The end of the year is a crazy time for most of us.
It’s easy to focus on the craziness surrounding Christmas and the week between that and the New Year, but if you think about it for a minute the entire month can be one big blur.
Depending on your profession, there is the madness associated with tying up all of the loose ends of one year before diving headfirst into the next one.
If you have kids of a certain age, there is going to be a holiday concert at school that you’ll have to go to.
And if you’re “fortunate” enough to have kids at a couple of different schools at the same time, you’ll be blessed by the “opportunity” to see basically the same holiday concert more than once.
There are office parties and neighborhood parties and self-loathing parties (or is that just me?), and all are sure to include a variety of cookies, fudge, and enough alcohol to pickle your liver.
And somewhere in there, you’re supposed to find time to maintain your running schedule?
I can hear you hyperventilating already.
It’s going to be ok, I promise.
Just take a deep breath, and keep a few things in mind…
How to Survive the End of the Year Madness
No Run is THAT Important
Say it with me: it will be ok if I miss a run. Or two. Or a handful.
Seriously, no run is that important that missing it will derail your training completely.
I don’t care if you’re training for a race in early-mid January, there is nothing on your training plan that can’t be tweaked/altered to accommodate a day that you are forced to miss because of life.
Yes, it’s important to maintain consistency to your training whether or not you’re training for anything specifically, but missing a regular run day on occasion means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
In the spirit of no run is do or die, I’d like to remind you that putting your family ahead of your running is typically a good choice.
You may not see certain members of your family but once or twice a year. So when you have the opportunity to spend a little extra time with them, skip the run and drink some egg nog instead.
Speaking of egg nog…
Drink More (Water, You Sot!)
I’ve never been shy about my propensity for hypocrisy, so I’m not going to ask you to abstain between now and the end of the year.
That would be too hypocritical for even my taste.
That said, drinking more water is a good idea at all times of year and now is no exception.
You actually lose quite a bit of water when you’re running in the cold dry air, even if you’re not sweating, and you’re probably not taking in as much water on your run as you would if you were sweating your ass off in the summer.
And if you are taking down a little extra alcohol, making sure you’ve been drinking plenty of water will go a long way towards warding off that hangover in the morning.
Embrace the Chaos
Life is crazy enough as it is, life at the end of the year with all of the holiday hoopla is utter chaos cranked to 11.
Instead of fighting it and trying to stick to your rigid running schedule, use the chaos of December to do something different.
Run on your lunch break. Run at night. Mix in a double.
Just go with the flow, as awkward as it might feel, and know that you’ll have your normal routine back in a few weeks.
Leave Your Headphones Home
If you normally run with headphones, and I definitely do, I’d challenge you to leave them home a few times this month.
There is a chance that your only chance to be truly alone with your thoughts for a week or two at a time will be during your run.
In a perfect world, you’ll be able to run in a place where there is no (or at least very little) traffic noise so you’ll really be able to experience peace and stillness.
But even if you’re running in a city, the cars and urban noises can become a bit of white noise if you let them.
Leave the headphones home, allow your mind to wander, and you might be surprised how much calmer you are when you walk back into the house (and the holiday hurricane) after your run.
This Too Shall Pass
In the moment, there have been times that the holidays and the end of the year couldn’t get here fast enough.
Hopefully, these tips today will help you have a little less stress and a lot more joy in your life as 2016 winds to a close.
If all else fails, just know that the new year is coming soon and things will calm back down in January.
And in the meantime…
What are You Most Thankful for this Year?
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