The “post (big event ) blues” are definitely a thing but many people deal with them in silence or think it is ridiculous to be sad after a big race, vacation, or event in their lives.
It is 100% "a thing" and the more you are aware of it, the more you can work towards moving through it.
I joined Feisty Media and IRONMAN for a discussion on how to handle the post-race blues, a normal occurrence among endurance athletes.
This webinar deals specifically with “post race blues” athletes often experience coming off of a big race or season, but the same tools can be applied to any “post blues” you might experience.
Here some key takeaways:
1️⃣ This is totally normal.
You have had a huge rush of dopamine after many weeks of steady dopamine hits. Preparing for a big event usually means we are training, or packing, planning, thinking about this big day for weeks. This gives us little hits of dopamine. The event itself was one giant dopamine rush. And now all of that is over. That can leave you feeling down and sad. Nothing has gone wrong if this happens to you. I personally almost always experience post blues after races, going into the offseason and after big trips.
2️⃣ Let got of the judgement.
Feeling sad is already not fun, judging yourself on top of it only makes you feel worse and doesn't serve you at all.
3️⃣ Don’t push the feeling away.
Sit with the feelings that are coming up for you. Allow the sadness to be there and then let it go. If you need help moving through feelings, check out my mini class on processing feelings.
4️⃣ Choose your dopamine source.
Your 🧠 will look for new ways to get the dopamine hits. So give it something productive to get it from! Maybe it is a walk outside, visiting with friends, trying something new. If you find yourself reaching for more food, alcohol, binging Netflix, hours scrolling social media etc, it is a sign that your brain is searching for dopamine. Since we are hard-wired to seek pleasure in the easiest way possible, left unmanaged your brain will choose the quickest hits of dopamine possible. Your job is to decide where you actually want the hits to come from and add those to your life.
5️⃣ Keep the parts you like about the post event lead up.
For me, I do love training, but what I really love is being outside, active, and having structure in my life. So while my training decreases, I keep the structure of doing something every day, I stay active and I spend as much time outside as possible. Perhaps you loved all the time you spend with friends on your vacation or quite family time during the holidays. How can you make sure you keep that in your life?
6️⃣ Cultivate new habits.
This is a great time to add in mindset and mindfulness into your life. When we have a change in daily life, it leaves an opening of time that we naturally want to fill. It is the perfect time to fill it with habits you want to cultivate. Perhaps a 10 minute morning meditation, yoga, daily journaling, thought work models. Whatever it is, commit to adding it for 3 weeks and see what happens.
When we experience epic highs it means we can also experience epic lows. And that is ok! We are designed to handle both of them! Having tools and support can help you ride the lows and use it as an opportunity to create new habits and experiences in your life.