Convention season has been in full swing since the spring. In previous years, we’ve offered survival tips on how to make it through your convention experience with the least amount of hassle, including a guide to enjoying cons and festivals with your kids. But what about after the convention when you just want to curl up into a ball and sleep for daaaays? Everyone fears the dreaded con crud and the general sense of exhaustion that follows a weekend of excitement and go go go. Our WWAC folx have had a busy con season so far, with a few more events still to go. Find out how we all handle the wind down after the show floor closes.
CP Hoffman: Take the day after the con off, especially if you’re traveling. Seriously, do it. You might think you don’t need to, that the con is a fun weekend that will leave you rested for work on Monday, but hahaha so not true. You’re going to be exhausted, recreating your best “but Mooooom, I don’t want to go to school today” whine. And that’s if everything goes perfectly and your train home isn’t delayed because of a garbage fire in Philadelphia.
Angie Wenham: Completely agree with taking a day or two off! If you can prep some meals before the convention weekend so you have something ready to go when you get home, it makes the world of difference, especially when you can’t face cooking or eating a massive takeaway. Also, while keeping up to date with tweets and posts after the convention is a great way to catch up on what you missed, don’t overload on it. There’s a good chance you’ll burn out trying to keep up after that fun, but likely stressful, weekend.
Kate Kosturski: Once you get home from the con, make yourself a decent meal. Think protein and plenty of veggies. If you must do takeout, stick with healthier options. Drink plenty of water, and leave the unpacking to another day. Go to bed early. If you can take the next day off or work out a work-from-home arrangement with your employer for the first day after the con, do it.
Zora Gilbert: Like everyone else is saying, take the next day off if you can! My con buddy and I actually take that day to travel home, though, which can mean an extra day of hotel cost, but it saves a lot of grumbling. Going back to work after a travel day doesn’t hurt me too badly, but going back to work after a travel day, which was also an exhibiting day, which was after more exhibiting days, right after a work week? Not fun. If you can’t take the day off, which I often can’t, just be kind to yourself for the following week. The week after SDCC I don’t think I talked to anyone but my coworkers and roommate, and spent most of my non-work time curled up reading—and that’s okay! Do the thing that feels comforting and safe for you. (But if you want to connect to people you met at the con, maybe do that ASAP. If I don’t do the Twitter thing the night after the con, I procrastinate for two weeks and then give up because I feel bad.)
Louis Skye: Taking the next day off is so important! Take two if you can. I actually found unpacking when I got home to be strangely therapeutic. It feels good to get all the annoying stuff taken care off before putting your feet up. Try and eat properly once you’re home because, more likely than not, your foot and water intake will have gotten messed up during the con. If you have articles to write up, try and get on it as soon as possible. I cannot write during a con; I always leave it until I’m home. I try and space it out, though, so I’m not working on several pieces at once. Do the time-sensitive pieces first, and then move onto the features. I find that writing helps me relive the best parts of the con, so that’s another bonus!
Rosie Knight: Everyone’s done a great job of covering the vital stuff. For me personally, it’s all about giving yourself a little bit of recovery time. Also drinking a lot of orange juice, and taking zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin C to avoid the dreaded con crud. I try and make a list of all of the pieces that I wrote whilst I was there, and all the interviews/coverage I did that need to be written up. I unpack, and then I (try to) give myself a day off, which, admittedly, I’m bad at. But just stay hydrated and do your best to relax; you killed it at the con and deserve a rest to best be able to decompress and and work out your next steps!
Wendy Browne: I’m like Louis in that I like to unpack most of my stuff when I get home so that I just don’t have to think about it anymore, but I keep it simple by just dumping all my clothes in the washing machine. Taking the next day off is a must, and I have developed some routines for the bigger cons I attend. For SDCC, I typically end my con life on the Saturday and then just enjoy San Diego as a tourist on Sunday, and fly back home on Monday after the rush. For Fan Expo, I’m staff for the event so, while I do want my downtime after the event, since I’ve spent the previous four days marching 25k steps a day on average, my muscles don’t like the idea of me just putting my feet up. This year, my daughter joined me at the convention and dragged me off to the pool very early the next morning. I wasn’t happy about her unnecessary enthusiasm, but it turns out that was exactly what my aching joints needed. I did some impromptu, easy going aqua-fit that allowed my muscles to wind down.
Kat Overland: Okay, so if you’re me and you don’t take the next day off because you’ve got limited vacation, make sure you get some sleep that night! And I recommend doing whatever you can to make sure your flight or return trip is comfy. NyQuil, noise cancelling earphones, pay for that extra legroom, take the nice bus, whatever. Also, stretch your legs out! I foam roll them out on the regular, but it’s especially good when you’ve walked literally 21 miles in three days. I try to get in some walking the next day just to keep my body from freaking out. I definitely agree with having food ready in the fridge, too. You probably won’t want fast food or takeout, since that’s pretty much a convention diet, but having just some leftovers of your normal cooking or even ingredients waiting for you helps a ton.
Jameson Hampton: Perhaps I’m cheating a little bit by suggesting an action to take before the convention, but I try to make it a priority to clean my house right before I leave for a con! I know it can be a scramble getting ready, but taking the time to make sure the house is clean is so worth it after I travel home and tiredly stumble through my door to a clean house with clean dishes and laundry where I can collapse into a bed with fresh sheets.
Self-care and recovery seems to be the consensus from our team, but we’re sure there are other tips and tricks to add. Feel free to add your post-con survival recommendations in the comments!