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Self-Care: SDCC Edition

July 11, 2016

There are so many ways that people choose to take care of themselves, the problem is that we tend not to do it very often. Whether it be work, kids, school, grocery shopping, or anything else, there seems to always be something that takes us away from the things that would otherwise make us more grounded, mindful, healthy human beings.

One week each year, I try to do this. Yes, it should be once a week and not one week a year... but let me finish. Each year for the past ten years, I have been able to take a week off and focus on one thing: San Diego Comic Con. I usually take Monday and Tuesday to finish the last details of my cosplay, and Wednesday to finish the last details of my person (nails, hair, etc.)

This year, I had no idea where I would be around this time. You see, I've been studying all my life (well the last 9 years) to be the kind of person who can help people with their mental health. When badges went on sale, I knew I would be obtaining my license in psychology and honestly had no idea what life had planned for me. So despite having the opportunity to buy badges for each day (I made it past the landing page with plenty of time!) I made the conscious choice to only get a badge for one day. Do I regret it? Not really, there are a lot of things that I am planning, and a lot of ways that I am still planning on taking care of myself this year during that week. Here are four things to focus on:

Last year's #WawardCocktails

1) After parties.
I am not a huge party person, but I am planning on being present for at least two parties this year. Hanging out with other people who like the same things you do is the pure essence of comic con. It is what makes this event special. Two of the parties I am attending are fandom or interest-based, so I know I will be surrounding myself with people who may be like-minded. One great way to take care of yourself is by connecting with others who are a positive influence. I consider many of the people I've met at SDCC a positive influence, or at the very least interesting in one way or another.
Tony B Kim's new men's fashion line
2) Cosplay and Clothes. 
This doesn't really need explanation, in my opinion, but getting into cosplay is another way of connecting with your fellow nerds. It can lead to intense discussion about what happened last season, what will happen to your fave character, or to a new friendship with someone just as passionate as you. And if you're not big on cosplay, you don't have to actually get into body makeup or an entire ensemble to exhibit your inner nerd. Recently, there's been a huge wave of women's clothing lines for us geek girls. And just the other week, Tony B Kim, AKA @Crazy4ComicCon announced his new men's fashion line, Hero Within, which is officially licensed by DC Comics. Browsing through the online store, I had at least two people in mind (three including me... those coats are way cool). Treating the people I love is also important to me, and part of taking care of myself. One of those people already expressed a strong liking for the Superman blazer, so I took that as a huge hint. The best thing about clothing made like this, similar to some geeky women's fashion lines, is that people may or may not "get it", and it's not inappropriate if you want to go to a nice place (like your graphic tees), so you'll still look and feel like an adult wearing the clothing that you want. You can find them on Twitter and IG @herowithininc. If you have cool, geeky people who you care about in your life, check them out, because the store is only taking pre-orders until July 31st of this year, but they'll be at SDCC if you're going there too.

3) Healthy Food and Exercise
Several years ago I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which in simplest terms means I have to take a pill a day to keep my thyroid in check so my body doesn't get out of control. My doctor found I had high cholesterol and arrhythmia. If you looked at me then, short of being just a bit heavier, I didn't look "unhealthy." That was a few years ago. I started eating healthier food, but it was only last year that I started to exercise and drink more water. I started using programs that I could do at home, and I'm happy to say that I've gone from 6lb weights to 8lb weights. I've also found that your food does not have to be bland to be healthy. This is a huge misconception. Nowadays you can find a LOT of tasty, healthy options. I'm not saying I'm perfectly healthy now, because my condition unfortunately worsened. But that is why it's SO much more important to keep working out and keep eating healthy. And because I've been working out, I've developed awesome muscle and I feel overall healthier. So even though it's hard to keep eating healthy while you're waiting in line, you can find healthy snacks and pack healthy lunch. Here's an idea if you have parking nearby that you can get to reasonably quickly without missing out on too much stuff: get an ice chest, pack a healthy lunch, and store it in the trunk of your car. You can walk to your car (get exercise and may be pokemon), eat your healthy lunch, and then walk back. And if you are NOT lucky enough to have found parking nearby, pack nuts or dried fruit and water, make wraps at home/hotel, and/or make sure your budget allows for food outside the convention center. Budgeting for yourself is just as important as budgeting for those awesome exclusives, if not more. #AbsWereMadeInTheKitchen :)
I had this AMAZING healthy food at Toscana Cafe
4) Remain Calm
I tell myself this every year, and especially this year because I'm only going one day. Even if you don't get into the panel that you want, and you've missed the other one due to standing in the queue for the first one, relax. There is always something to do at SDCC, always something to see. If you didn't get into Hall H, and you can't find anything else that you are interested in (or that other panel is way too far and you're too tired) you can almost always find a spot to sit overlooking the water. Looking at water tends to help people relax. Sit outside the autograph area or by the harbor for a few minutes and take deep breaths. Pay attention to the details. Feel the breeze on your skin. Look at the cosplayers and LARPers, and think of how much more there is to see in the exhibit hall. My point is, even if you don't get into the panel that you really really really really wanted to see and that's the only thing you wanted out of the entire four days, you CAN find other amazing things to see and do.
for example, I found this stuck to a Furby

How do you plan on taking care of yourself this year at SDCC?

2 comments on "Self-Care: SDCC Edition"
  1. I love this post! This is the one year to where I really only think about myself as all year long I am thinking about everybody but me. I also give your props on going to school, psychology ha always been something I wanted to do, know that I am older the years it takes to get a PHD is a turn off but I say would be worth it. I have got together with a group that helps with mental health awareness...I am a 911 dispatcher now and hearing people talk about ending it all is intense. I hope to see you at SDCC this is my one week all for me to :]

    1. Thank you! Grad school is definitely a HUGE deal, not a choice to be taken lightly. It takes so much out of you! I remember not having any energy at all to spend time with my loved ones, and I was pretty young! Wow, being a dispatcher must take a lot out of someone. That's intense work, and I imagine very stressful. I used to work at a 24/7 crisis center, and it was definitely overwhelming at times. But it is very rewarding work. Hope to meet you too! It looks like we will both be at the same place Wednesday night :D