Practice Self-Care Through More Pleasure For The Sake Of Your Health

Pleasure = Self-Care:  It’s good for youself-care pleasure, health, sex, love,

Maybe you already practice self-care.  You do everything you know is good for your health.  And that’s good.

But if you are like many over 20, women out there, with a career, a main relationship, kids too, you don’t really make much time for pleasure and fun in your life.  Things to do just because they feel good and give you a feeling of enjoyment.  No time you say.  Too much to do.  Pleasures are often related to the senses, touch, smell, taste.

Maybe, just maybe, even your sex life is, well, not very exciting.  Your main relationship may also show signs of wear and tear.  You and your Significant Other pass by and are dutiful, but gone are the days of giggling and fun.

Well, I am here to help you change all that. Continue reading “Practice Self-Care Through More Pleasure For The Sake Of Your Health”

5 Great Fun And Exciting Activities: Take Your Summer From Blah! to Ahhh!

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Summer Sports!  Yesssss!

How would you like to try some new activities to put some spring in your steps now that Summer is here.  If you already have plans for exciting days for the coming season, this post may not interest you.  Maybe you have a big holiday planned or you are going to the cottage for the Summer.

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca

If on the other hand you have not yet done much thinking about how you will make this Summer memorable, I have some neat suggestions for you to try some Summer sports.. Most of them will cost you less than $100.

I am really excited to see warmer days because Summer is my favourite season. After a long freezing Winter in the North East, Summer is never long or warm enough for me and I literally organize my life around the weather.

How do you feel about this wonderful season? Are you just planning the same old routine you have done last year, and the year before? When was the last time you tried a new activity?  Have you tried different Summer sports?

Don’t let being alone stop you. You don’t need a partner to join any of the activities I suggest here. The benefit of joining alone is that it will easier to meet the other people in the classes and make new friends too.

You can have fun this Summer without breaking the bank.  Outside sports are also good for your physical and mental health.  Being in nature has a calming effect that counter balances the busy, noisy city life.

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Continue reading “5 Great Fun And Exciting Activities: Take Your Summer From Blah! to Ahhh!”

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) What You Need to Know Before you Get One

What you need to know before you get a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

home equity line of credit (HELOC)

How I wish I knew then what I know now about a home equity line of credit (HELOC), also called Equity Line.

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and amazon.ca

If you are thinking about getting a Home Equity line of credit, “just in case”, read this and thank me later.  A word of warning: a Home Equity Line of Credit is not play money and it’s not a savings account.  It’s a potential debt.

The greatest advantage of a line of credit is that it usually has a much lower rate of interest than a credit card.  A line of credit is a useful product if you have a business – A business line of credit is a financial instrument typically used for an organization’s short-term working capital needs, such as inventory purchases, future project costs, or company payroll. Lines of credit are mainly to help even out the organization’s cash flow.

Then there is the personal line of credit, often called a HELOC or Home Equity Line of Credit.  This type of line of credit is secured by the equity in your house.  (This is the type I got, more of that later).  Another name for it could be “second mortgage”, but nobody at the bank ever uses that term. Continue reading “A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) What You Need to Know Before you Get One”

An Expert’s advice: For a Passionate, Happy Marriage: Connect –

Marguerite Tennier (makesenseoflife.com) is a participant in the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.”

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For a passionate, happy marriage: connect.createe a lifelong passionate, happy marriage

Those of you who know me  know that I am a life-long learner.  I love learning new stuff but not just any stuff.  What interests me is everything about what makes us tick as human beings, what makes us happy and what makes for good relationships and a healthy, happy marriage.  I am a book worm, and now with all I can find on the web, I am in heaven.

I recently listened to a very interesting interview with Jeff Forte.  Jeff was a a conflict resolution professional working with CEO’s and other executives to improve team work before he became a relationship specialist.

How Jeff came to work from couples is directly related to what he did for a living.  He used the same strategies he used with CEO’s to try and resolve the trouble at home with his wife (it worked).  So began his career working with couples.

passionate, happy marriage

 

What does Jeff know that you don’t?  Well I was as curious as you. Continue reading “An Expert’s advice: For a Passionate, Happy Marriage: Connect –”

Best Tips To Stop Emotional Eating

 

Best Tips To Stop Emotional Eating and overeating

This post may contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase I may receive a commission, at no cost to you.  

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Even without emotional eating , it is a lot more difficult for us women to lose weight than it is for men .Even at 30 and even more so around and after menopause.  And for some a small number of us there can be other factors like an underperforming thyroid.

However, for a large majority of us, emotions are the driving factor that gets us from the couch to the fridge.

North Americans are not happy.  More than 50% hate their jobs.  Around 50% of marriages end in divorce and of those who remain married a small percentage – some say around 15% – are happy.  Over 20% of the population is drinking to excess or using drugs – and that’s only the ones we know about.

This sad state of affairs has created a world where food has become the legal and acceptable drug of choice.  The term “emotional eating” has never been as present as it is today with devastating consequences for our waistlines and our collective health.

Not helping the situation are the gigantic servings in popular restaurants and the millions of fast food places all over, offering what they say is cheap (I’ll write about that in another post, because no they are not cheap) convenient food-like stuff.

If you recognize yourself as an emotional eater, here are some ways you may have fallen into that habit and what you can do instead – must do – to take care of your physical and emotional health and transform your life.

