Monday December 9, 2013
I'm a big fan of all things free. (Partially for this reason, I love About.com's Freebies
sites a little too much.) In fact, the only thing I like more than free stuff is free stuff that helps you to better manage stress! That's why I wanted to let you know about a book giveaway that combines these two favorite things.
You may know that I published a book earlier this year through W. W. Norton on stress management titled, "8 Keys to Stress Management." It's part of their "8 Keys to Mental Health" series, a collection of books that incorporate research-based, proven strategies for better living, with plenty of easily-implemented strategies for increasing your emotional wellbeing. The book provides a large amount of easily-digestible and practical information on stress management, and I've had very positive feedback from it so far. (You can read some of the reviews here, here and here.) And the good news is that my publisher is running a free giveaway of the book through Goodreads! That means if you enter to win (which is quite easy--I've entered several book giveaways through Goodreads in the past and it takes minutes, and I've won!) you could win the copy that they're giving away this week.
If you're interested in winning a free copy of the book, visit the Goodreads Giveaway page and enter! You'll find some other great books to win there, too. And while you wait to see if you've won, you can peruse the resources below for some more stress management help. Good luck!
How To Cope With Stress Simply And Effectively
As I've said many times, stress management shouldn't be stressful! Here are some simple and effective ways to manage the stress in your life, starting now.
Use The Body Scan Meditation To Relax Your Body
Relaxing your body can also help you to relax your mind--when you are physically more relaxed, your thinking becomes less distracted and your creativity can come out more easily. This effective physical relaxation tool has been used by many, many people as a quick and easy route to relaxation. Give it a try!
When And How To Take A Mental Health Day
You may not have time to take a "mental health day" today, but today is a day to consider whether you might benefit from one, and plan when and how you would take it. This article can give you motivation and inspiration.
Again, you can find more stress management resources on Facebook--find our page and be sure to "like" for regular updates and discussions.
Please feel free to add your own tips for embracing laziness in the comments section, sign up for the free stress management newsletter for ongoing updates, and have a wonderful week!
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Monday December 2, 2013
This is a financially tight year for many people. With waves of layoffs, a weak economy and the 'credit crunch' all happening at once, most of us are on a tighter budget this year. While we don't want to end up giving our loved ones IOUs to be cashed in when money is more abundant, going into debt for the holidays isn't a good idea, either!
Many people are concerned about how their kids are going to handle receiving less-extravagant gifts this year, or how they can pare down the gift exchanges without sacrificing the joy of giving (and receiving!) that we all enjoy. This is a significant source of stress for many people, on top of the regular holiday stress that many of us already experience this season. If you're stressed about this, here are some things to keep in mind:
- We already know this, but sometimes forget that kids can grow from facing challenges. Meeting the challenge of getting less expensive gifts this holiday season can help them grow in their appreciation of the more important things, like family and giving to others.
- Many, many people are in the same boat. This means that people will generally understand and often appreciate attempts to pare down the expense of the holiday celebrations this year.
- You can still enjoy the holiday season while spending less. In fact, this season could be one of the more special ones you celebrate. Get creative, and you can hold onto what's important with less expense.
I've compiled the following resources to help you avoid holiday debt, find ways to save this season, and still have a meaningful celebration.
More Holiday Resources from Elizabeth Scott:
- Why We Go Into Debt for Holiday Gifts
While money is tight for many people, most of us seem to spend more than we'd like to on holiday gifts, resulting in widespread holiday debt. What's behing the spending? Here are some reasons behind holiday debt.
- Thoughtful But Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas
Instead of going into debt again this year, why not try a new Christmas gift-giving tradition this holiday season? These Christmas gift giving ideas can help you save money while perhaps even heightening the thoughtfulness and love of the holidays.
- Stress-Relieving Gifts for Every Budget
Why not give a gift that helps relieve stress? Here are some of my favorites.
Sunday December 1, 2013
Now that December is here, the holiday season is in full swing! This means different things to different people, but generally we all have our traditions that seem to define the holiday season. Unfortunately, many of these traditions are time-consuming, and as they add up, the holiday season seems to be defined by stress as well! In the past, I've been as guilty of holiday over-scheduling and "tradition perfectionism" as anyone else, perhaps even more so: I'd hand-craft 6 scrapbooks detailing our activities from the past year and tailoring them to various people to give as gifts; I'd send cards that included a photo (specially taken), a card with a personalized and handwritten message, and a newsy letter printed on holiday stationery; I'd bake cookies for all friends and family; we'd take a night to view holiday lights; we'd go to parties; I'd make ornaments by hand to commemorate each year; we'd have a new advent calendar for each year; we'd have special meals; and I'd spend too much on holiday gifts for everyone in our family--all in a quest to have a special and memorable holiday season. After a while, I got stressed and overwhelmed by the whole process, and looked for ways to pare down.
In the process of simplifying, I discovered that I could do many of these things, but to a lesser degree. Or, I could go all-out in some areas, and take shortcuts in others: I could do a simplified version of the holiday card, but still make the scrapbooks, or I could just give framed photos or email slideshows and put more attention into holiday cards. I could focus more energy on specific areas that were most important to my family that year. Letting go of my holiday overdoing was liberating!
If you find that your holidays get a little overloaded with holiday overdoing, here are some holiday shortcuts that you can use to create more time and relieve holiday stress.
Holiday Card Shortcuts
Simple Holiday Meals
How To Simplify Your Holiday Party
Reduce Holiday Shopping Stress
Holiday Stress Relief
What are your best holiday shortcuts? Leave them in the comments section of this blog--we'd love to hear them!
Friday November 29, 2013
I know, I know, there's something that just doesn't sound great about "Black Friday", but it can be a great experience! (For those who don't know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, the day that many retailers are finally 'in the black' from the stampede of sales they get that day.)
Black Friday isn't for the faint of heart. From an outsider's perspective, it can be a day of craziness and stress: shoppers can get more aggressive as prices get lower and sleep is replaced with coffee and nerves. However, if you focus on the sales, make a plan, and get into the right attitude (think: adventure!) Black Friday can be a day of saving that can reduce holiday debt (and the associated stress involved), and bring a sense of accomplishment. You can also be done with your shopping early, so you don't have to stress about it during the holiday season!
Read on for Black Friday stress relief tips:
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