NYCC: Coping with Post-Con Blues
Do you ever come home from a convention drained? How do you feel during the last few hours before departure when things are winding down, vendors are pushing their last few discounted sales, and staffers are cleaning up? Sad? Gloomy? Maybe you leave in a rush and upon getting home write about your amazing time and then it hits you.
Getting post-con blues is more common than you’d think. It’s hard to go back to “real life” after having a weekend of escapism, seeing all the neat cosplays and participating in panels. Sitting behind a desk or dealing with customer service for hours seems even more like a drag.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the gloom.
1. Acknowledge it and say, “I have post-con blues and it sucks. I am committed to trying to feel better after an hour.”
Then let yourself go all out. Have a cry. Have an angry gym workout. Flop on the floor on your face like George Michael Bluth and lie there for an hour. Whatever it is, allow yourself the time to grieve and get it out. But then cap it. When that hour is over, pick yourself up (literally if you’ve flopped on your face like George Michael), and remind yourself that you are making an attempt to feel better.
2. Talk to your friends. We mean really talk.
Let them know you had a great time and that you miss them. Discuss highlights of the weekend and joke. Be open about your post-con blues. There’s a good chance they might be feeling the same and then you both can feel better as you geek out over a shared fandom. Look at photos, laugh about jokes, plan your next event. Have something to look forward to.
3. Get out of the house.
Sunlight has been tied to mood for quite some time. Vitamin D stabilizes you and helps with depression. Even if it’s a short trip around the block, or just sitting outside while you read outside, it will make a difference. To heighten mood naturally, one can also get Vitamin B complex, but have that only in the mornings because it’ll wake you up!
4. Avoid binging shows on Netflix, even your normal fandoms, for at least a couple days.
While many people find comfort in curling up and getting engrossed in fandom, doing that immediately after a convention heightens the effects of loneliness. Why? You’re missing your friends. You’re watching your shows alone. Even if you start something new, there’s something incredibly lonely about watching character interaction and being on the outside. (Note: if watching Netflix makes you feel better, go ahead and watch. We get that! Netflix is bae.)
Why would one read if Netflix binging is considered not a good idea? The answer is separation of character and self (aka the reader). In a book, there’s primarily text (roll with this for a second, graphic novel fans). You read about characters, their lives, and their stories, but it can be argued that seeing the written word adds an element of separation, even though you get swept up in the story and empathize with the characters. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about new fandoms and things to get passionate about. Grab some tea and curl up. Books make everyone feel better.
Fortunately, these steps are pretty straight-forward. It’s not an overnight fix, but these coping strategies should make it significantly easier until you have your next convention in sight and can start eagerly planning again as the memories of the post-con blues magically vanish into the abyss. At least until the next convention’s over.