10 Signs You Need to Take a Personal Day

Relaxation and revamping is something we all need to do every once and awhile. Whether it be after a long week, stressful situation or just the feeling of taking on too much? Take a load off and set aside a personal day. We all need to take a personal day to keep ourselves sane from our busy lives. Here are some signs that you need a personal day:

  1. When you wake up and the first thing you think about is going to bed that night
  2. When you’ve hit your caffeine limit for the day, yet your body is still shutting down
  3. When you’ve become numb to a serious or stressful situation because you don’t care about the consequences anymore
  4. When taking a hot shower is the most exciting part of your day
  5. When taking a nap doesn’t fulfill the sleep deprivation you have been trying to cope with for the last few days
  6. When a night-in watching Netflix sounds like the perfect fix
  7. When you’re having ‘one of those days’ and everything that could go wrong, goes wrong
  8. Having to force yourself to get ready in the morning because you have to leave the house for work or school
  9. When no matter the time of day, you just want it to be over
  10. When no matter how many times you distract yourself with your phone, watching tv or your computer, you find yourself even more unmotivated

How to have a Stress-free Week

It’s inevitable that college students are stressed, even during the summer break. No matter how many exams we take, or papers we hand in, there is always something else to do. Aside from schoolwork, there is always an additional workload added onto our everyday lives. Responsibilities like a job, internships, trying to see your friends as much as possible, spending time with your family, and so much more. This is where the stress comes into play. Young adults in their twenties can also be stressed on our days off because we know there is something we probably have to do for tomorrow, and that’s what drives us crazy, it never stops. Here, I have broken down, day by day, the simple ways you could stay stress-free and relaxed during a hectic week.
SUNDAY: Start of the week.
-Make a list!–one of the easiest ways to stay not only organized, but relieved, is to have your whole week written out on paper. This is where you can plan out your week, make little notes of things to do or what you may need to buy by the end of that week. It is also a good place to log any reminders or notes to yourself so you don’t forget. After getting that list out of the way, some people prepare what they need to do for the next day so they aren’t rushing in the morning or forget to do something. This sounds annoying, but you are going to thank yourself later for sending that email when you did. Once this is complete, you can almost have the rest of the day to yourself so you are well-rested and ready to take on the week.
MONDAY: Time to begin.
Take this day to wake up as early as your body will allow you and get as much done as you can in the morning. This is the time to run errands, make all those phone calls, organize the paperwork you let pile up and check to make sure you responded to all your emails. Monday is typically a busy, stressful day because you are not only starting the week, but getting new information for the rest of that week and what is happening in the upcoming weeks as well. This is a good day to keep a note of any changes to your week or anything that is definite for next week. After a long Monday, we all want to just relax and go to bed, and if you had the successful day you planned for, you deserve that good night’s sleep. It’s ok to go to bed early.
TUESDAY: It can only get better from here right?
Now that Monday is over, you are having hope that it’s almost Wednesday, and that means you’re almost halfway through the week! Today is a good day to continue to power through! Work as much and as hard as you can while still thinking and planning ahead. Hopefully, at this point you could cross some things off of your list of things to do this week, and maybe you got to see your friends and family today to break up your week. Even though tomorrow is Wednesday, it is still a working day, so get a good night’s sleep tonight.
WEDNESDAY: We’re halfway there!
Halfway mark! You are almost done with this week which means you hopefully accomplished a good chunk of what needed to be done this week. Today is also a good recap day, see what you’ve done and what you still need to do. Did any plans or deadlines change this week? Does more work need to be done before next week? Did you end up picking up another shift at work? Use this day to get yourself organized and caught up with what needs to be done first, but take a break too, meet a friend for dinner. If you know that you want to plan to go out this weekend, do more work now or get most tasks out of the way so you don’t find yourself rushing or not putting in a hundred percent in other tasks or work because that comes first.
THURSDAY: Powering through.
You’re almost there! The work week is just about over so you are getting closer to that light at the end of the tunnel. Here is where you may find yourself feeling an extra boost of energy because you are excited for the weekend, so use that to power through these next two days. Today may be a good day to meet up with someone for lunch! Finish up the last of this week’s work and hopefully throw the list of things to buy for this week away because you did everything you needed to do for this week.
FRIDAY: Nearing the end.
Today is the day where you may sleep in a little, but you will have a smile on your face the whole day. Work doesn’t seem so bad, and you started gathering notes of things that need to be done for next week. Hopefully you get out of work early and can go home to make yourself a few notes for next week, check off the last of things on your list of things to do, and get ready to enjoy your weekend!
SATURDAY: Day off!
You made it through the stressful work week you so carefully planned out! Today is your day off! Sleep in, take a long hot shower, treat yourself, and enjoy the day! Go out and spend the day doing whatever you want because you worked so hard all week and need a day to detox before having to plan it all over again tomorrow.

