How to Avoid Meltdowns

Today I'm going to be talking about how I avoid having a major meltdown. If I get stressed out to the max and things just don't seem to be going my way, I will legitimately have a mental breakdown, tears and all. Sometimes between work, school, and life in general, stress builds up and builds up until, eventually, I just hit a breaking point. This is a part of life and sometimes unavoidable, but I thought it would be helpful if I shared my tips for how I de-stress and avoid having a full blown "meltdown".

Plan Hour by Hour // I wrote about this in my "how I organize" post, but this is a life saver for me. When I feel overwhelmed with assignments and activities going on after school, I schedule out my day and evening and fill in what assignments I'm going to be sure to accomplish during my free time. Seeing all of my tasks planned out helps relieve a lot of my stress and anxiety.

Exercise // When I feel pushed over the edge, I get to a point where I have to just take a minute to stop and breathe. I always feel a weight lifted off of me when I get outside for a run or head to the gym. Exercising clears my head and distracts me from what I'm worrying about.

Give Yourself A Treat // When I'm busy and have a lot going on, I give myself "prizes" for accomplishing things. If I'm working hard on a paper or studying for a long time, I break it up by saying giving myself little treats for every couple of paragraphs or sections... Usually some kind of candy :) My favorite "big treats" are Friday morning Starbucks or Chipotle after a long day at school.

Go to Bed Early // Sometimes after a really long day, I really cannot focus or concentrate on doing my work. I work best in the morning, so if I'm exhausted around 9PM, I get pretty much nothing accomplished and the best thing I can do for myself is just go to sleep. If I don't get 8 hours of sleep, I'm a zombie, so I can't justify staying up til 1AM trying to do my homework. I try to always be in bed before 10:30. This helps me to wake up refreshed in the morning ready to cross assignments off of my list.

Take a Personal Day // This is kind of a last resort and my friends will probably all make fun of me for this, but if I have a really long to do list and I feel really overwhelmed, I take a personal day. I think it's okay to do this every once in while and I always get a lot accomplished when I'm at home working. I'm not trying to promote truancy or anything, but every once in a while, this makes me feel really recharged and a little less stressed.


Fall Favorites

Last week, I was on Fall Break and had six whole days off of school!! My senior night is this Friday at the last regular season home football game. I'm a little bit sad, but senioritis is really starting to kick in and I'm already counting down the days until our next break off of school. Between all of the football games, days at the races, and trips to the orchard, I have been loving fall and am so excited for Halloween and Thanksgiving! Today I'm going to be sharing a few of my favorite fall essentials and what I've been loving this season.

J Crew Factory Sweater (I have the pale pink color and I love it!)

Hunter Rain Boots (A must have for me!)

J Crew Factory Gigi pants (Super similar to the Pixie pants, but cheaper!)

Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick (This stuff stays on for hours through eating, drinking, cheering games, whatever and I never have to reapply. Highly, highly recommend.) 

One Tree Hill!! (I started watching for the first time over the break and I'm obsessed!)

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (This stuff is amazing)


How I Organize and Plan

I really want to start posting more about organization, so today I'm going to start by sharing how I organize my life. I can't function if I even feel the slightest bit unorganized it drives me crazy. This has a lot to do with my agenda.

Last year I had a Kate Spade agenda and my first post ever was about that. This year, I got a Lilly Pulitzer one again and I like it a lot better. I'm thinking about getting this too because my life is getting so nuts I think I need two planners, haha! So first off: school. Obviously, this is basically my job, so I use the day to day slots for all of my homework. I like to color code because I am a visual person so seeing the colors helps me to know what books I need to take home. Something that I've just started doing recently is making boxes next to each task so that I can check off things as I go. This has been super effective for me. Usually, I know all of the homework that I have for the week on Monday, so I like to sit down Monday morning and plan out when I'm going to do each assignment and when I have big tests/deadlines. I like to break them up so I can do a little bit over a few days. I am always really busy after school, so I plan out my workload for each night ahead of time, so nothing hits me by surprise. I use the big monthly calendar spread to plan out my personal activities, practices, work, exercise etc. I have meetings every week for various things I am involved in so I always write those down so I can see that side by side my practices and work days.

The biggest change I have made in how I plan is making a totally separate, hour by hour plan. Some people may think this is a little overkill/OCD, but this has changed my life. Most nights, I don't get home until sometime between 6:30-8:15. I go from place to place every single second of the day, so I have to plan out which assignments I can complete in the time that I have to sit down and work. I give myself breaks to eat snacks, workout, and troll around on the internet, so I don't feel like I'm cramming in a ton of work at night when I'm exhausted. Making an hour by hour plan also helps me to allocate everything effectively, so I can be in bed before 10:30.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any suggestions for future posts, leave them in a comment!

Guest Post: College Organization + OneNote

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm sharing a post that one of my really good friends, Lauren, wrote for me. Both being seniors, we have a lot to keep up with for college applications. I have my own system for keeping everything together, but I thought that it would be really cool to share a different perspective and way of organizing. While this specific post is about college applications, this method and use of OneNote can really be used for anything. 

Hi everyone! I’m Baigin’s friend Lauren and I’m really excited to write this guest-post for you all! Baigin knows I’m really organized so she asked me to guest-write on here and give you all some advice about organizing all of your college stuff! I’m a senior so I know how messy and stressful it can be to try and keep track of all of your college information and the endless list of things you have to do. Trying to remember all of the important information like application dates and scholarship deadlines for every college or university you are applying to without having somewhere to keep all of that information is pretty close to impossible.

To help you all organize all that stuff, I’m going to show you how I use Microsoft OneNote use to keep track of some of my important college stuff. My friend showed me how she used this awesome resource recently and I decided to check it out for myself! I use OneNote as a place to store my to-do list, scholarship descriptions and deadlines, application deadlines, and website links to helpful college-related websites.

This is a sample OneNote I made to show how I set mine up! The to-do list is probably my favorite part because you can click and make a little check mark next to the items you’ve completed. They have lots of different kinds of bullet points you can use like the exclamation point, star, and question mark. That helps me to keep track of what is most urgent and what I need to focus on. Another great part of OneNote is where you can link important documents like your essay or resume by attaching a shortcut like I have in the top left corner.

I also have links to websites that are important like the SAT and ACT websites where you can register for those tests, as well as the Common Application website and the CollegeBoard website. A lot of people don’t know about how great the CollegeBoard website is, but it’s an awesome website that is especially helpful for juniors who are trying to create a list of places they’re interested in but it is also a great way to keep track of your college list for seniors. It has a page for every college/university with a ton of information about each place.

I think OneNote is a great way to put a lot of important info in a small easy-to-read place. It’s pretty easy to figure out if you have never used it before and it also auto-saves so you can just x-out after you make changes! I hope this post helps relieve some of the stress of senior (or junior) year for you all, good luck!