When life gets really tough some people fold inward. This is sometimes called “going internal” and it’s not healthy. Their head lowers and they stare at the ground, they stop talking and laughing. It’s like the implosion of a building. I’ve seen this happen on marathons, triathlons, and I personally started going internal when I did a GORUCK Heavy. It’s not a good place to be.
The quickest way to get out of this slump, whether you’re in an endurance race or battling depression, is to start doing things for others. Start looking around for someone else who could use a hand. Ask them how they’re doing. Offer them some assistance or just a smile and some small talk. Remember, it’s not all about you.
When we focus on how bad we hurt or how awful our situation is we quickly implode into hopelessness, but when we look outward and help others our problems no longer seem as daunting.
Don’t neglect taking care of yourself. You won’t be any good to others if you run out of gas. But once you’ve done that, then go look for a way to serve others. It’s the best way out of a slump.