Carebear's Convention Self Care

Hi guys, Carebear here with a quick blog before Colorado Animefest’s second year gets off and running. As some of you may be aware I do occasional writing and recently decided to incorporate my two sides, “Geeky” Carebear and “Therapist” Carebear. For this blog I kind of wanted to focus on how I personally manage social anxiety. The last couple of days I have been feeling “off” and wasn’t quite sure why, I got plenty of sun at the zoo on Sunday, I’ve been trying to cut back on my caffeine intake, doing little things like putting on new makeup. But I still found myself wanting to curl up and cry not knowing why and then it dawned on me, I’m scared. I always enjoy going to conventions and returning home at the end of them full of energy to dive into whatever it was that the con was about, anime, comics, video games. Whatever it is I’m usually riding on the adrenaline I get for a couple of weeks after. But as I get older I find I worry about things like how the weekend’s going to go, if I’ll represent myself and this site well enough, or if I’m gonna come off as lame and if I need to give up on things that I enjoy. The answer to that last thought is No, I don’t need to give up on anything if I still enjoy it because it’s a part of me. Part of what leads my thoughts to this is me feeling overwhelmed. I’ve never been able to be around a large group of people for longer than a few hours so a whole weekend, no matter how much fun I’m having, takes its toll on my personal battery. So, here’s where the therapist in me is coming out. I am going to do a few things this weekend to help myself and maybe some of you that will read this relax and have that personal battery drain just a little slower.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to cut back on my caffeine consumption. The reason this is so important is because caffeine and sugar can make me feel jittery, if I’m already anxious and feeling uneasy this is magnified to what feels like a million percent. So, to counteract this I’m going to make myself have at least 2 glasses, or 16 ounces of cold water. Now if you use this be sure to drink this slowly and add deep breaths to it after swallowing the water (no choking please). What I like to do while doing this is concentrate on how the water feels as I drink it. Sometimes it helps to also close my eyes to sort of visualize myself being calmer. Another thing I plan to do is bring something that helps me calm down, my iPod. Yes, I still use an iPod. The fact is music has always been a big part of my life, I can remember many days as a kid when sitting and listening to a few of my favorite songs helped me relax and change my mood.  So, this weekend I plan to have it charged and ready to go if I need to find a corner and listen to some “happy” songs.  The last thing I plan to have myself do is rest. This sounds so very basic and silly but rest is very important for mental health. So, whether it be me going to bed by 10pm or just sitting down for a half hour or so, I plan to make myself rest no matter when or what time it is.  There are plenty of other things I could add in here like eating well, not spending too much money etc, but these I felt were the main ones I needed to cover for myself.

I hope some of these tips are helpful for you all. I am by no means an expert on anxiety or anything mental health related but I have found that these can work for other people in a variety of settings also. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Oh, I almost forgot…I’m interested in doing a vlog this weekend as a further push to overcome some anxiety and help us grow. If you all read this before the con and want to see it let us know on the Facebook page or twitter and we’ll see if we can make it happen. Game on!