Paying It Forward

Care Packages, Homeless Care Packages, Emergency Kits, or Angel Bags

These packages, or Angel Bags, are small bags filled with the essentials that many homeless people are lacking. The inspiration behind these bags came from the idea of Paying It Forward. Meaning, if someone commits a good deed, then hopefully that person will pass on another good deed and pay the positivity forward. Paying it Forward is something I learned back in high school, and I have lived by the words ever since. In the past, I took numerous trips to New York almost every weekend and the number of homeless people I saw was heartbreaking. My friends and I knew there must be something we could do to help, because giving people money now and then or buying them dinner wasn’t enough. After going into a few corner stores, we came up with the plan of making these care packages, or Angel Bags, and passing out as many as we could throughout the night.

When it came time to filling the bags, we ran into trouble because there are so many things that you cannot put into bags and pass out to people. This is mainly due to allergies, addiction to a specific product, or the risk of someone abusing the products. That is why there are 3 things you should always do when you are planning to create and distribute these Angel Bags:

1. Proceed with caution

For minors, I would recommend distributing the bags with an adult or in an area with heavy police traffic. Also, make a note to never approach someone who appears dangerous or can be aggressive towards themselves or others. Someone who chooses to hide themselves or appears not approachable probably doesn’t want to be bothered. 

2. Have Too Many Bags?

If you reach the end of the night and realize that you have made a few too many bags, bring them to the police department and they will distribute them to shelters or people who can use them.

3. What to Pack?

Look up lists of what people normally put into these bags or look up what the local police department allows for people to pass out in those neighborhoods to those in need. Sometimes they may advertise that certain shelters are asking for specific products. 

DO PACK: Feel free to include any combination of these items:

Fresh Produce (Apples, Oranges, Bananas and Grapes are your best bet, avoid Melons or Berries)

Toothbrush and Toothpaste (DO NOT include mouthwash)

Tissues, Wipes, Napkins, Small Shampoo, a Bar of Soap, Comb, Toilet Paper, and Deodorant

-Hand Sanitizer, Chapstick, Brush, Washcloth, Bandaids, Cotton Balls, and Q-tips

-Gum, Mints, Cough Drops, or Sugar-free candy

-Already made sandwiches and chips as a meal (Remember to read ingredients)

-Water Bottles

-Crackers or Cookies (snack foods that have low to little sugar and salt)

Socks, Gloves, Scarf, or Hat

-Hand Warmers

-Pen and Paper

-Sunglasses, Flashlight, or Book/ Newspaper / Magazine

-And any cash you may want to add to the bag


Razors/Nail Clipper or Mouthwash (nothing sharp or containing alcohol that can be ingested)

Anything that contains peanuts, large amounts of chocolate, or a lot of salt/sugar

-Any medication whatsoever (Unless you are bringing headache reliefs straight to a shelter and informing them that there is medication in the bags)

-Nothing that has to be kept warm or cold

-Anything that is short term perishable or cannot be stored for a while

-Gift Cards or Prepaid Cards

-Nothing electronic or needs to be charged

Expectation VS Reality: New Jersey Drivers

There are many instances or situations that we all come across at some point in our lifetime. We have expectations on how we would like to handle a specific situation, but that isn’t always the case. These expectations are met with the reality of how someone from New Jersey would respond to the given situations.

1st Instance: Your friends decides to go down the shore for the weekend, and want to leave earlier to beat traffic.

Expectation: There may be some traffic, but not as much if you had left much later.

New Jersey Reality: You beat the traffic, but now you’re waiting on detours because three exits were closed for road work and every E-ZPass lane is closed for maintenance. Now your friends make you look for the exact change they’ll need for the cash-only lane that is now, of course, backed up.

2nd Instance: You wait until the last possible minute to get gas, and if you don’t hurry up, you will be late for work.

Expectation: There should another gas station coming up soon (hopefully there won’t be a line).

