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  • Blog Post: Fear Really IS the Mind-Killer

    In his classic science-fiction novel Dune , Frank Herbert wrote that "Fear is the mind-killer." How right he was! Negative emotions like fear and worry shut down our brains' ability to deal with new situations or to think creatively about old ones. Read on to find out how fear can keep...
  • Blog Post: Bit by Bit, or Not at All?

    People often balk at fitness programs and other long-term projects because these tasks seem too daunting, too complicated, too taxing, or just too . . . BIG . We put these projects off until "tomorrow" (which often means "forever") because we can't get our heads around them, or...
  • Blog Post: Setting the Priority Principle in Motion

    In my last post I promoted the virtues of the Priority Principle for organizing your life. This time, I want to offer some specific guidance on how to think through and implement the Priority Principle in the face of a hectic work week. The outcome you're shooting for should be to spend regular doses...
  • Blog Post: Release Your Inner Artist

    Feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Grab a box of crayons and some paper-and set your inner artist free. Drawing a simple picture or coloring in a coloring book can help you relax and temporarily forget about your everyday worries. And let's face it: who doesn't feel happy when holding...
  • Blog Post: Bake for Stress Relief

    I absolutely love to bake. It's been a favorite pastime of mine for years, and I have wonderful childhood memories of baking brownies, cookies, and cupcakes with my mom. If you'd asked me at the time why I liked it so much, I probably would have come out with the simplistic response, "Because...
  • Blog Post: Have a Good Cry

    B a ck when my husband and I were trying to dig ourselves out of debt, I sometimes found the stress to be too much. And at times like those, only one thing helped me feel better: a good cry. I just had so much pent-up anger, frustration, and fear-and I needed that intense release of emotion to help me...
  • Blog Post: Read to a Child

    If you've ever read a story out loud to a group of children, you can't mistake the look on their faces: expressions of pure wonder. Their chin is in their hands, their elbows are on their knees, and they're sitting Indian-style, hanging on your every word. When a child has a story read to...
  • Blog Post: How fitness goals help you manage the rest of your life

    Life gets complicated. We try to give attention to work, family, finances, fitness, and at least a little bit of relaxing . . . but the effort can easily turn into a clumsy juggling act instead of a harmonious composition. However getting fit can help, on several levels. Exercise releases endorphins...
  • Blog Post: Connect With an Old Friend

    Being in debt can make you feel anxious, confused, and insecure. I sometimes felt like I was losing my identity. Every so often, I would forget that I was more than just someone in debt. The best thing that happened to me during this difficult time was connecting with one of my closest childhood friends...
  • Blog Post: Don't Skimp on Sleep

    Let's face it, life is busy. Going to work, preparing meals, and carting the kids between activities, things never really seem to slow down. If only there were more hours in the day.... It may be tempting to sneak in a few extra hours by staying up late. Those quiet hours when the kids are sleeping...
  • Blog Post: Schedule a Realistic Day

    If a typical weekday involves getting your kids ready in the morning, seeing them off to school, heading out to work, leaving early to take your son to the dentist, picking your daughter up from her friend's house across town, throwing dinner together, baking two dozen cookies for your son's...
  • Blog Post: Laugh a Little...Or a Lot!

    Laughter is the best medicine, we're always told. I used to be a little cynical of this saying. I mean, how much healing can a few giggles bring about? Quite a lot, I've come to discover. When I was in debt, I often felt stressed and anxious. There was this constant pit in my stomach. And it...
  • Blog Post: Cut the Caffeine to Cut the Stress

    When you’re feeling tired, drained, and unmotivated, it may be your instinct to reach for a tall cup of coffee. But you may be doing your body a lot more harm than good. Take it from me… When I was dealing with my debt problems, it seemed like I almost always had a cup of coffee in my hand (I had learned...
  • Blog Post: Stretch to Relieve That Debt Stress

    When I was in debt, I often felt consumed by stress. I was on edge a lot, and found it hard to simply relax. But then a friend of mind showed me something called Progressive Relaxation (PR)—and to this day, I am so grateful to have been introduced to this remarkable set of exercises. PR involves alternately...
  • Blog Post: The Power of Small Change

    When I was in debt, there were times in which I thought to myself, “I can do this. I really can.” But there were other moments in which panic would take over, and I’d wonder, “How am I ever going to pay off this dollar amount? It’s just TOO BIG.” But after a while, I decided it was time to change my...
  • Blog Post: Five Ways to Deal With Holiday Stress

    I remember the first holiday season after my husband and I truly faced the fact that we were deep in debt. Every newspaper I opened, website I went on, or channel I flipped to had another ad for a sweater, game system, or electronic gadget that (according to the ad), my mother, brother, uncle, neighbor...
  • Blog Post: Stressed About Debt? Write it Down

    There’s something else that helped me immensely when I was digging myself out of debt: keeping a journal. Sure, my husband was a great support system, but let’s face it: he was dealing with plenty of his own emotions. And so I felt that it was unfair to unload all of mine on him. So one day, while I...
  • Blog Post: Clean up the Clutter

    I don’t have to tell you how being in debt can make you feel like things in your life are out of whack. It’s really scary to not know what each new day will bring—and to feel like you have no control over things. Now, how do you make things even worse? Add a cluttered, messy, disorganized living area...
  • Blog Post: What Are You Grateful For?

    The grass is always greener on the other side, and when I was deep in debt, that’s certainly how it was for me. Everyone around me seemed to have less financial stress, more free time, and a generally worry-free existence. And here my husband and I were trying desperately to balance our hectic life,...
  • Blog Post: Putting it in Perspective

    It took a long time before I stopped being insanely jealous of every single person around me. I used to look at others who seemed to be living such carefree lives: going out to dinner, planning extravagant vacations, renovating their house. And here I was, pretty much living paycheck to paycheck, in...
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