Anna Schultz-Girl Smiling With Arms Full Of Food

It's Time to Stop Stress-Eating–An Important Reminder This Midterm Season

Midterm season is in full swing before Boston University's lovely spring break. It is common to lose control when you have a load of readings and endless lecture slides. Last semester, which was my very first semester in college, I was stressed about every subject because I didn’t know what to expect. I remember sitting in front of my laptop, facing the upcoming paper I had due, with no inspiration in my head. 

That stress came from uncertainty and insecurity, and when we feel out of control, we are likely to indulge ourselves in food to escape. The guilt after eating can make you want to compensate for the excessive calories, so you may end up further stressing yourself at the gym. Stress-eating is real, and I went through that last semester. Stress-eating is bad for your mental and physical health, and it also compromises your productivity. Therefore, I want to share my journey about how I recovered from these bad eating habits and started my new semester in a healthy way!

Trail Mix Christin Urso / Spoon

For me, the most basic but helpful way to prevent stress-eating is to release my stress in other ways. The trigger of stress-eating always comes so suddenly that you usually have no time to think about why you want food or listen to your body’s hunger signal. Therefore, the easiest way for me to distract myself from food is to put that energy into recreation or productivity. From my experience, drawing and reading are two of the easiest ways for me to relax. Time passes especially fast when I am doing either of these activities, and my hunger and thought for stress-eating will often fade out until my next meal. Sometimes, I also work out to give myself a short break to release my stress, then come back to my desk to continue studying and working. All I want to say is it is important to channel your stress-releasing approach from food to something good for you. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is to be mindful. You have to know what you are doing at every moment in your life. If you are watching YouTube for an hour, that is totally fine because you need stupid videos to keep you studying for the next two hours. However, if you're just binge-watching YouTube to procrastinate for no valid reason, you should stop doing so and face reality. For food, the same concept. You are definitely allowed to eat a piece of chocolate when you are stressed because you might need that energy. However, stress-eating postpones your productivity for at least 30 minutes, makes you feel guilty, and costs you money to buy unnecessary snacks. You should think about the cost and benefit of stress-eating before you actually do so. 

Anthony Tran Anthony Tran / Unsplash

I know that bad eating habits are hard to break. It is not easy to stop simply after someone tells you to do so. Keep in mind that you are in control of your mind and body, and this is why self-growth and self-care are all about “personal.”

During the stressful midterm week, put self-care into your daily routine instead of putting yourself in a vicious eating habit!

 

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