After a convention most of us will find us hitting a very hard slump. You’ll be happy, exhausted, hungry and possibly feeling a little ill. Those three feelings are perfectly normal but unless you address each properly you will more than likely come down with the dreaded ‘Con Flu’. You’re coming back to a messy room because you were frantically trying to finish cosplays on time! That explosion of clutter used to be your bed. It’s a chore to do anything but here are some tips to pull you through!
‘Con Flu’ in my experience seems to be triggered by a number of different things:
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet
- Excitement overload: not drinking enough water and walking around…a lot
1. Lack of Sleep
Most people I know won’t get a good nights sleep before the first day of the con. Why? Because they were trying to finish a cosplay (typically my reason), their sleeping pattern won’t allow it, the are way to excited to sleep or you just might not get a restful sleep.
If that is the case and you find that you have powered through two days with very little sleep when you crash you will crash hard. So to avoid the crash the best thing to do is to:
- Take it easy
- Take your time wandering around
- Sit down regularly (going to panels you enjoy helps a lot with this one)
- Eat food that releases energy slowly
- Get some fresh air
By not over exerting yourself you will more than likely recover quickly from the weekend
2. Poor Diet
Multiple times a year I go on the ‘Con Diet’ which means I pretty much eat pizza and other junk foods all weekend while walking and excess of 10km a day. This type of change can drastically affect your body. Yes you might have the energy there and then from eating multiple cupcakes but unless you try to get a decent nutritious meal at some point in the day you will probably feel a little gross. If you can try to grab a healthy breakfast
3. Excitement Overload
Excitement is a tiring state be in for an entire weekend. Especially if you are running on little sleep.
Grounding yourself is important. For both attendees and staff alike taking breaks is recommended. Without breaks there is an extremely high likelihood that you might feel suddenly cranky and then just want to sleep but you can’t because there are autographs to be bought, queues to get into and quests to find lost friends.
The best way to do this, for me, is to leave the con venue. Go outside, drink some cool refreshing water, maybe eat a nutritious meal and enjoy the cool fresh air.
Once you’ve addressed all those different aspects of the con going experience hopefully you’ll find that your recovery time post con have been greatly reduced.
I am so lazy when it comes to packing my stuff away. I usually wait a week before I attempt it because I’m still tidying up the mess I made making my cosplay in the first place.
However I follow a few steps, that I could have done with my first few cons, to bring a sense of order back into my life.
Wash and Dry Cosplay
If your cosplay has any fabric component that was touching your skin at any point, chances are it got sweat on it and it could need a wash. Be sure to follow washing machine guideline for fabric/materials used.
Tip: If you used fabric paint or dyed the fabric for the cosplay a cold wash should do the job.
After washing it you want to let it air dry fully before you think of putting it away. The drying process can take a couple of days so don’t try to rush the process. No one wants to wear something that smells like mildew.
There a multiple ways to store your cosplays. You can just pack them away in your wardrobe, fold them away in a chest of draws etc. If you’re a serious cosplayer like myself you might notice this has started taking up too much space really quickly so I had to start thinking creatively.
So the first thing I did was get a few craft boxes with lids from Home Store and More. I got 3 to start off with as I felt that would do for the time being. Then I got vacuum bags. I wanted to keep each cosplay separate but it was the best idea so I got a few sets of small bags from Argos. In each bag I put 3 cosplays and put a label on the bag to remind me what was inside. The only other things you’d need are a vacuum cleaner and the space to store your craft boxes. Luckily for me I have an alcove that is large enough for at least 6 medium-sized boxes.
Now if you can’t find vacuum bags use ziplock bags and pushed the air out before sealing them.
Wigs however should be stored in a way that suits.fits the wigs. Personally I turn my wigs inside out and put them back in the bag they came in. You can get mannequin heads to help store and display your collection too.
In all honesty even if I follow all my own steps I sometimes just find myself a victim of the dreaded con flu. Sometimes the body just demands you spend a day lying in bed eating junk and sleeping and other times you bounce back like you didn’t even attend. Either way it’s okay because you would have had fun revelling in a weekend of nerdy goodness.