Getting and staying healthy for Comic-Con

23 JUNE 2019

It's a Sunday afternoon in June. Maybe you're sprawled on the sofa watching horror movies or at the lake getting sunburned, or maybe you're hosting some massive barbecue or sleeping off a hangover. There are a variety of ways to spend your summer weekends. But there's a thread that connects many of us: overdoing it. Whether you're partying too much or traveling or you have a lineup of weddings to attend, it's really easy to burn yourself out in summer.

If you're a first-timer, you probably don't realize how tiring Comic-Con is. It's not just the long lines (which people usually do expect.) It's the staying out till 3 a.m. and then getting in line at 4 a.m., or walking to the wrong hotel for the fulfillment room and then walking all the way to the right one. It's eating too much bar food and not drinking enough water, and sleeping on a slowly deflating air mattress on a hotel room floor.

We're weeks away from SDCC still, but many people will be partying over the four-day 4th of July weekend and then there's only one weekend left before SDCC - so keep your health and general peppiness in mind. A few ideas:

Boost your immunity.
Some people always get sick at Comic-Con. I never have but if you're the type who catches every virus going around, indulge in all your faux-medical voodoo like echinacea, bee pollen, Emergen-C, a B-12 shot, etc. Get adequate sleep, massages, eat properly, take vitamins, etc. If you've been ill or overworked recently, really try to take it easy or you might become one of the SDCC fallen. Also remember that SDCC is all about surfaces, with potentially filthy people touching books and action figures and escalator railings moments before you touch them, so wash your hands before eating and follow other precautions.

Bring drugs.

SDCC is a lot. There are the booming video displays of the Exhibit Hall, the hot sun on your neck as you wait for a restaurant hostess to call your name, the cosplayer drink specials. Bring some ibuprofen, muscle ointment, moleskin, arnica oil or even hardcore painkillers, especially if you're prone to stiff necks, headaches, sensitive stomach, etc. Also bring a portable chair/support if you're going to be in line for the long haul.

Eat sensibly.

I know, how boring. But I've seen people live off soda, bar snacks and a box of donuts at SDCC and then they wonder why their energy levels are wonky. Try to eat decent meals and bring snacks into the convention center so your blood sugar levels don't crash. If you have a very ambitious programming agenda, you may have to choose between holding your spot for a panel or eating with your friends.

Ask for help if you need it.
I am more familiar than I ever wanted to be with SDCC's first aid offerings, thanks to my ex who had some kind of issue almost every summer. I think a lot of attendees aren't aware of the extent of on-site support resources, including medical professionals, private areas for nursing mothers, ADA resources, wheelchairs, ASL interpreters, rest areas, etc. If you need help - from getting your wheelchair on a shuttle to treating an asthma attack - just ask for it.

Stay hydrated.
Obviously. But buying bottled water on site adds up fast so invest in a good water bottle to get you through your camp-outs and Exhibit Hall prowls. I follow the "If you're halfway through your water, you're halfway through your hike" rule for SDCC.

Think about any behavioral meds, AA meetings, therapy visits or other emotional resources.

Plenty of nerds have behavioral health needs that can get exacerbated by SDCC: the crowds, the noise, the disappointments, fights with roommates, feeling socially isolated. If you think any of that could be an issue, see if you can do a virtual visit with your therapist or ask your bestie at home to be there for you; bring any meds you need and find sober activities you can do if you're in recovery and the rest of your friends are going to hit it hard.

Take breaks.
For introverts, SDCC is a lot of humanity. (Maybe even extroverts.) I know I often hit a point where Comic-Con stops being fun. I always get my bounce back by removing myself from the chaos for a while. Luckily that's really easy to do. You can go to the beach, the zoo or one of the anime / IFF / movie festivals or playbacks and isolate in a dark room.

24 days!

1 comment:

  1. I always bring hand sanitizer with me. And don't touch your face. They where the germs go into. It's funny but I seem to have people cough/sneeze around me. I turn my head as if I was slapped!