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Stressing About Stress

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? I’ve found myself doing that lately—waking up, working, going to class, reading, going to bed. I feel like my gratitude and my love for life has fallen by the wayside. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what I’ve been given. It’s just that life feels so rushed right now that I don’t even have time to sniff a rose, let alone smell them.

Can you relate?

The days just go by so quickly. I haven’t even had time to write! I feel like it can be so hard to find balance juggling it all. It can be an unnerving feeling. It certainly doesn’t help when you’re a people pleaser, either. But rather than stress about stress, what are ways we can still make time to enjoy our lives, even when we’re crunched for time?

I think prioritizing our time is the key solution. I start with to-do lists and even if I don’t get through half of the goals on my list, it keeps me on track. Planning your day will help you prevent additional stress—because when you’re already busy, that’s the last thing you need.

And perhaps more than you give it credit for, it’s so important to SLEEP. I know if I don’t try and get 8 hours, I crash. It’s different for everyone but you need to rest. You may try and stay up late to catch up but chances are you’ll feel even more behind when you cut the zzz’s.

When you do have time to relax, treasure it. However, it’s just as important that you don’t resent the time that you’re busy. There are benefits to both if you choose to see it that way and too much of either causes problems. It’s amazing how quickly we get bored when we have too much free time but we all know what it’s like to feel overworked—that’s an even worse feeling. Try your best to stay in balance.

Here’s to enjoying the weekend—whether you have nothing to do or everything to do. This time, I’m the latter.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Friends in Low Places

So much of the time I write about YOUR happiness. How you can increase it in your life, how you can appreciate it more. But I rarely write about happiness other than your own. Probably because in a way it seems uncontrollable—you can’t make someone feel a certain way. Of course, I believe happiness is contagious and should be shared whenever possible. But what do you do when you have a friend who is clearly unhappy? Is there something you can do?

I don’t think fighting for someone’s happiness is a lost cause. Of course, it’s ultimately up to them to decide how they want to feel but I think it’s our job as friends to sweep our friends up when they’re feeling down. So what can we do? Sunny Suggestions to the rescue:

1. Offer to do what they normally love: If they’re a fro-yo fan or they love watching a certain TV show, make yourself available and just be with them. It’s best to keep the activity simple too—if your friend is feeling low, chances are they won’t want to get dragged out on the town. Just chill.

2. Talk it out: Sometimes that’s the best remedy—just being able to vent in a safe environment. Be a trustworthy friend. And if they don’t feel like sharing, don’t force it. Let them come to you when they’re ready.

3. Give them space: In college we don’t get much alone time. Sometimes people just need to be alone with their thoughts. Give them the space to do that.

4. Write a nice note: Reading a kind message can be extremely powerful—and it lasts longer than talking. When someone is upset, it can be the perfect time to express what you love about the person and how much they mean to you.

5. Don’t shove your happiness in their face: When you’ve had a hard day, there can be nothing worse than a friend who shines it on about what a perfect day they’ve had. Be mindful of where other people are at; when people are in low places, it can be best to meet in the middle rather than expect them to come to the top.

If you have a friend who’s been feeling a little low lately, I hope these ideas will help turn their attitude around. As I said, there’s only so much that we can do as friends but we should always try to make a positive impact with what we CAN do. Friendship can be a wonderful source of healing and comfort and often our bonds grow stronger in times of trouble.

May we take pride in our lives, realize the power of our dreams, and celebrate happiness today and every day!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Cirque du Soleil: Iris

It’s good to be back! I took a little hiatus this week as I had a bit of a tough time. One of those situations where it just would have been better to keep my hands off the key board. I try to bring just my happy thoughts to the blog table. Of course I like to be honest and open about where I’m at, and I hope you’ll always do the same, but it’s almost always better to not take personal drama to the blogosphere.

But I’m back now, happier than ever, because my boyfriend took me on the most amazing date Friday night to celebrate my birthday. It’d be forever since I’d seen a Cirque du Soleil show and he took me to the Kodak Theater (row 10—so close to the stage) to see the show, Iris. With an emphasis on the film industry, I especially loved the historical undertones of the world of entertainment. I haven’t smiled so big in such a long time.

I highly encourage you to go see a Cirque du Soleil if you get the chance. It never gets old no matter how many times you see it. The acrobatics are my favorite part, especially when they soar over the crowd held up by mere ribbons. You walk away with a whole new respect for what the human body is capable of. We shouldn’t take our strength, our flexibility, or our agility for granted, no matter how much or how little of it we have. (And if you’re like me, it’s not much in comparison to these people!)

I hope you can experience the happiness that I still have by going to see a show. Whether you’re drawn to these shows or you’re dragged there, give it a chance. People can be pretty amazing.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook