5 Ways to Keep Those Eyes Dry During Times of Stress
Tips on how to stop crying all the time
We’ve all been there. It’s finals week. You’re in the gym, sitting at your desk and trying not to breathe too loud in case it echoes, and you’re trying desperately not to move a f*kin inch in case you shift the desk or the chair and it makes that horrible noise and everyone will turn their heads and look at you with that blank gaze that should mean nothing but actually means they hate you. So you’re there, trying not to become “The Exam Deviant,” but then someone’s phone goes off, and you’re relieved because they’ve officially taken the title for the season and you can breathe again, because nothing you do short of actually falling out of your desk an hour deep will be as obnixious as The Exam Deviant, but before you can really relax, the prof says to open your exam. You see the first page, and a few silent tears begin to flood your vision. What now? Ideally, you allow yourself a few moments of shameless self-pity and then buckle down to get the job done. Worst case scenario, you 100% break down and start ugly sobbing in the middle of the gym. My name is Emily Ellis, I am a stealthy exam crier, and I am here to help.
1. Cry before the Stress.
I’m serious. Outsmart the stress. Have your ugly cry while you’re studying for your exam, or before the presentation, or whatever you know you’re going to be stressed about. If you’ve completely dissociated from your own life and can’t feel anything about your situation (no worries, I’ve been there), have on hand a playlist of sad songs, or that tragic episode from a show, or a movie, or anything that tugs on your heartstrings no matter how emotionally absent you may be. Watch. Listen. Don’t fight the tears, just lock your door. If you get your ugly cry out beforehand, you can dissociate again before the real stress takes hold, and you won’t find yourself sobbing in the exam room. Voila.
- Dress up!
Spend an hour making yourself feel hot before anything stressful. Wear that sweet outfit you’ve been saving for Friday night. Do your makeup. Wing your eyeliner. (Sex, gender. That doesn’t matter. If you’ve never worn winged eyeliner, try it. It’s amazing. Feels great. If you’re too good for winged eyeliner, my condolences lol what else is your pride stopping you from trying.)
This way, if you fail, at least you looked good while you did it. They’ll say, “Hm… that presentation was one of the worst things I’ve ever witnessed, but I can’t even hate on them because that outfit is making me feel some kind of way. I am in love.” Now you have a series of potential suitors and a failing grade, not just a failing grade. Also, I’m always reluctant to cry when I’m wearing makeup. It’ll smear, and the kind of woman I feel like when I wear makeup would never cry over something petty. She’d give a side-eye, an airy and condescending “Hm.” and strut away (Think Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada). Voila.
- Benadryl Drops
Ok so this is more a tip on how to trick people into thinking you cry less than you do. You couldn’t stop the tears, you had an ugly cry, but now you’re done and ready to move on with your day. Except, your eyes are still all teary and everyone you see will know that you were just crying really hard, and they’ll ask what’s wrong, and you’ll have to say “nothing” and they won’t believe you, and it’s awkward. So… break out those leftover allergy eye drops from the spring/summer/fall. They work great. No more redness, no more tears. Amazing. Voila.
- Cry in the shower
I mentioned this before in one of my shower reviews, but the shower is an idea Cry Space™. The water is loud and will mix with your tears, and if anyone asks why your eyes are red, you can say you got shampoo in them. It’s foolproof. Your roommate might ask you why your pillowcase is always wet in the morning, but they’d never ask you why your shower is wet. Viola.
- Have a readily-available series of good memories
If you feel that telltale sting in your eyes, but you’re not in a safe Cry Space™, you need to keep the tears to a minumum. Stop them in their tracks, or at the very least, you need to postpone the inevitable. To do this, think of the best day of your life. Dwell on it. Force a smile. It usually works. For me personally, I think about the International Town Crier Competition Finale in Grand Pré. I hear the echoes of their hearty shouting, and I know that everything will be okay in the end.