I attended my first gig after a year and half due to the pandemic, you can read about it here. If you’re heading to a live show or any other event for the first time after COVID and any event after that, here are some tips I have learnt that really helped me cope during the day. Hoping you find these helpful too:
Do What You Think Is Best
We are slowly starting to learn to live alongside COVID without so many restrictions and there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the air, so it’s understandable that you are still cautious. You’re not alone in that sense. If you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, do it. Feel safer keeping your distance from others, do it. I decided wear my mask when walking around the venue, went outside for breaks and kept away from larger crowds.
Make A Plan
It’s helpful to have a plan and mantras in place in case you start to feel uncomfortable with your surroundings and intense anxiety kicks in. For me, I set what I thought was a realistic target time for me to stay until; meaning any time after that being a bonus and achieving more than you expected. I also reminded myself that I could leave anytime I wanted to and there was no pressure for me to stay if I didn’t feel comfortable.
Have Coping Techniques in Place
Whether it’s writing out your plan over and over again, meditation or taking time away; find a coping technique that works for to have in place helps. As I mentioned previously, I made sure I had a spiral hairband that I can fiddle with to keep my hands busy. I also brought my notebook to write anything down and I did my daily meditation a few hours I was due to leave for the show.
Have Someone Who You Can Talk To or Call
If you find none of your techniques are working and you are still feeling that anxiety, have someone you can turn to who will help you talk it out. It might be someone at the event already or they may not be the event. Either way, be sure it’s someone you trust and you know has your best interests at heart. It’s important that it’s someone who will let you speak, saving questions after you have spoken and someone who won’t judge you for feeling the way you are. Talking your feelings out to someone like this is extremely cathartic and works wonders.
Don’t Expect Too Much
If you set your expectations too high and have plans in place to do all these things at your event, you will only be disheartened if these don’t happen and will feel high pressure to accomplish them. For me, I fully accepted that doing the whole event might not happen and that’s OK. Going to any event for the first time in eighteen months to two years in these uncertain times is a huge step forward in the right direction so be proud that you attended the event.
If there are other tips that help you, please let me know I would love to hear. For now though, take care of yourselves and hope these help for the events you go to.
Words: Lotty Whittingham