Do You Have the Post-Event Blues?
July 21, 2011 by
If you compete in sports, I am sure you can totally relate to the feeling of complete accomplishment and exhilaration that you experience when taking part and finishing a sporting activity.
As some of you may know, back in May of this past year I completed my FIRST MARATHON! I had promised to report back once I had completed the race to tell all of you how I did. I remember the unbelievable feeling I had crossing that finish line and getting my medal. I was trying to hold back all the tears when hugging my loved ones who were there to be a part of the special day. It was a day like no other, and one that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. However, I woke up the next morning to find myself feeling very down, sad, and dare I say, even depressed. I should have been ecstatic, but instead I was left feeling empty inside…and more than a little sore.
How is it that I was sad and ready to cry even though the goal that I had been working so hard for was finally accomplished?! I was mad and upset with myself for how I was feeling. I could not understand it, and, unfortunately, that made it all the more harder on me. I thought I would feel better in a day or two, but I was mistaken. Fact is, I was still feeling down after a full week had passed and I was starting to become concerned. I did what any person would do and turned on the ole’ computer and started to GOOGLE my heart out! After some research, I realized that what I had been feeling was in fact, normal. I was experiencing the post-event blues, my friends.
Post –event blues? What is that? This type of sadness or depression can be commonly found in runners, but can also be found in musicians or people planning a big event such as a wedding or a reunion, etc. When anyone spends large periods of time either mentally or physically preparing and training for an event such as a marathon and then, in what feels like a second, it is over, it can be hard to deal with– on an emotional level. It is similar to the letdown many of us experience the day after Christmas or after a huge event or fundraiser for which you have been working and planning. It was such a relief to know the feelings I was experiencing were normal and natural. So, now, the question became, what do I do to feel better? Can I feel better? You certainly can fight those negative and depressive feelings, and here are some tips that can help.\
1. Rest and Relax – Take some time off and just rest your mind and body. I trained for over 18 weeks for the marathon, and I needed at least a week or two off to rest and help my body heal. My body had just gone though a huge ordeal, and it needed some time to recoup and rest in order to be back in working shape. If you have just planned a huge event and you are suffering from the letdown of the day being over then you can take this opportunity to catch up with friends or go out to that movie you have been planning to see. Do something for YOU! You accomplished something extraordinary and special to you, and you need to enjoy and revel in it.
2. Get back into a routine – After the mini-vacation, you need to get back into a daily or even weekly routine. It is important to start slow and take your time. Your body and mind are going through a huge emotional and physical roller-coaster, and it takes a lot of drive and willpower to get back into the grind. It is not going to happen overnight. You need to get yourself back to being energized and focused on the next event in your future. Set a pace that you are comfortable with and proceed from there.
3. Plan New Events And Set New Goals for Yourself – This one was very important and necessary for me to get out of my depression. A huge part of why I was feeling so depressed was the fact that I had accomplished this huge dream of mine, and I no longer had that to look forward to. It really hit me harder than expected. I needed to set a new goal, and once I did, I found my spirit and enthusiasm returning as quickly as it had disappeared. I started to set my sights on another full marathon for the end of October. Focusing on setting a new goal for my finish time and starting a new training schedule felt good…and I was quickly becoming myself again.
If you have experienced anything similar to this, or if you have any remedies for helping to fight the depression, please share.