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Having a Self Care Convention – My tips on surviving a long con

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Emerald City Comic Con may be over for this year…but it’s still early in the year and the convention circuit so it’s time for me to talk about con health awareness. You all know me, prepared for anything and checking in with people during con to make sure they eat, drink water, and take breaks. ECCC was the most fun I’ve had all year so far, it kind of changed my life (in really good ways). But, I completely failed in taking care of myself.

I did not have enough water, food, or rest those four days. I even messed up the night after and day after recovery. In the end it took me a week to eat normally again (and to have a full meal, cause my stomach was like no thank you), and I lost seven pounds in those four days (not good at all). So I thought it would be a good time to update and bring out the con must do’s to be safe and healthy, cause self care is always a must before, during, and after a convention. 

Do this…sleep, get rest

To help with stress, try and be ready for the convention a few days before if not a week early. A very hard task for cosplayers, but if you have a big goal and fall short of it by a few days…you’ll still be ready before the con. You just need to break up packing and go over check lists of what you need to bring and check your schedule for the convention. Try to do something fun before con, something that is relaxing. Like a spa day or hanging out with friends and just watching a movie, this can really help with the stress and anticipation that builds up before a convention.

Make a rough outline of things you want to do or look for while at the convention for each day,  and try to get a lot of sleep when you can. Please try to drink three to four bottles of water while at con, they have water fountains too. That way you don’t have to spend $6.00 on a single water. Also, set an alarm and make plans with friends to go get food. Whether that’s sharing something at the convention, leaving to go get food, or packing food. You can’t run off protein bars or coffee, you do need some form of a meal inside of you. 

Don’t do this…survive on just coffee/caffeine.

Take breaks, I know there is a lot to see at conventions and it’s very exciting and you feel like you need to do everything right away. But, you can take some time to just sit. If you don’t you’ll tire yourself out and burn out by day two or three of a convention. It’s not fun at all.

If you’re able to do some of this stuff, which I will point out are the key points (like, I could talk about shoes and cosplay and everything else). But, these are the things to take the most serious and focus on. If you do none of these at the end of the con you will hit the con come down so hard it will be like falling off a cliff. It will be extremely difficult to go back to school/work and just daily life. You may be a zombie the day after, and no one likes (especially me, zombies freak me out), or wants that. We want everyone to have great times at conventions and to stay healthy and happy. To help with the con come down, as I have stated before- just have a big nice warm meal with a sweet treat after. It’s really nice going to dinner or lunch with your friends as soon as you’re done with the con and gives you more time with them in a calm setting. And like you get fed. 

I’m already in preparation for this at my next convention, (Sakura-Con), with the same gang of friends from ECCC, because we all need to do this and want to be healthier.

Ali Raphael
Ali Raphael
Ali is a professional workaholic but likes to add more to her plate by reviewing comics/books/ tv shows/movies and anime. In every other waking moment, she breathes books, manga and anything Marvel. Every day she wishes she was a Part-Time Avenger, instead of a full-time Target employee.

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