New Jersey Reality: By the time you find a gas station, your car almost didn’t make it and to make things worse, there is a line. Finally, it’s your turn! After the attendant closes your gas cap, he has to get change. One thing is for sure, you would never get out of the car and just pump the gas yourself because you are from New Jersey!

3rd Instance: You are going out and find yourself rushing while driving for no reason, because people from New Jersey are in a rush to go nowhere (and the person in front of you is driving really slow).

Expectation: Maybe the person will hurry up if you get closer and you can continue rushing to nowhere important.

New Jersey Reality: You slam on your horn while yelling, “Let’s go, I’m late!” to yourself and anyone else in the car because this car is really starting to make you mad. And so, the road rage comes out. 

4th Instance: The family is deciding where to go for dinner.

Expectation: Everyone will just agree on something, so we can just eat already because we’re all starving.

New Jersey Reality: Mom said she wanted Chinese and your sister wants Italian, but your brother wants Mexican, you really want to try the new restaurant in town. However, after careful consideration, Dad decides we are all going to the first diner we see because no one can agree on anything.

38 Facts You Didn’t Know About ‘Friends’

Friends has captured the hearts of so many since it aired in the early 90’s. It’s safe to say most people have seen every season a million times and could pretty much recite every line from their favorite episodes. In 10 seasons and 236 episodes, the world went head over heels for the amazing friendship that Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross shared. Everyone thinks they know everything there is to know about Friends, but are you certain you know it all? Here are 38 facts that you might not have known about Friends:

1. Monica + Joey = Perfect Match!–Monica and Joey were originally intended to be love interests.

2. The actor that plays Joshua’s father is actually Matthew Perry’s father in real life.

3. “The One Where No One’s Ready” takes place entirely in Monica and Rachel’s apartment because the show was on a budget and they didn’t have enough money for additional sets or guest stars at the time.

4. James Michael Taylor scored the role of Gunther because he was the only extra that was able to operate the espresso machine and didn’t have a line until the 33rd episode–his line was ‘yeah’.

5. In “The One with The Dollhouse” they had to make six different versions because they kept setting them on fire while filming.

6. Ellen DeGeneres turned down the offer to play Phoebe.

7. Lisa Kudrow played Ursula on “Mad About You” two years before Friends aired, so the producers made that her twin sister to create a cross-over between the two shows.

8. When Rachel is trying to find someone to officiate Chandler and Monica’s wedding, she is seen outside of the Anastassakis wedding, which is Aniston’s family name.

9. Both refrigerators in the girl’s and boy’s apartments actually worked and that is why so many scenes start off with someone going in the fridge.

10. Phoebe’s brother, Frank Jr., actually appears a few seasons before his character is created, throwing a condom into her guitar case while she is playing outside of Central Perk.

11. An average episode of Friends took about five hours to film and David Schwimmer directed 10 episodes himself.

12. Joey, also known as Dr. Drake Ramoray, plays a fictional character in NBC’s soap opera Days of Our Lives, and in real life, Aniston’s father (John Aniston) plays Victor Kiriakis on the actual soap opera.

13. Every episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience, except for cliffhangers.

14. In the pilot, Monica forgot the name of the guy she slept with the night before and producers were worried this would give off the wrong impression so they asked the studio audience in a survey if they should change it, but they didn’t think so.

15. Joey and Chandler’s big white dog actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston–it was a good-luck gift from a friend from when the show first started.

16. Phoebe and Chandler were originally meant to be supporting characters.

17. If you notice, the numbers on the apartments changed from 5 and 4 to 20 and 19 because the writers thought that it wouldn’t make sense since they were meant to live on the fifth floor, considering their balcony and view from the window.

18. Friends was almost called a number of different things, but the writers had it down to either Friends or Insomnia Cafe.

19. The cast would huddle before each show for good luck.

20. Ross and Rachel’s relationship wasn’t meant to be the central relationship of the series, but the two simply displayed such obvious chemistry, that it just sort of happened.

21. Joey wasn’t intended to be portrayed as dumb, Matt LeBlanc suggested it.

22. Courteney had to film the episode where Rachel has a baby right after having a miscarriage.

23. The actress who played Estelle Leonard, Joey’s agent, also played the nurse in the episode where Ben is born in season one.

24. The role of Ross was created, intending for it to be made for David Schwimmer and he was the first member to be cast on the show, while Jennifer Aniston was the last of the six to be casted.

