TCOY Lessons From My Favorite Bloggers (Jun11)

Ron Gutman shares scientific proof of the hidden power of smiling. "Smiling is one of the most basic biological uniform expressions of all humans...Charles Darwin's theory states 'That the act of smiling itself actually makes us feel better rather than smiling being a result of feeling good.'" (Found on Ten Pieces of Inspiration at The Simple Dollar.)

From Corey at Simple Marriage:
6 Ways To Self-Soothe Your Way To A Better Marriage
Think back to when you first began your current relationship...It’s likely that you believed you had found the answer to life’s problems, you’d found a partner to share in life’s journey, you’d never again be alone, and it would be smooth sailing from here on out...Here’s a truism for Simple Marriage: if you look to another person to provide fulfillment, you will begin to focus on the failings of that person as the cause of your own disappointment...Your ability to self-validate and self-soothe is absolutely vital to maintaining long term passion in marriage.
My husband and I just came through the other side of a long, rough time in our marriage. I do believe the ability to self-soothe is what saved me from dissolving my marriage!

From Kara/Simple Kids:
The Three Types of Friends That Every Parent Needs
The important thing, I believe, is that every parent has someone that they feel safe being real and honest with during the sticky, stressful, far from perfect times of our lives. Whether that is a spouse, a family member, or a friend, we need people in our lives whose support doesn’t come with conditions...We need that friend who would, as Brene Brown says, move a body for us.
Rather than chime in with my own thoughts, I'll quote Jennifer from I Choose Change who describes this so well in The ABC's of Friendship: "In my view, there are three types of friends. There are A friends, B friends, and C friends. It’s important to know these types of friends because in tough times as well as happy times, your friendships are what matter MOST...We need friends and family in our life because they help us feel connected, loved, and appreciated. However, without a sufficient amount of each type of friend, especially “A” friends, life can feel incredibly lonely. Even with many acquaintances around, it’s lonely when you feel like there’s no one to call on and talk to about your deepest worries, woes and life challenges."

From Get Rich Slowly:
Risks That Can Derail Your Retirement
In this post, we discuss the most common causes of financial derailment, and what you can do to keep your plan on course. While many of the solutions are specific to each particular risk, there’s one line of defense that will protect your financial empire regardless of the method of assault, and that is a big, fat emergency fund. You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in cash, ready to be deployed when the possible becomes the present.
Having an emergency fund of some sort and amount is good for everyone. For me, it's a peace-of-mind thing that is vitally important to the quality of my life.

From Dan Kadlec/Bank of Dad
5 Reasons to Budget (Even If You Think You Don't Need One)
I should lead by example. But I don’t. Certainly, I know our family income and keep a running estimate of our fixed expenses and discretionary spending...Why not? Well, it’s a lot of work. Besides, we make ends meet every month and manage to grow savings as well. In other words: it’s not an emergency. But it turns out that I’m a perfect candidate for a budget — precisely because it’s not an emergency...These major life changes are all emergencies of a sort and typically call for a personal spending response. Yet being pro-active is almost always smarter than being reactive.
Knowing how your money flows in and out will help you in times of a real emergency and in other useful ways as well. It has been one of the most positive components in my financial turnaround. As I've said before, find the financial strategy that does work for you---that motivates you, utilizes your strengths, does not work against you, etc.--and move forward on it!

From Make Use Of:
Citibank Gets Hacked, Admits Compromised Data A Month Later
"Speaking on the Sophos Naked Security blog, Christopher Wisniewski warned:
Customers affected by this incident should be on high alert for scams, phishing and phone calls purporting to be from Citibank and their subsidiaries. While Citi customers aren’t likely to have fraudulent charges against their accounts as a result of this breach, they are likely to encounter social engineering attempts to enable further crime. Considering that the attackers have your name, account number and other sensitive information they are able to provide a very convincing cover story to victims.">

Diet & Exercise
From Pick The Brain:
6 Foods To Help Improve Your Brain Memory Power
Regardless of how old you are, you can make new brain cells...Keep in mind that all cells need nutrients to continue their growth. This means your brain needs foods that will give it the building blocks it needs to work right. When you have more neurons and connections within your brain, it means you have a stronger memory and your mind can work better.
I love learning about the science behind how our body uses food as fuel. And who couldn't use all the information they can get to help boost brain memory power!

