Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Stay Financially Stress Free After Holiday Spending - Guaranteed!

Sometimes we experience stress from surprising and unexpected events such as an auto accident or illness. Sometimes we willingly create circumstances that we know will lead to later anxiety and stress. Take, for example, our decisions about buying gifts for the holidays.

Holiday Overspending Leads to Financial and Emotional Stress That Can Last Long After the Tree is Gone!


According to a *survey of 1,000 parents with children between the ages of 8 and 14 years of age commissioned by T. Rowe Price in January of 2015, 62% of of those parents agreed with the statement, "I spent more for my kids over the holidays than I should have". 

This overspending led to a number of stress creating results including increased arguments with a spouse, a situation not healthy for the children or the parents.

The January Debt Free Solution:


So what are we to do? Is there a way we can stick to a budget that is realistic and yet still ensure our loved ones receive gifts they'll appreciate?

Here is what I recommend to make sure financial stress doesn't come down the chimney with Santa:
  • Look at your finances carefully and determine the absolute limit that makes sense given your other expenses. Write down this amount.
  • Make a list of the people you plan to buy for. Include any non-family members such as co-workers and service providers such as hair stylists.
  • After each name place the amount of money you plan to spend. If you want to add a specific item description (eg. X-Box), that's fine, but placing the allocated amount after each name is critical. Include the cost of shipping, holiday cards, and wrapping.
  • Add up the total amount you would like to spend for each person. Check that number against your agreed upon maximum spending.
If the total amount you would like spend on each person exceeds your budget, you have two choices: 

1) Cut the amount of money for each person across the entire list or by individual people, and / or;

2) Eliminate people from the list.

Make sure that, "It's OK to spend just a little more so people will love you" voice doesn't cloud your judgement. This voice is likely to show up as you're making the hard decisions about cutting. Acknowledge the voice and message, say, "Thank you", and proceed with the task at hand.

Once you have massaged your list and the amount you would like to spend matches your budget, take one more important action: 

Go to the bank and withdraw the exact amount of money you plan to spend. 

Purchase each gift with cash from a real physical store. If you're buying gift cards pay attention to the fine print. Some cards have specific time windows before the face value of the card is reduced or looses all value. Shop early and - if shipping is required - ship the gifts by early December.

Remember, once the allocated money is spent your shopping is done. Resist any temptation to use plastic or otherwise spend "just a little more on this special gift she'll really love".

Your Positive Results:


Following this plan assures you have zero debt in January. It also reenforces your positive self-image at the subconscious and conscious levels of mind as someone who is smart, money savvy, and decisive.

Happy stress free holidays!

Love and blessings, 

Steve

photo 
Stephen Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC
    


*Resource citation: T. ROWE PRICE: MOST PARENTS SAY THEY OVERSPEND ON KIDS' HOLIDAY GIFTS. Baltimore: November 12, 2015 press release: http://trowe.com/1P4jlMe.

Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog along with any statement or statements made in any podcast, audio, or video associated with this site are for informational purposes only. This and all other written posts and statements in any audio or video recording associated with this blog, Stress Solutions, LLC, or Stephen Carter are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting, audio or video recording linked to this website or associated in any way with this website, with Stephen Carter, or with Stress Solutions, LLC does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical, psychological, emotional, or physical conditions.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness Change You - and the World!

Yesterday I happened to stop by a Baltimore City McDonald's to get a cup of coffee. Rain was falling and the wind was brisk, so I hurried toward the door.

As I approached the building, I noticed a mostly empty can of cat food someone had left about 20 feet from the entrance. 

This act of kitty kindness caused me to stop and give a tip of my hat to the unknown person who cared enough about the well-being of one or more stray cats to provide food. It was simply a random act of kindness.

Seeing the evidence of that stranger's random act of kindness was touching. Even more important, I was reminded that I too have opportunities every day to make this world a better, happier place. 

We all in fact have opportunities to practice random acts of kindness. Offering a smile to someone you pass on the street; allowing another motorist to pull ahead of you in traffic; buying a cup of coffee or even a meal for someone homeless are just three examples.

I encourage you to offer random acts of kindness today - and tomorrow. These acts change your chemistry and feelings for the better...

They also change the world.


Blessings,

Steve


photo 
Stephen Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC
    


Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog along with any statement or statements made in any podcast, audio, or video associated with this site are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts and statements in any audio or video recording associated with this blog, Stress Solutions, LLC, or Stephen Carter are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting, audio or video recording linked to this website or associated in any way with this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical, psychological, or physical conditions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Healing Hatred With Love - Paris and Beyond

As I was dealing with my strong emotions following the barbaric murders in Paris, I recalled the Positive EFT Love audio (EFT is short for Emotional Freedom Techniques) I had recently recorded for clients. I was then reminded the most powerful healing energy in our universe is love. 

