Self-care is important for many reasons, including physical and mental health. Learning how to take care of yourself is an invaluable skill for LRP events.
A lack of self-care has been something I’ve suffered from in the past at events, and I know others suffer from it as well. There are some basic things you can do to help, but there is no generic “this will help” guide as what you need will be different from what someone else needs.
Often the most difficult part is recognising that it is okay to take time away from the game for yourself. I have a bad habit of needing to always be in the thick of things and never missing anything, but that means I find it harder to break off from the game and take the time for myself I might need. It means that I might push myself to do things I shouldn’t (like heavy combat while suffering from a migraine) or just not get enough sleep because things are still happening. Recognising where your limits are and sticking to do them is a large part of managing self-care during events.
Something else I find difficult is gauging my body’s needs in terms of food and water. It’s not unusual for me to not want to take the time to eat which can result in crashes later from a lack of energy. Best two ways I’ve found to help with making sure that I have enough to eat are: (1) having someone who nags you until you do eatfriends are a superpower; and (2) having a pre-paid meal card which you will lose money on if you don’t eatthis one depends on having caterers available who offer this service. Having a stockpile of snack foods is also useful – I often keep a few bags of jerky and/or fruit gums in my tent so I can refuel when I need to.
To mention water again, we’re mid-summer at the moment, the sun is out a lot and keeping hydrated is important. Water is a must on a LRP field, and no one is going to complain that your water bottle isn’t IC-appropriate as long as you’re hydrating. No one wants to see other people suffering from heatstroke just for the sake of appearances. Whether the sun is out or you’re just engaging in energetic scenes, keeping hydrated is an important aspect of self-care at LRP. Hydrating salts can also be a useful tool as you lose more than just water over the course of a day.
If you come across an aspect of a game which you are not comfortable with as a player – no matter the reason – it is perfectly acceptable to OOC bow out and say that it isn’t for you. Don’t feel that you need to suffer OOC because your character wouldn’t be affected the same way you are. You’re attending LRP events to enjoy yourself and if something comes up that you wouldn’t enjoy, you don’t need to participate.
When it comes down to it, learning your own self-care routine is one of the most important things you can do in LRP and real life. Knowing your own needs and how to recognise when you need to act on them is vital to maintaining both physical and mental health. Whether that means you need to take half an hour to nap or meditate, or you need to keep a pile of snacks hidden away to keep you going, the important thing is that you’re keeping yourself healthy as that’ll mean you enjoy what you’re doing more!
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||image sourced from https://ello.co/annard/post/rucnuqds1lbjxaob7pixlq|
|2.||↑||friends are a superpower|
|3.||↑||this one depends on having caterers available who offer this service|