Friday, December 9, 2011

Happier & Healthier Holidays: Reducing Financial Stress & the Jingle Bell Blues

  • Are you feeling pressure to buy gifts for others that you cannot afford?
  • Are you still paying for items purchased during last year's holiday season?
  • Are you going into deeper debt to pay for holiday gifts and expenses?
  • Do you feel guilty about not being able to afford to buy gifts for loved ones?
  • Are you feeling anxious or depressed about finances during the holidays?


If you answered "Yes" to any or all of these questions, do not despair. You are not alone.  The holidays are a time when others may and society often places demands on everyone to spend money.  This can be particularly stressful, when you are experiencing financial challenges. 

Also, the commercial emphasis on gift purchasing may conflict with a value system of celebrating and focusing on more spiritual meanings of the holidays. Empower and permit yourself to define and determine reasonable and meaningful ways you will celebrate, without feeling  co-opted or stressed.


Here are some tips to help you feel in control of your finances and enjoy the holidays:


  • Buy only those items you can pay for, immediately or within the next 30 days.
  • Adopt a new attitude!  Some of the best holiday gifts require little or no money.
  • Spend quality time with loved ones and enjoy the gift/present of each other's presence.
  • Attend free or low cost events, such as concerts, social gatherings and worship services.
  • Get creative. Use your talents to make gifts, such as artwork, fine crafts or edible treats.
  • Provide inexpensive token gifts with sentimental value or gag gifts that others would enjoy.
  • Give gifts of service or skills, such as baby or pet-sitting, cleaning, repairing, errands, etc. 

HAPPY   HOLIDAYS!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Being Our Own Best Friend

Unhealthy Attitudes Toward Ourselves:




We sometimes behave as though we are our own worst enemy and harshest critic .  We tend to do this by engaging in negative, self defeating attitudes toward ourselves.  This only results in anger at ourselves, anxiety, low self-esteem and behaviors that are often in direct opposition to the very things we want.  Examples of such negative and self-destructive attitudes are:

  •  "Shoulding" on ourselves with self statements, such as "I have to, ought to, or must"   
  • Refusing to forgive ourselves by holding onto blame and shame for past mistakes   
  •  Underestimating and devaluing our talents, abilities and positive qualities  
  • Having difficulty acknowledging and enjoying success and accomplishments   
  • Comparing ourselves unfavorably to others and worrying about their view of us


Healthy Attitudes Toward Ourselves:

When we behave as our own best friend, we display reasonable and realistic attitudes toward ourselves.  Just as we would treat a loved one in a healthy fashion, we are able to exhibit self-worth, reasonable expectations, and compassion toward ourselves. The benefits of possessing healthy self-love include generally feeling happy and good about oneself.  This enables us to have the energy and positive expectations to strive toward success; to bounce back from adversity, including past failures; and to take good care of ourselves.  Therefore, it is important that we refrain from the negative thinking, noted above.  Ways to adopt a positive, healthy, self-motivating mindset include the following:

  • Focusing upon and utilizing terms like, "I want" when thinking or talking about goals and aspirations 
  •  Forgiving ourselves for past mistakes.  Learning the lessons that help us to grow and not repeat them
  • Being persistent; not giving up; viewing failure as opportunities to inform us of what to do differently 
  • Identifying our positive qualities and skills; feeling good about them; and utilizing them in healthy ways  

  • Allowing ourselves to feel good about our accomplishments and accepting the credit we have earned
  •  Developing a strong sense of self; measuring ourselves by our internal standard; not by that of others.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Minding Your Money

Is Your Mind on Your Money or

Is Your Money on Your Mind?

By Diane Kern, Ph.D.

Creator of Happy & Healthy U Seminar Series: www.happyandhealthyu.com


 

When Our Money is on Our Minds: We are experiencing stress in relationship to our finances.
This is an unhealthy state.

We feel as though we have no power over our money. In other words, we view ourselves as victims of our finances.  Situations such as excessive debt, insufficient funds, and behaviors, such as overspending and disordered priorities cause feelings of insecurity and create emotional stress (i.e. worry, depression, low self-esteem, frustration and embarrassment). Usually, this state was created by insufficient money management education and the lack of training related to values associated with money.

