Very often sweeps will end and be followed by up to three weeks of tortuous waiting. You'll see your ND get even twitchier during this period, and that often trickles down to the staff. You start to second guess yourself. "Did I do enough? Was my work good enough?"
And if the ratings that come in aren't good, you sometimes blame yourself.
Ratings are often not a validation of quality.
Sure, it is nice to be number one, but there is plenty of quality work being knocked out by people working for last place stations. And lots of garbage being produced by people at first place stations.
Even if you're under a new regime and have made wonderful improvements, it often takes a year or two to reflect that in the ratings.
And sometimes it never makes a dent.
Ratings, like everything else in this business, are subjective. And viewers are slow to change, doing so at a glacial pace.
The only thing you can do is continue to put forth your best efforts every day, not just during sweeps. As long as you do that, you won't have any regrets if the ratings aren't good.