What Like it's Hard?

Yep, started with another Legally Blonde quote because I can. The reality is, it is really really hard, Elle. This has seriously got to be one of the most stressful times in my life. Between planning the wedding of my dreams on a tight budget, trying to correlate my law school attendance with my fiance's potential job area, finishing out my senior semester with 18 credit hours, working 25 hours a week at T.J. Maxx as a coordinator, trying to keep my house clean and feed myself, getting along with my three wonderful yet occasionally annoying roommates and still finding some time to go out to the barn and see my horses and spend some time with my fiance and family I literally want to yank my hair out of my head. 

It goes even beyond that: I am scared of growing up and the possibility that law school won't be what I have always dreamed about, I am getting married, I am no longer going to be able to count on my parents to hold my hand through things, I'm going to have to live with a boy, I never again get to go home for the summer and have my laundry done and meals cooked for me... adulting is hard. But they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I am going to conquer this stressful time. My motto right now: "Toss your hair in a messy bun, drink some coffee, put on some T-Swift and handle it."

Want to know how I am getting it all done and still getting some sleep?? Well, I'll tell you but my organizational and stress relief tips might not work for everyone.



Lists
I am the queen of to-do lists. I literally put them everywhere: I have digital ones on my computers home screen, one every time I open a new tab in Google chrome, one in my OneNote account, a paper copy in my planner, a paper copy on my desk and in my purse... it's nearly out of control. I have wedding to-do lists, school to-do lists, life to-do lists. You name it and I probably made a list. I have a whole notebook just dedicated to all my lists and thoughts. I am notoriously scatterbrained so if it is not written down on a list of some shape or form, I may not remember. My lists keep me organized and accountable. and there is no better feeling of accomplishment then crossing them off one by one.
Weekly to-do list and master to-do list and all my color coding pens
Planner & Calendar
To go along with lists, I am terrible with dates and everything goes in my day planner, on my wall calendar, and into google calendar. I love having a hard planner to hold in my hands and use mainly for my classes and staying on track with those. For day to day things like work and doctors appointments, that's where my wall calendar and google calendar come into play. My wall calendar lays everything out and is easy to see what is coming up. My fiance also loves it because he can see what I have planned even when I forget to tell him about that cake tasting appointment next Thursday. Google calendar is also great because I have it with me on my phone at all times. I put my work schedule into it, meetings and appointments and then I have my schedule with me always. I am old-fashioned and I prefer on a regular basis to use my planner and wall calendar but google calendar is too handy to ignore.

Wall Calendar 
Day Planner
Google Calendar

Prioritize
I tend to make myself busy while not getting the important things done. I call it "productive procrastination" because I am productive but still putting off what needs done. Case in point: instead of writing my article review, I am blogging; productive but not what is the priority right now. To help combat this tendency, I make my precious lists in order by priority. Th top priority things must get done first and then I reward myself by writing a blog post, watching a Netflix episode, baking cookies or finishing up a wedding playlist for while I am getting my hair done. By mixing the priorities that I would rather not do and tend to put off with the things that need done but I want to do, I usually get it all done and without staying up until 4am the night before something is due. I will always struggle with procrastination and I certainly still have those late nights but by alternating my priorities and accomplishing an unpleasant high priority and then following with a fun low priority, it helps me to stay balanced and not get too burnt out.

Yoga & Ponies
We all need stress relievers that are positive and help us balance the stress, to-do lists and responsibilities with our need for some peace and relaxation. There must be balance or you will go nuts. I love to do some relaxing yoga or go spend time at the barn with my horses to relieve some stress. Stretching and getting back to my center on the Yoga mat is very therapeutic when I am very stressed out. I usually do a 30 minute Yoga challenge with Adrienne that I watch on youtube from the solitude of my own home. Or I go to the barn and clean some stalls, ride my horses and soak up the comforting and fulfilling presence of my horses. They have a way of just making life a little brighter no matter what. Whatever it is that helps you relieve stress and get a little balance in your life will help you cope with a stressful time.

Hard to be stressed when you have this face to cheer you up

Music
When I am stressed and need a pick me up or something to get me into a productive mood, music is my go to. When I need to hard-core study, Hans Zimmer Pandora is my jam because there are no distracting words and the movie scores are made to be uplifting and empowering. When I need to get ready for a big day or clean my house in record time, T-Swift is my jam. My roommates regularly find me scrubbing the toilet while screaming Bad Blood at the top of my lungs or Shaking It Off while I curl my hair in the morning. When I need to relax and feel centered and at ease, I listen to classic rock because it reminds me of my dad and all the times I would listen to those songs with him and feel safe, loved and totally at peace like only my daddy can make me feel. When I need to strengthen my faith, I listen to Amazing Grace because no matter how many times I hear that song, it has the same powerful effect of awe and faith every single time. When I need a reminder of who I am I listen to Garth Brooks because that is who I grew up listening to and every song holds a memory to me that reminds me who I am and who I want to be. Music is SO powerful and can help you in so many ways from relaxing to empowering and even just to make scrubbing a toilet a little less unpleasant.


Want to know why I said class and sass at the beginning? It's because you need to find a way to get through stressful times without completely losing your marbles. You are going to lose them a little bit and you are going to be a hot mess sometimes but stay sassy, stay spunky, stay upbeat. Don't let stress walk all over you; bitch slap it in the face. The more organized and less stressed you are, the easier this will be and the happier you will be.

I believe in three things when I get stressed: have the second cup of coffee because caffeine improves anything, stay well dressed because no matter how rough life gets, you still want to look and feel good about yourself and last but not least, stay classy; stress is no excuse to become a person you are not proud of.

Stay classy, stay sassy and remember, we are all in the same boat and we are all stressed; your not the only one.
 (I am now going to stop productively procrastinating and finish my homework. Be proud of me)

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