Midterms are here.
And at this moment in time, I am surprised to say that I do not feel extremely stressed out. Since my exams and projects are spread out through this month, I am anticipating my transformation into the peak definition of a hot mess by the time midterms are done and as finals loom in the distance. I suppose that is why I want more than ever to hide in my basement forty-five minutes away from campus and stay there until all of my academic responsibilities fly away. With this in mind, it is important to figure out the ways we can all destress and to have snippets of quality time where we are able to seek comfort and positivity. And for me, I am definitely one of those people who benefit from eating good food and crying.
Obviously, eating and crying are not the healthiest options but they are the ones that feel the most therapeutic because:
- Crying is free. I literally do not have to spend a single penny in order to let myself cry even if I can waste a lot of internet service during those times from Netflix and Spotify.
- Eating keeps me alive. During this time of the semester I know that a lot of us can forget to eat, myself included, and using food as a destress tool forces me to remember when and what I ate on any given day. Although what I eat might not be the healthiest, it is what is most accessible and more often than not, I will take what I can get. Plus, I am diabetic so I would rather have high blood sugar than an extremely low one as that can be a bit dangerous.
- For me, I get thirsty after a long period of crying and since the human body is fueled by water, I am forced to drink a lot of water which benefits my body. Not only am I de-stressing, I am also hydrating myself which can normally be a hard task since I constantly leave my water bottle behind. This might sound ridiculous but I am not kidding when I say that I tend to be the most hydrated version of myself during times of stress.
However, it is important to point out that crying can be hard and bad for you. Since the American Psychological Association points out how “a desire to cry is not all nature,” there are a lot of social factors that play into our ability to cry. For example, the wealth of the country we reside in has a direct impact on whether or not we let the tears fall. Dianne Van Hemert, a lead study author mentioned in the APA article, points out that “people in wealthier countries [including the United States, Sweden, and Chile] may cry more because they live in a culture that permits it” as “people in poorer countries don’t do so because of cultural norms that frown on emotional expression” (pp.7). Even if crying helps me, I rarely cry in public. I would rather save my tears to a time and place where I am alone or with people closest to me since I do think crying is a bit of a personal thing to do.
Nevertheless, eating and crying has absolutely come in handy! Just the other night my suite-mate, Veronica, and I stayed up until 5AM studying for our exams that were happening the next day. We only got through it by delusional laughter, popcorn and ice cream, loud music, and lots of complaining (which to me is the verbal equivalent to real tears). Then, I ended up watching lots of movies the day after once my exams were finished to cleanse my mind with mindless storylines about love, family, and comedy.
I mean, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days will not only test the strength of your tear ducts but they will definitely make you forget about any responsibilities you might have. And not only did they make me tear up, they also made me reach for my bag of Smart-food popcorn and my last Kind Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bar just to enhance the experience even more.
Moreover, I just want to say that midterms is a time that tests everyone’s limits (along with finals as well) but if you know how you like to destress, I think you will be able to pull through and be happy with the results!