Monthly Archives: July 2013

Summertime de-stress at the office

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Summertime de-stress at the officeWhat comes to mind when you say summertime?  Remember the lyrics to that old song? “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer….You’ll wish that summer could always be here.”

The antithesis of stress! Summertime evokes thoughts of endless days of relaxing, sunshine and warm rains. Summer time is the outdoors, the beach, the cottage, a barbeque with friends and family, or a game of baseball. It is filled with the sounds of nature – birds singing, wind rustling the leaves, rain, thunder and lightning heard from the safety of a cozy shelter. It also means fresh produce, outdoor farmers’ markets, and time spent in the garden. Wow!

Summertime is supposed to be so great and so healthy! …

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Assertiveness: Mastering the art of saying No

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Assertiveness: Mastering the art of saying NoDo you ever kick yourself for not speaking up about something? It bothers you so much, it eats away at you and you promise yourself, next time, next time will be different. But next time comes and again something prevents you from speaking up. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Assertiveness is valued because it’s an effective way of communicating with people. It helps you get your point across neutrally – you make sense and people respect that. When you can clearly communicate your ideas, you gain the confidence of your audience and yourself.

Assertiveness can be hard to master, though, because there’s a fine line between being assertive and being arrogant. Assertiveness is not taking over the conversation or shutting down …

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Home renovations on a budget

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Home renovations on a budgetSticking to a budget can be tough at the best of times, but when we take on something new, as exciting as it is, our lack of knowledge and experience can demolish our savings in record time. Canadians are expected to spend $15,000 this year on renovations.

Take John and Cindy, for instance, who wanted to replace the baseboards in their home. They found a style they liked for $2 per foot, and confidently budgeted $400. They estimated 160 feet would do it, but had to gross that up by 50% to account for corners, angle abutments, frayed edges, mismatched pieces and, well, a few misjudged cuts. The baseboard came to $480. Then they needed a miter saw, compressor, …

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Surprising mental health benefits of travel

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Surprising mental health benefits of travelSometimes new perspectives and unforeseen solutions only come to us once we’ve put some distance between ourselves and our familiar world. Many writers have long been aware of this phenomenon: Words refuse to come while we’re staring at the computer screen, but they suddenly flow through in a torrent while we’re walking to a café.

Movement in itself can be a great lubricant of creative ideas and solutions. But we can liberate our imaginations even more by placing ourselves in new environments. Scientific research has demonstrated that travel even opens up neurological pathways in our physical brains. It can benefit our overall mental health in many ways.

Much of this has to do with the ways in which our minds …

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How to keep your cool this summer

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How to keep your cool this summerSummer is here!  For some of us this means more leisure and vacation time. For those of us juggling work and parenting and/or eldercare responsibilities, the warm weather can actually bring increased demands on our time. It is important to find strategies to help balance work and family priorities and to find time for yourself, to ensure that all family members are able to enjoy the summer season – without becoming frazzled!

Tips and Tools to Keep your Cool

Plan ahead

Planning takes time – something many of us don’t have enough of to spare. But a little advance planning each week can go a long way to making summer easier for everyone. Sit down with the whole family – …

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