This is also the state in which we operate when money becomes the "fix it" remedy for our emotional distress. For instance "retail therapy" may be utilized to address our feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. In other words, money and the things that can be purchased provide a temporary rush or a substitute for the unfulfilled needs and emotional void in one's life. In this case, the underlying distress and emotional needs remain ultimately unsatisfied, as money or the objects they buy cannot truly replace or remedy our feelings.


When Our Mind is on Our Money: We feel empowered over our finances. This is a healthy state.

We recognize that our spending is directly related to our values and philosophy about money.  In addition, we view our financial decisions as choices that we make and for which we take responsibility. We possess and utilize skills, such as delay of gratification, budgeting, saving, investing, etc. This posture enables us to regard money as a tool, over which we have control. Therefore, we are much more likely to make financial decisions that work well for us and that allow us to create greater financial security; experience the societal benefits that accompany behaving in financially responsible ways (i.e. greater ease obtaining credit, lower credit and mortgage interest rates, higher credit rating score, etc.); and enjoy greater peace of mind.

Listed below are money related skills that enable us to experience this empowerment.


 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Give Up; Don't Give Out; Don't Give In

Don't Give Up:  Hang In There and Keep Focused on Your Goal
  • Recognize that progress occurs as part of a process
  • Acknowledge and focus on your strengths
  • Be patient with yourself

 
Don't Give Out:  Get Re-Energized
  • Take good care of yourself spiritually, mentally, and physically
  • Take breaks and get rested when you get tired
  • Make time for fun and personal fulfillment
  • Identify and utilize helpful resources

Don't Give In: Stay True to Yourself and Your Mission
  • Always maintain your sense of self and values
  • Remind yourself of the purpose your goal is fulfilling
  • Network with positive people, who are genuinely supportive

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is Your Mind on Your Money or Your Money on Your Mind?

When Our Money is on Our Minds we feel as though we have no power over our finances. In other words, we view ourselves as victims of our finances.  Situations such as excessive debt, insufficient funds, and behaviors, such as overspending and disordered priorities cause feelings of insecurity and create emotional stress (i.e. worry, depression, low self-esteem, frustration and embarrassment). 

When Our Mind is on Our Money we feel empowered over our finances and recognize that our spending is directly related to our values and philosophy about money.  This posture enables us to view money as a tool, over which we have control. Therefore, we are much more likely to make money related decisions that work well for us and that allow us to feel secure and experience a sense of financial responsibility and peace of mind.
  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Be Your Valentine: Healthy Self-Love

February is Valentine's Month.  Many of us are focused on romantic relationships and being in love.  Some of us are fortunate enough to be in wonderful, loving, supportive romantic relationships. Some of us are unattached and may desire a romantic relationship.  Whether we have that truly special someone or not; it is vitally important that we have a healthy self-love.  No one else can create or fill in gaps in our sense of who we are and our happiness with ourselves. It is our responsibility and only within our power to feel whole and happy deep within.  The better we feel about ourselves, the better able we are to attract, select and provide healthy love when it comes to others.

Components of healthy self-love consist of:

A strong, positive, strong sense of self
Knowing who we are and liking that self
Feeling secure, whole, and balanced
Having a sense of integrity (living in accordance with our morals, ethics and principles)

A healthy sense of self-worth
Feeling worthy and deserving of love and positive things
Feeling a sense of importance and value


Self-confidence
Believing that we are capable of and possess the ability to accomplish what we want
Feeling comfortable exploring our talents
Feeling that we measure up to others
Positive Self-Image
Liking the way we look
Feeling good about who we have become

A Sense of Trust and Belief in Oneself
Knowing that we will stand up for and take care of ourselves
Being able to rely on ourselves to do what we say is important to us

Possessing these components of healthy self love enable us to be our best and to be happy with ourselves.

For further information, tips, and presentations that help persons strengthen these life skills, contact:


 


















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Self-Matters

Taking good care of ourselves is our responsibility and our right. This includes our emotional well-being and ability to feel good and effec...