Twitter is a beautiful thing, college peeps. Because it introduces you to new friends, kindred spirits who talk about nail polish and Leslie Knope. When I came across this college girl blogger, I emailed her immediately asking if we could be friends…like, close friends. No shame.
If your workload is anything like mine was in college, you feel like you’re just trying to survive the day. You try to keep your head above water, amidst a sea of papers, projects, exams, research, reports, etc. It’s stressful to say the very least, right?
One way I dealt with the stress of my workload was by eating-overeating and binge eating (distinct behaviors, but that’s a topic for another post). I used food to procrastinate, or to distract myself from the amount of work I had to do. I also used food to numb out, or to “check out” mentally when my stress level got so high that I couldn’t bare to look at my books.
But all of that eating made things worse. The stress of my workload was STILL present because I hadn’t actually gotten any work done. And, the massive amount of food that I ate increased my stress, causing me to not only continue avoiding work, but also feel guilty and ashamed of myself for eating so much…usually causing me to hit the food again. Such a vicious cycle for my poor, hardworking body and mind to endure!
Can you relate to this? Have you used food to help you deal with the stress of your workload?
It’s okay, beautiful. You are SO not alone.
You have a LOT to do, and you want to do it with ease so that you don’t use food in ways that cause your body and mind pain. I can help.
Here are 3 action steps you can take to get your work done peacefully so that overeating or binge eating becomes less and less of a coping mechanism for you:
Make a DAILY To Do list: Looking at a long list of vague tasks always sent me straight to the snack machine in my off-campus housing. Make your papers/projects more manageable by breaking them down into small steps. Then, choose which of those steps you can realistically accomplish in one day. Ex. A large, vague task of “Research criticism on Lady Chatterley’s Lover” can be made into MUCH more peaceful and manageable tasks of “Find three articles of criticism on Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Read and take notes on articles.” Can you tell that I was an English major?
Use a food mantra: A food mantra is a simple, comforting phrase that you say before, during, and after you eat…or whenever obsessive thoughts around food attack your mind. This is my favorite food mantra of all time: “I love my food, my food loves me.” Say this to yourself or out loud around meal times, or whenever you need some relief around food thoughts. Don’t get tripped up about this. Just let the words work on you.
Focus on what you accomplished every day: When we have a lot of work to do, we tend to think only about everything we haven’t done. Cue the feelings of inadequacy and guilt…and the accompanying overeating/binge eating. Before you go to bed, tell your roommate or a friend (or yourself) everything that you DID do today. Dig deep and acknowledge at least three actions that you took to get your work done. Maybe all you did today was read this email and make a To Do list for tomorrow. Dang, girl, you accomplished two things today! Now think of one more!
Ahh, don’t you feel more peaceful already? Don’t you feel like you can take on your workload and whatever anyone else throws at you…without needing to steal your roommate’s Reese’s Puffs cereal? You got this, college girl.
How do you usually cope with stress from your workload? I wanna know!