No matter how fun, engaging, and exciting they are, conventions are also stressful. So many things to see, do, and remember! So many choices to make, places to be, and people to meet! They are exercises in time, stress, financial, social, and self-management. So what can you do to help survive the con weekend?
Prepare! Preparation is not just packing your bags, and making sure you have extra makeup for your epic cosplay. To really prepare it’s also important to be thinking about self-care.
- Know Yourself. If you’re someone to tends toward introversion, conventions can be extra exhausting. With that in mind, maybe you take time for a few days before the convention to relax and rejuvenate by yourself. (Of course, that’s important after as well.)
- Practice. Many of the skills and other things that help manage anxiety and mental health symptoms are great and really work, but can be difficult to remember and call on in the moment if you’re not used to using them. Try reviewing the things you know help: mindfulness, breathing, thought challenging, etc. Then make sure you are engaging with them or practicing them in times where you’re not feeling super stressed. The more you can get comfortable with them when you’re relaxed and calm, the more “muscle memory” you can build, so they are easier to call on when you’re feeling the pressure.
- Take Care. Self-care can go out the window at conventions. Late nights, parties, quick food, lots of standing or sitting around waiting, and the emotional roller coaster of stress, glee, and secondhand embarrassment. Our bodies are pretty resilient. The toll conventions can take might hit us a little less hard if we are engaging in good self-care routines beforehand. So, from my perspective, the things that make up a solid self-care routine are: sleep, nutrition, movement, meaning, and awareness. If you can pay attention to these things a little more intentionally the week or two leading up to a convention, you’re going to be in better shape to get through the weekend with fewer battle wounds. (Good self-care might also help our bodies avoid con-crud?! And who doesn’t want to avoid that?)
Are you struggling with a self-care routine in your day to day life? Is social anxiety or other stuff making it difficult to do the things you enjoy? Check out the contact page to make an appointment today.