The Connection Runners + running man

Runner's High, Holiday Blues, and keeping a good mindset

I stumbled across Dean Karnazes's blog today and was struck by the post he had put up several days ago (Dec. 8th).

Whether you feel like the holidays should be more special than they are, the dread of having to spend time with family, not being able to spend enough time with family, or a host of other issues (spending money on gifts, finals, etc.), the holidays can be a stressful time of year. Remember to take some time for yourself and enjoy the small things around you.

As Dean notes,

We experience great emotional highs from doing what we love, but the post-event lows can sometimes be correspondingly devastating. Exacerbating matters during this time of year, the holidays can be very stressful.

The first time I experienced post-race depression was after the first time I ran a marathon. I trained hard for several months and then the race was over in a matter of hours. The emotional high was intense - which is probably why I'm still running - but because I probably wasn't in great shape it took me a while to recover. This meant, no running. After running nearly every day for several months, being unable to run lead to the runner's low. Ultimately, I staved off the blues by getting on the bike and spending extra time being involved in other projects that I was working.

What I now realize is that I'm a goal oriented person: I am happiest when I have something to work toward. The downside is that when I accomplish those goals, I'm left feeling somewhat empty. The remedy: a new goal!

I run because it feels good, so when I'm not feeling good it is a struggle to get out and run. But I as soon as I'm on the road (or trail), all those stresses and blue-feelings fall to the wayside. If I haven't been running for a while, it is harder to get out. But every time I pound the pavement, it gets easier.

This holiday season, I hope to remember to keep my balance and do those things that keep me sane. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, and remember to take some time for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

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Runner's High, Holiday Blues, and keeping a good mindset + running man