From Jo-Lynne/Musings of a Housewife:
The Unhealthy Truth: A Review
"I think what is so frustrating about this particular issue is that I feel so duped — duped by the food industry and the government agencies that are charged with keeping us safe but end up being so heavily influenced by the special interests groups and the food and drug industries that they have sorely neglected their duties, and now we have two entire generations suffering for it...Robyn, however, wasn’t satisfied with this. A former equity analyst, she immediately put her skills to use and set out to discover why food allergies are suddenly so pervasive in our society...I love it when Robyn says, “I was raised on capitalism and the Wall Street Journal.” I think this is why I regard her work so highly. She is a mom, like me, who trusted and revered her government, like me, and found herself and her children victims of the corruption and greed that all too easily transforms a noble institution...I won’t lie. There were times when I found this book horribly discouraging. But Robyn doesn’t leave us hanging. She goes into ways we can all contribute to the change that must be made if we’re going to turn the health of our nation’s children back around and going in the right direction...Robyn is fond of saying, “No one can do everything, but everybody can do one thing.”...The hope is that eventually, consumer demand will be such that these companies will change how they formulate our foods too."

From Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife's Good Reads:
Thoughts On The New USDA My Plate Guidelines
Here is the problem with our government's suggestions on what we should eat. They need us to consume the most of what they subsidize the most, and it's gotten them into a can they tell us to eat local, buy mostly produce and grass-fed meats and still hold the hand of their most powerful constituents? They can't. So as long as agriculture is dictated and funded by the US government, we will continue to see double standards like the new My Plate guideline as a means to gloss over a major political contradiction...Those who manufacture processed, unhealthy foods which appear cheap need to be held accountable. It is not the job of the public to spend ten hours in the grocery store reading and comparing labels to ensure they are putting a worthwhile item in their cart...In summation, the consumer is not the only one needing a lesson in what is appropriate to put on the table. I believe the vast majority of the public is doing the very best they can to stay well despite all of the many mixed messages thrown at them.
What are your thoughts on the new USDA "My Plate" guidelines? I liked the visual change; a plate does represent the idea of food-to-mouth and, therefore, body in an understandable way. I also noticed that the wedges weren't of equal size and the larger ones represented subsidized industries. From the knowledge I've learned about our food and how it fuels this amazing machine of ours, I know those are not the wedges that should be bigger if we are actually talking about consuming food that is best for our body rather than the food industry.

From Kara/Simple Kids:
5 Things Your Children Can Teach You About Fitness
When it comes to folks who know about moving your body, children put most fitness gurus to shame...My two kids have taught me oodles about how to make fitness easier and more enjoyable....So no need to pay a hefty personal trainer fee. Make use of the real experts. Keep an eye on how your children go through their day. Learn from them. Mimic them. You’ll be surprised at the fitness results you gain.
I think I'll be paying attention to my personal trainers more. They do inspire me with their ability to always be moving!

Self Improvement
From Pick The Brain:
Plan A Mental Health Weekend--5 Steps To De-stress Your Life
However, there are days when the number of hats feels a little too tight to be comfortable. Days when the need for down time is overwhelming and the desire to do things that bring joy into your life grows stronger and stronger. When time to refresh and energize takes center stage, schedule a mental health weekend. Toss your hats in a corner and take a break to restore some of the calm, clarity, and focus in your life...Step #1: Make yourself a priority.
I love the idea of a mental health weekend, although I believe in living with Step #1 as a constant priority rather than a "tune-up task"! If one does, then the recipe for a mental health WEEKEND becomes the one for a calm and centered LIFE. Wouldn't you agree that it's better to Take Care Of You (TCOY!) rather than just wait until you're broke and then "fix it"?

12 Fail-Proof Ways To Strengthen Your Resolve
Accept full responsibility for your actions. Most of what happens to us in life is a result of our own choices. Yes, there are some things that are out of our control, but even then, we can choose how to react to them. We are not victims. We have an endless array of choices that can change the quality of our lives. There is tremendous power in that.
This is the piece of the puzzle that many lose, hence they don't get to see the full picture. Learning to let go of relying on the victim mentality is the biggest self-improvement change one could ever make, in my opinion.

From Trent/The Simple Dollar:
Goals, Values and Methods
These goals are powerful for us because they’re directly in accordance with our deepest personal values...It is those deep values that we reflect on every time we make a financial choice that takes us closer to one of our goals...The connection between the personal values that define who we are and the goals we have set for the future set our actions for today...It is the reinforcement from both sides of the equation, however, that makes it much easier for us to make good choices today and stay on track for tomorrow...The overriding theme here is simple: our values lead us to our financial goals. The goals come from the values, not vice versa.
Whether you're a goalmaker or not, it does make sense that important life changes have the strongest chance of actually occuring when they are in alignment with our values. Identify what's really the most important to you and orient your goals (or life changes ;-) to take advantage of this strength.

