Post Con Blues

So, Post-Con Depression is a real thing. I mean, you’re not going to find it in the DSM, but we know that coming down from the pure excitement and hilarity of the convention can leave one feeling temporarily worse than usual. Being surrounded by tons of fun, like-minded people, costumes, exhibits, panels, parties, your family of friends… What’s not to like? It’s hard to go back to real life after a weekend of escapism. Coming back to reality can underline some real feelings of sadness and discontent.

There are some things you can do to make the transition back to reality a little easier. Many of these things are purely physical. Even if you followed the 5-2-1 Rule, you may simply need more sleep. It doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re properly hydrated, so drink water, and lots of it. Make sure you’re eating right. Get out of the house for a bit. A quick walk and some sunlight are known mood stabilizers.

Plan social events with your friends. If you’re anything like me, you miss your friends after the con. Chances are they’re having similar feelings. Don’t be afraid to talk openly about those feelings. A little shared empathy goes a long way to making things better. If your friends aren’t available, join a Meetup or find activities with like-minded people. New friends means more future fun. That last sentence sounds like it should be a bumper sticker or something. The point is, you can always redefine your circumstances to make the next day better.

While you’re at it, buy an advance registration for next year’s con. Knowing it is on the horizon (and making plans to do fun things there) can keep you buoyed and optimistic. Besides, you’re almost sure to save some money by doing an advance registration, and your con will thank you for your early patronage. (Be sure to tell them they need to bring Usagi Medical Group to their con.)

This is going to sound weird, but my recommendation is that you stay away from your television. Don’t binge-watch Death Note. Yeah. You read that right. For a while after the con, avoid activities that keep you isolated for too long. Isolation is the opposite of what you need, and what you need is a little social contact. Yes, even for an introvert. Watching your television leaves you “on the outside” of character interactions. This makes loneliness worse. Being in touch with people keeps you “on the inside” of such interactions.

I’m also going to tell you that an actual phone call is preferred to doing the Snapchat thing, or texting, or Tweeting. Sure, those things count as social interaction, but they seem impersonal compared to a phone call. You could organize a Skype session or a Google Hangout, or even a Discord “server.” I don’t mean to say that any of these things are bad. Reaching out to touch someone is simply good medicine.

But the key word in that first paragraph is “temporary.” If you find your dysphoria lingers for more than a few weeks, please do the powerful thing and talk to someone about those feelings. Maybe your body is trying to tell you something. There’s never any harm in being proactive with one’s emotions.