Updated: Sep 22, 2021
We've all had that feeling after completing a big milestone - a sense of loss, sadness, and even depression. As project managers, we invest so much of ourselves in completing our projects that when it's over, it's not uncommon for post-project blues to settle in. Our days that were filled with planning, execution, and team collaboration are once again free of the multitude of meetings and interactions that consumed every minute of every day. We're often told to leave our feelings at the door when we enter the workplace, but post-project blues is a very real feeling that may be remedied best through interaction with colleagues to plan for "what's next."
In our everyday lives, the most known manifestation of this feeling is postpartum depression. According to Mayo Clinic,
The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. But it can also result in something you might not expect — depression (Mayo Clinic, n.d.).
Most new moms experience postpartum "baby blues" after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after delivery, and may last for up to two weeks. But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression.
The correlation between these experiences is that feeling of depression. However, it's important to remember that you are not alone. Experiencing post-project blues doesn't mean you possess a character flaw or a weakness. Sometimes it's simply a complication of giving birth or in the case of a project manager, completing a project. If you are experiencing depression, reach out to a professional who can help you manage your symptoms. For those that reside in the US, the US Department of Health & Human Services offers a free helpline:
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
In this week's podcast, Christina and I discuss this very real topic of Post-Project Blues and give our thoughts on knowing how to identify when you are going through this depression type and coping mechanisms we have used to manage it.
Have you ever experienced post-project blues? If so, what are some tips and techniques you utilized to manage your feelings? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Reference: Mayo Clinic (n.d.). Postpartum depression - symptoms & causes. Online post: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617
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