Five Elements of a Successful Goal (From My Experience)
4. Take your first action within a day of coming up with the plan.
It’s easy to think up an excuse or to postpone the start of a plan. “I’ll start next week because this week is really stressful.” “I’ll start on the first so that the calendar can guide me.”...Those moves are silly and often self-defeating. Why? During that period between now and whenever you think you should start your goal, you burn off a lot of the fervor and motivation you have for getting started. That rush of excitement you get when you’re really into an idea is something that you should capitalize on by starting immediately...Don’t wait for doubts to catch up. Don’t wait for the “perfect” time to start. There is no more perfect time than right this moment.

Yes and yes! Have you experienced this? You are psyched to make a change, do something, create, clean, organize, etc. and then find that nothing became of it? Usually, "waiting for the right time to start" was the culprit.

From David/Raptitude:
Our Lives Are Not What We Think
So most of the time, we’re not really perceiving the physical details of the moment, we’re perceiving a sprawling mental map of what we think of our lives, of which the present is a small part. It feels like life is made of millions of moments like this, linked by cause and effect, extending each way from here and now. This leads to two huge problems: 1) a preoccupation with these imagined non-present moments, and 2) an astronomical devaluation of the present moment...This means consciously downgrading the importance of the story you tell yourself about who you are, what you deserve and what you can expect, and instead cultivating an earnest curiosity about what is actually happening now.
Have you ever experienced a moment like he described in his "family dinner" experience? I have. I usually only experience this for several minutes where I'm viewing everything going on so passively; in those moments I even see my body or a reflection of my face as totally different than me. It's surreal and very unsettling, to tell you the truth. We are so used to a chatty mind and the distraction of being sentient beings that suddenly becoming, well, nothing can be exciting or disorienting. It's up to you to choose to remain in the moment and experience it the way David describes or to wish it would hurry up and go away, so you can return to your "normal" way of thinking & feeling. It's one of the only true moments when it is up to you, not circumstances.

From Leo/Zen Habits:
The Illusion of Control
It’s amazing how often we think we’re in control of something when really we aren’t...Control is an illusion, as I’ve said many times before....When we are in the midst of chaos, let go of the need to control it. Be awash in it, experience it in that moment, try not to control the outcome but deal with the flow as it comes...This might seem like a passive way of living to some, and it’s against our aggressive, productive, goal-oriented cultural nature. If you can’t accept this way of living, that’s OK — many people live their lives with the illusion of control, and not realizing what it is that makes them unhappy or frustrated isn’t the worst thing ever...But if you can learn to live this way, it’s the most freeing thing in the world.
I used to live life this way and then suddenly changed for several years because other life circumstances that made me feel powerless overtook me. I felt so out of balance and finally realized what had happened; I was not living in alignment with who I am. I'm changing once again back to the real me, this kind of person, but I daresay it seemed much easier to fall into the hole than to get out!

From Pick The Brain:
The Importance of Indulging
Don’t always think of indulging for superficial pleasure, begin to indulge because you sincerely want to feel and know on a different level. Indulge in drinking water, don’t just drink the water, admire its beauty, taste every single part of it as it touches your lips, your teeth, your taste buds. Feel it as it goes down your throat and into your entire body as it helps sustain your life and quench your thirst. If the elevator at work is broken and you have to take the stairs, indulge in that action. Walk up the stairs with a sense of pride, know that at that moment you are alive, that your legs are pushing you up in a vertical motion, you are defying gravity by moving upward, your heart is pumping the blood inside of you in order to keep you moving...Next time you come across a simple moment in your life, indulge in it in the way that I have stated above. Don’t just go through the motions, actually live the motions, be that moment....Indulge every once in a while in the pleasures that you don’t normally see as a pleasure.
Growing your awareness and letting the "simple pleasures" in, to your thoughts, your sense of well-being and your heart, bring more joy than can be described.

From Corey at Simple Marriage:
Honestly, How Honest Are You?
The world in which we live is filled with lies...The problem with lying is that it creates an alternate reality. And trying to keep up with multiple realities is anything but simple and easy.
I am honest, both because I believe in being that way and because of the statement above; I just don't have the ability to keep up with real life and "the other one". I describe it as "brutally honest" because so many people are used to some variation of truth and, therefore, ill-equipped to handle actual truth. I'm not mean or rude; I will just give you an honest answer said in the most tactful way I can come up with at the moment. I also strive to be truthful in my actions and thoughts as well. Just a little about me...and Corey's post is definitely a must-read.

