Following the national trauma at the Boston Marathon, many athletes, particularly those training for an upcoming marathon, as well as everyday fitness enthusiasts who workout regularly in a gym or bootcamp, are reporting reeling from the shock of the bombing. That’s normal.
After all, sleep difficulties, nightmares, flashbacks, being glued to media broadcasts of the event, fear, helplessness, guilt, anger, anxiety and depression are normal reactions to this type of abnormal event. While it may take a few days or even a couple of weeks to regain composure, there are several things we recommend to do for a speedier and complete, healthy recovery.
Talk it out
Find a supportive friend, or several, with whom you can be open and share your thoughts and feelings, no matter how difficult it may be. Hold it in and you’ll hold back your healing.
Work (it) out
The very thing you may feel like avoiding, working out and continuing with your training, is the very thing that will help you relax physically and emotionally. Increased cardio to help you burn off those stress chemicals will help you reset for a better night’s sleep, healthier eating, improved concentration and a more optimistic outlook.
Turn it off
Limit your exposure to unnecessary media broadcasts to reduce any obsessive ruminations and intrusive reminders you may be having. Your brain can be fooled into thinking it’s really happening again, so why increase your heart rate and blood pressure, add fuel to the worry fire, for nothing?
Friend it up
Mutual support is vital to moving forward emotionally after a trauma, directly experienced, witnessed or observed in the media. Find a way to spend more time with friends and family at home, in church or synagogue, at the local hangout, or better yet, at the gym.