25. Marcel was played by two monkeys, Katie and Monkey.

26. Ross stayed 29 for three years.

27. Producers asked Courteney Cox to play Rachel, but she wanted to play Monica because she loved how strong of a character she was.

28. The orange couch was found in the basement of the Warner Bros. Studio.

29. Phoebe’s pregnancy, having her brother’s triplets, was written into the show because she was pregnant in real life however, Courteney’s pregnancy was not.

30. Bruce Willis appeared on the show for free after losing a bet to Matthew Perry.

31. David the scientist auditioned for the role of Joey twice before the show was set for production.

32. Kudrow wasn’t a fan of the duck or playing the guitar at first.

33. Chandler was written in as a guy who was awkward around women because Matthew Perry told them he was himself.

34. The Friends cast was the first cast in history to come forward as a group to negotiate an increase in salary–they went from $22,000 in the first season, to receiving $100,000 per episode.

35. Aniston almost didn’t return for the final season.

36. When the series ended each cast member was given a piece of the sidewalk outside Central Perk as a keepsake.

37. In the last episode they say that everyone has lived in Monica’s apartment, but actually they all have lived in Joey’s apartment.

38. When the series ended, Jennifer Aniston and husband at the time, Brad Pitt, had a dinner party to celebrate and they drank bottles of wine that were saved from when the show first aired.

4 Diners You Have to Hit When You Visit New Jersey

Having grown up in New Jersey, I lived for diners and to this day they are single handedly my favorite place to eat. I have not had the chance to hit every diner in Jersey, but of the many I’ve been too, these are some of my favorites. Sometimes people have a meaning behind their favorite restaurant and that’s why that’s their go-to spot, but diners are different. Yes, they are all the same food, but it’s the go-to meal and who you take to your favorite diner that makes it your favorite place to eat. 

1. Vicki’s Diner – Westfield NJ

Favorite meal: Breakfast Wrap with Home fries

This diner was my go-to spot when my childhood friends and I got together on Saturday mornings. Since I was in elementary school, and even in high school, my friends and I would meet at Viki’s dinner because it would bring back such great memories. It looks like a diner straight out of the 50’s. The red booths, checkered flooring and friendly faces make it a wonderful place to eat. Since it is in the town center, it is a busy place, not the diner I would recommend for a late night bite with friends. The crowd is young and loud, not a typical sit down, quite diner. This diner is upbeat and full of laughter and noise. It’s one of the smaller diners I’ve been to, but it lacks in size, it makes up for in portions. The breakfast wraps and omelets leave you stuffed and smiling with the biggest grin on your face. This is definitely the place to get breakfast any time of day. 

2. Tropicana Diner and Bakery –  Elizabeth NJ

Favorite meal: Chocolate Chip Pancakes with French Fries or Bacon Cheese Burger

Tropicana Diner has a warm and welcoming feeling to it. It reminds me of meals shared with my family on Sunday afternoons, rainy days with friends and a coming home feeling when I’m in the mood for a home cooked meal. Over the years, I have taken so many friends here and Tropicana never disappoints. There is a lively, cheerful vibe to the tropical diner located down the street from Kean University. This was one of my family’s favorite diners growing up. Personally, I would say that the Tropicana Diner and Bakery makes one of the best bacon cheeseburgers I’ve ever had. The burger is thick, dripping in cheese with the perfect crunch of bacon in the middle. I also recommend getting their chocolate chip pancakes, but with french fries instead of home fries. There is just the right amount of chocolate chips so that each bite has a few chips and the salty, crisp combination of the french fries is far more satisfying than the home fries. 

3. Millburn Diner – Millburn NJ

Favorite meal: Eggplant Parm Sandwich with Fries

Millburn Diner was another regular hotspot for my family growing up. We usually went on Sundays for either brunch or an early lunch. This diner is a family diner, having always gone on a Sunday morning, I can still hear the clinking of glass plates coming from the kitchen, the doors always swinging, the smell of coffee and the corny holiday decorations that perked up the dark color scheme of the diner. Despite it being the late morning, I usually ordered the eggplant parm sandwich and it was pretty good. The gravy was light and soaked into the soft bread as the cheese oozed out of the corners which was perfect to dip my french fries into. The chicken was always breaded and fried just enough to crunch when I took a bite. When I had enough room for dessert, I was always pleased with a great cup of coffee and creamy cheesecake.