The Positive EFT Love Protocol begins by inviting the energy of love to flow through us and ends by inviting the healing energy of love to circle the globe and touch everyone living on Mother Earth.


How to Download the EFT Love Protocol 10-Minute Audio Guide

If you would like to use the Positive EFT Love Protocol, you can download the MP3 audio to listen directly on your computer or smartphone by clicking http://bit.ly/1N7Ae8l

If you have no knowledge of EFT tapping points, I suggest simply listening to the audio as a meditation. If you would like to learn about EFT and watch YouTube videos demonstrating tapping points, visit our Stress Solutions, LLC website at www.EFT-MD.com.

I encourage everyone to use whatever methods or practices - to include prayer - you are called toward to help counter the dark energy of hatred and killing.

EFT Love Protocol Audio Download Link: http://bit.ly/1N7Ae8l

Listen as Streaming Audio: http://bit.ly/1Lk5fhX.

Blessings,

Steve


photo 
Stephen Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC
    


Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog along with any statement or statements made in any podcast, audio, or video associated with this site are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts and statements in any audio or video recording associated with this blog, Stress Solutions, LLC, or Stephen Carter are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting, audio or video recording linked to this website or associated in any way with this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical, psychological, or physical conditions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Stop Caregiver Burnout

Caregiving is one of the most difficult challenges anyone can face. If you are a caregiver for someone with a debilitating disease or other serious condition, you may be at elevated risk for chronic stress and burnout.

The suggestions below are based on my own experiences as a caregiver for my father during his final six months of life along with insights from my work helping clients navigate the troubled waters of caregiving to loved ones. I was blessed with strong family support and help with my father, but even with that support the emotional and physical toll was beyond anything I could have imagined before actually experiencing the journey.

Why Chronic Stress Matters

Chronic stress can result in periods of prolonged depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, and a range of other problem emotions. It's important to know chronic stress may contribute to medical and emotional conditions that can have serious consequences for your health and emotional well-being.

Caregiver stress is born from the emotional and physical strain that goes with caring for someone in constant need of help and attention. There is often a sense of overwhelm, particularly when a caregiver has limited opportunities to step out of the caregiving role.

The stress response can take several forms. Sometimes you can feel angry and frustrated. Other times you may feel a profound sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and sadness. You may feel as though you are on an emotional rollercoaster that never seems to stop. The ebb and flow of emotions - positive and negative - is common when acting in a caregiving role.

Steps to Help Stop Caregiver Stress and Burnout
  • Recognize when you are experiencing elevated stress. Signs may include an inability to fall or stay asleep, not getting enough sleep, chaotic thinking that may sometimes include violent thoughts, making mistakes giving medications, feeling alone and abandoned, or experiencing a chronic sense of depression or anxiety. 
  • Once you notice you are in a stress response, take action to change that response. This can include frequent mini-breaks, the application of EFT / Tapping or other stress releasing techniques such as a short yoga session, deep, slow breathing, or periods of meditation to help break the cycle of stressful thoughts and feelings. 
  • Talk with a trusted disinterested professional or friend to help work through strategies that better enable you to handle the day-to-day demands. This conversation should not be a pity party. Rather, look for the key stressors in your situation and identify ways to mitigate or eliminate them.
  • Ask - and demand if necessary - help from other family members. If they can't physically be present, ask for financial help to hire others so you can do activities that are fun and emotionally nourishing.
  • Use self-talk throughout the day that supports your emotional well-being. For example, saying, "I'm feeling frustrated, but I know this too shall pass. It always does", acknowledges what you're experiencing in that given moment, but it reminds you the feeling is temporary.
Additional Information

For more information to include additional suggestions for dealing with caregiver stress, download the Caregiver Stress Fact Sheet from the Office of Women's Health. That Fact Sheet is available at http://1.usa.gov/1k8lglZ.

Finally, if you believe you're experiencing chronic stress, or any physical or emotional challenge that may be affecting your health or emotional well-being, I suggest talking with your medical doctor or other appropriate medical professional. 

Please always remember, you owe it to yourself, the person you're caring for, and your loved ones to care for the caregiver. That would be you.

Blessings,

Steve


photo 
Stephen Carter
Stress Solutions, LLC
    

To learn more about how EFT / TFT / Tapping and Energy Psychology can help with stress and other challenging emotions, visit our Stress Solutions, LLC website at www.EFT-MD.com.

Important Note: This and all other postings to this blog along with any statement or statements made in any podcast, audio, or video associated with this site are for informational purposes only. This and all other posts and statements in any audio or video recording associated with this blog, Stress Solutions, LLC, or Stephen Carter are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise recommend any treatment for any medical or psychological condition. Anyone using any of the information contained in this or any other posting, audio or video recording linked to this website or associated in any way with this website does so at his or her own risk. You are urged to seek competent medical consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals for any and all medical, psychological, or physical conditions.