From Make Use Of:
6 Websites That Can Help You Become An Educated, Ethical & Safe Shopper
In the 21st century and beyond, sustainable living is more than just a buzzword. It is becoming a way of life. But sustainable living and consumerism hardly go hand in hand...But there are a few websites out there that can help us battle it out. They educate us and make us aware of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s green. Some alert us of banned chemicals and product recalls. If awareness is the first step, let’s take a deeper look with these six sites that can in the very least make us educated shoppers.

House & Family
From Jo-Lynne/Musings of a Housewife:
The Grass Isn't Always Greener
I had to look onto my child’s big watery brown eyes and make a decision. Would I practice tough love and force him to own up to his mistake, or would I cave to the emotion of the situation and let him out of it?...At one point, I almost backed down, but finally I decided to stand my ground. I didn’t lecture, I didn’t yell, and I didn’t use sarcasm...What I WANTED to do was pull his head down to my chest and rub his back and tell him it’s okay, never mind, let’s just go home. But instead, I sat patiently and quietly while my child collected himself and prepared to do what he had to do.
As Jo-Lynne describes, this part of parenting is so incredibly hard. We want to teach them life lessons when the consequences are small, however, they are our babies and we want to shield their little hearts from this kind of thing. Kudos to her for doing what she needed to do.

From Kara/Simple Kids:
3 Strategies for Dealing With Criticism
Parents especially seem to invite scrutiny from others. Everyone has an opinion on how children should be raised and some of us find ourselves getting advice (and lectures) practically from the moment we announce that we’re starting a family.
Ain't this the truth! Thankfully, I don't have to face criticism like this from my own friends and family. I have heard horror stories from others though and it boggles my mind that people think this kind of behavior is OK.

From The Center For Parenting Education
Developmental Stages: The Roller Coaster of Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
Did you ever feel as if parenting your children was like riding a roller coaster? At one point you are enjoying your offspring and the next you are wondering what ever happened to your sweet little girl or your charming little boy.
My 9 year old (oldest, boy) is struggling right now so I've been doing some reading up. I haven't read this much about child development and parenting since my kids were babies & toddlers! It's reminding me that, as they grow, we've still got to figure out what's going on with them; in their minds and with their bodies. I tell ya, dealing with my son's negative attitude is bringing out the poor side of my parenting (the more you argue with your child, the better your child will become at arguing)! Posts like the one above, this one and this one too are certainly helping me to feel more understanding of his side of things and to teach myself how to parent him better during this time. Also, here is the closest thing to a "kids manual" that I've seen and thought I'd share it too!

Life Clutter
From Unclutterer:
The Keystone Demise
In architecture, the keystone is the center stone of an arch. It is the piece that is vital to the arch’s success because it makes it possible for the arch to hold its shape and to bear the weight of the ceiling, wall, bridge, and/or doorway. If you remove the keystone, the arch fails, usually bringing down the entire surrounding structure with it...The Keystone Demise is almost always the cause of an organizing system failure. One small piece is disrupted/broken/ compromised and in a matter of days it is as if the organizing system didn’t exist at all...As someone who wants to keep your home and office organized, it’s your job to immediately identify when a keystone is out of place or broken and fix the situation.
I don't seem to notice this effect for people like me who aren't, by nature, messy. However, it is completely the case for my husband and kids who are. I just witnessed this effect earlier this week. One or two things left out from the morning made each of them see the house as messy. Each person acknowledged that seeing this or that out did make it easier to put whatever next to it. Even though neither one belonged out from its home (aka dirty cup in the dishwasher, a blanket used in the morning put back in the blanket box, etc.)

TCOY on the outside
From Sally at Already Pretty:
Self-Love or Self-Care First?
Learning to love and accept and respect yourself is a highly personal process, and I’m sure that there are as many paths to self-love as there are people following them. Learning to care for and nourish and celebrate yourself is also a highly personal process, and countless actions and philosophies can lead us to cultivate those behaviors, too. No method is more correct or effective than any other, of course, but I’ve been thinking recently about how someone who is still mired in self-loathing might get started extracting herself from the mire.
Either path gets you to love and care for yourself, and either path can be right for you; which one depends on you.

Until next time...Take Care Of You!

Photo Credit: Iron Design

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Copyright © 2010 by | all rights reserved
Enjoy what you read at Taking Care Of You? It's easy to receive free updates by email or RSS. Click SHARE to help spread the word about

Join the Discussion!

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Popular Posts