4. East Hanover Diner – East Hanover NJ

Favorite Meal: Pizza Burger with French Fries or Scrambled Eggs with Homefries 

The first thought that comes to mind when I think of the East Hanover Diner is warm memories. I remember all the late nights after work, early mornings, good friends, and great food. This is hands down my favorite diner of all time. No matter what I have ordered here, I’ve loved it. I love the welcoming feeling I get no matter what time I stroll in. I had great conversations sitting around a table here with co-workers, friends and family. This is the diner to hit for a late bite with friends. The crowd is a mixture of everyone and it’s wonderful to see so many smiling faces. My go-to meals are usually breakfast, scrambled eggs and home fries with an english muffin instead of toast and an iced coffee. But, if I’m really hungry I take on the Pizza Burger. This burger is huge, covered in cheese and gravy so acidic that it seeps through the bun and drenches my french fries. I always leave this diner satisfied and smiling. 

Each of these diners have a little something that makes them special. I would say they all have some of the very best diner-food you could get in Jersey. The nice thing about each of these diners is the feeling they each have. Not one is the same, they all represent a different side to Jersey. I would recommend any of these places to someone who is looking for a genuine Jersey diner.

Changing your mindset: Taking the first step toward a new start

Every once in a while we get that feeling of needing a fresh start. It is not unlikely to feel this way after completing a large task, finishing a course of work, semester or term of education. Our minds sum up our feelings and attitude when we come to the conclusion that we’ve had enough and want a change. I have come to find myself feeling this way after I have had a hard week, been stressed for a long period of time, or just seem to find myself in a rut with no way out. These are some of the ways I begin my process of starting over:

First and foremost, you need to clear your mind and forget what is bothering you for a second. I find letting out a loud scream or going for a drive to clear your head, is a positive first step. You need to let out all that negative energy that is building up inside of you. Whatever has been bothering you or causing you to want a fresh start needs to stop paying rent in your head. 

Second, now that your head is clear, fill it with positive thoughts. From here on out, you should think ahead of the game. What do you want to change in your life? What adjustments or changes do you want to make? Is there something new you want to try? Something you want to try and stop doing? Now is your time to take action! Do what you need to help yourself and what makes you happy, because you are not only your biggest supporter, but your biggest critic as well. I’ve made lists and vented to friends, but the idea is to get out whatever is holding you back. Put the problem out in the open so you can begin problem solving. 

Third, create a trial period. Take the time to test out this new attitude, lifestyle, mindset, whatever it may be and if it seems to not be working, change it. You need to find what works for you and you want to do something that is going to benefit you in the long run.

Forth, live up your new mindset. If you are taking this opportunity to try new things or hang out with new people, enjoy yourself! Whatever you have found that seems to work for you, embrace it because your inner happiness is the most important priority.

Enter this mental reevaluation with as much as an open mind as you could have. Look at your current situation and really analyze how you see things and how you would like certain aspects to change. Only you can make that change happen and only you can take control of your life.

Mistakes I Won’t Make Twice

Everyone has the same thought when making a decision, is this a good idea? Some say, take the chance! These are choices I thought seemed smart, fun at the time, a chance worth taking, or just something I thought wasn’t going to blow up in my face, but ended up turning into a giant mess of a disaster. These are things I have vowed to never do again.

1. Assuming that a quarter tank of gas will get me where I need to go and back home

2. Agreeing with you so you don’t know how I really feel

3. Assuming the good in a person can outweigh the bad when it really matters

4. Helping someone even when I really couldn’t, thinking they would return the favor when the time comes

5. Wasting my time with the people who don’t really seem to care, rather they simply humor you

6. Canceling plans because we might hangout later, even though we probably won’t

7. Keeping your secret safe when I should have told someone about your intentions to protect the larger party

8. Calling you back when I haven’t talked to you in a while

9. Putting my happiness before other things

10. Leaving my windows rolled down knowing there is a chance of rain

11. Ignoring a phone call from someone you love

12. Not taking a coat because I don’t want to hold it and I can deal with a little chilly weather

13. Not speaking up when it matters

14. Not taking as many pictures as possible

15. Not staying out just a little later with my friends

16. Not always giving 100%

17. Not always saying I love you

We all make mistakes. We all have that thought where we ask ourselves, is it worth it? You should always answer the phone when it’s someone you love, always say I love you, because it makes a difference, always give 100% even on your worst days, always take pictures because you want to remember the good times. There are some times where you aren’t always going to be sure if helping someone or talking to a specific person is worth it, but those are mistakes we need to make.