As authors we all have deadlines that loom over our heads, filling our brains and our calendars with all the details. For lack of a better term, I am going to lump all those deadlines under the title of a Big Event. How do you recover after a Big Event? I don’t know about you, but I tend to minimize my need for rest and move onto the next Big Thing.
How To Recover After a Big Event:
Perhaps you are like me. When the Big Event looms in your horizon, you push everything else aside, saying, “I’ll save that for after the Big Event, because everyone knows l will have more time after the Big Event.”
Well, after the Big Event has arrived. That sucking sound you hear? It’s my calendar about to implode.
My Big Event was a trifecta: a fundraising event I chaired for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, our youngest son’s college graduation, and the release of my first book, Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places. All three events occurred in a ten-day window–because, you know, all major events for 2017 needed to happen in the beginning of May.
I knew I would be tired. I was unprepared for the absolute exhaustion I would experience when it was over.
Perhaps your Big Event was a wedding, a job change, a book proposal, a personal milestone, a remodeling project, a completed manuscript, a writing class or a long-anticipated vacation. The Big Event consumed your calendar, your energy, your emotion, your time. You busted your butt, obsessed over it and spent every free waking minute focused on it and now it is OVER.
The Big Event is over and you find yourself depleted, out of gas, and struggling to make it through a normal day.
So, what happens after an experience like this? You’re exhausted and depleted. You need a period of recovery. Achievers forget this so easily. You are groomed to be industrious and effective, but not to allow for recovery or transition between projects. – Sharon Teitelbaum.
Yeah, that pretty much describes me. You too?
Now what? How do you handle it? How do you recover?
1. Look Back
We live in a culture that tends to look forward. Achievers, especially, find purpose in the next big project, yet taking time to reminisce and celebrate what you have accomplished is important. Process the event with others and keep a visible reminder of your achievement – a photo by your computer, a shell from the family vacation, a framed certificate over your desk.
Last week I spent time loading photos from the cancer event and graduation and enjoyed reading reviews from the book release.
2. Look Inward
Recognize that you might be feeling a variety of emotions after a Big Event, including highs and lows, exhaustion and elation.
“It’s natural, too, to feel sad, disappointed, even depressed at the end of a big project, even one that’s a resounding success. The things we do define us as people, and the biggest things we do are the biggest part of us; losing them, even by choice and design, is hard.” – Dustin Was
Be kind to yourself. Rest when you need it. Go to bed early. Do something therapeutic whether it is baking, gardening, watching endless shows on Netflix or getting a pedicure.
3. Look Forward
After you have had time to rest and transition, it is time to focus on the next event and plan some new goals.
Take a little time to reflect on your finished project. See how you might build on the success you’ve already achieved. Then get ready for the next big thing.
What about you? How do you recover from a Big Event?
Lynne Hartke’s first book, Under a Desert Sky, was released in May with Baker/Revell Publishers. When she is not writing or blogging, she is out hiking desert trails and pastoring with her husband in Chandler, AZ.