy – e.g. a new audience, or when it’s breaking new ground for me in some way. Coaching clients have spoken about the same thing, especially clients who identify as introverted or highly sensitive.

I think the fear that arises is that it may mean we’ve done a bad job or that we secretly haven’t enjoyed the experience (because if we did we figure we’d be feeling great), and the worry that this may reflect on our skills or abilities as trainers, speakers or facilitators. Instead it is helpful to consider the physical / energetic aspects of the post event slump. Be kind to yourself, cut yourself some slack, and see how everything looks a day or two later once you are well rested and your hormones and energy levels have evened up.

 

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