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Post-Convention Self-Care

The big con has come and gone. You’ve seen the shows. Attended the panels. Bought the swag. Got some part of your body signed by a celebrity. Now it’s all over until next year–or maybe just next weekend, if you’re me.

What now? How do you come down from this incredible high without crashing and burning from exhaustion, sickness, or other lingering side effects so common from conventions? I’ve had my share of flameouts and crash landings, so let me share a few tips that I have found help the recovery process and let me gear up for the next big event of the year.

1. Give Yourself Space – You may not be able to take off entire days on the back-end of a convention, but if you can take even just half a day or so to breathe and relax once you get home, all the better. Don’t bother unpacking immediately (unless doing so helps you de-stress). Find something soothing, like a cup of tea, a walk around the neighborhood, or watching a comfort show to let your brain unravel a bit. You’re no longer having to shove against the masses or navigate the warren of Artist’s Alley fighting the urge to go into bankruptcy and buy every shiny you see. Sleep some. Get a good (healthy!) meal in you, and reconnect with friends and family if they’re around.

2. Share the Experience – You just went through a whirlwind of a time! Take a bit to decompress all of that sensory overload. If you have a blog, maybe write up a post about it and share some photos. Post to Facebook or Twitter, maybe even making an album of your best pics so you can go back later and remember the highlights of the event. You might have some business cards from artists or peers your met there. Now might be a good time to shoot off a quick email or Facebook message, thanking them for taking the time to talk while the memory of that interaction is fresher in both your brains. The con may be over, but the memories are there to enjoy forever.

3. Rediscover Your Routine – If you went a bit more “off the grid” during a con, now’s the time to get back into the day-to-day responsibilities that hopefully helped ground you beforehand. If you cut off communication with the outside world for a few days, give friends and family a call or message online to let them know you’re alive. If you stopped exercising, ate junk food 24/7, and got one hour of sleep a night, now’s the time to reinstate healthier habits so your body doesn’t experience too much of a slump. You were able to escape from reality for a while, but it can’t be ignored forever without consequences.

Do you have any habits, rituals, or other techniques you use to ease yourself back into normal life once a con ends? What’s most effective for you? What do you do to preserve the fun memories from a convention?

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