The very first step is to identify the feeling before you reach for the extra-food.  Try to find out what you are feeling at this very moment?  Sad, bored, angry, lonely, or anxious?  Once you have identified the feeling, take an action that will soothe it, without resorting to extra-food, using the tips below.  Be kind to yourself.  You did not start emotional eating last week.  It will take time to make changes in your eating habits.

Stop Emotional Eating

If you overeat when you feel bored, find your passion.  One of the top qualities associated with happiness is curiosity.   Not surprising.  Look at young children.  They want to see and touch and do everything possible.  People who keep on learning for the sake of learning are some of the happiest around.  To find something that interests you, look around, look back when you were a child or young adult.

Maybe you did not have a chance to take piano or singing lessons because there was not enough money in the family.  Find yourself a piano or singing teacher.  Ever wanted to be a ballerina?  You may never make it to the Met but you can take ballet lessons, just for your own pleasure.  Look here to find a class you might want to take.

If you overeat when you feel lonely, get your list of favourite people and get in touch.  Whether it’s because you are away from family or not being able to see them often or feeling lonely because of a disconnection in your relationship(s), loneliness is a 21st century disease.  If you can call, visit, email, text a loved one, do it.  If you feel lonely because there is a disconnection in your primary relationship, reach out.  Tell how you feel, without accusing.  Hopefully the response will be a loving one.

I know from experience that it’s not easy to reach out – my early life experience has left me worrying about bothering people.  So now I talk to myself into doing it even when it feels uncomfortable.

It takes on person to reach out to possibly repair and re-connect.  Try it.  If you consistently get a no-response or a negative one, see if you need a serious talk or a counselling session to help you decide whether to stay or leave.

If you overeat when you feel unloved (and unlovable), be loving to yourself.  Eating too much or the wrong stuff is abandoning yourself.  If you need love, a cookie or the whole box will not deliver love.  Look at a picture of yourself as a baby and ask what that little one needs right now.  It might be a nap, or a nice walk, or watching a funny movie, or being with someone who you know totally loves you (yes, even your mother counts) and tell them you need a hug or a cuddle.  Ask for what you need from your partner, your friends, your family.

Look at the ways you have been unloving toward yourself: overeating, not sleeping enough, too much tv, no exercise,  not allowing yourself time off, a nice meal, a trip, help around the house, etc.

If you overeat when you feel disrespected, respect yourself and speak up – unless it’s physically dangerous to do so.  In that case, find a safe space.

Not standing up for yourself is one of the worse things you can do for both your physical an mental health.  The stress hormones you secrete are poison.

If you overeat when you are angry, first process what happened.  Don’t take it out on yourself with food.  Anger is a very healthy emotion unless it’s your default place.  Anger can show up when someone has violated our boundaries, or when we see someone else being treated badly.  If there is a cause you feel particularly passionate about, get involved as a volunteer.  If someone repeatedly violates your boundaries, remove yourself, permanently if things don’t change.

If you overeat because you hate your job, make a plan to find work where you will be happier.  Take a class, network to see what jobs are available, either in your present company or outside.  If possible, ask for a transfer to another department.  Investigate what education you would need to get the work you really want.

I did just that when I worked in the government, in administration and I was bored to death and I hated the work.  See this past post where I talk about it.  I can assure you that when I first tried to imagine getting the Master’s degree I would need, I totally believed it was not possible.  Fast forward 7 years later, I had the B.A. and the M.A. and I was in a totally new career.  If I could do it, you can too.

If you overeat because you feel old, put on your favourite music and dance.  Watch movies you liked when you were younger.  Treat yourself to a haircut.  If you are still wearing the same clothes you were wearing 20 years ago, treat yourself to a few new pieces of clothing.  No need to break the bank.  Consignement stores hold treasures at basement bargain prices.  If you feel old, stop referring to your age.  Look in the mirror, smile and say an age about 20 years younger than your chronological age.  Imagine yourself being 20 years younger.

Some of the best ways to feel younger is to be physically active through sports, or other activities.  I do ballroom dancing and I just started argentine tango.  I also do taichi, swim and walk regularly.  The other way to feel younger is to remain mentally active.  Read, learn new things.  I learned Italian a few years ago – one year of weekly classes.  I am now learning technical stuff related to my blog and although I find it extremely challenging, it’s keeping my brain active and that’s good.

If you overeat or practice emotional eating because you are unhappy in a loveless, or toxic relationship, and you have given it your best shot, take care of yourself and leave.   Consult a professional to clarify what you want and need to do.   You deserve to be with someone who cherishes you and you cherish too.   Some relationships, through no one’s fault, should have never been in the first place.  Others are abusive and toxic.  Both are hard to leave but your mental, and physical health deserve better.

Finally, there is another reason some of us overeat that is not emotional eating: we love the taste of food and are gluttons!  I know some of my overeating is simply because it’s so good -I am not really hungry but that cake is divine, or the pizza to die for.  I sometimes do this when I bake a cake, or a pie, raspberry pie.  Or with chinese food, my very favorite.  One thing to ask before taking that second helping is “Am I really hungry?  Do I want to regret this?  Will this sabotage my work of the last few weeks? Is it worth it?”  That kind of interior monologue can help, sometimes not. Ideally it does not happen too often.

If you resonate with any of the above triggers for overeating and emotional eating, surround yourself with people who are self-loving and manage their emotions in a healthy way.  They are the kind of people who will not sabotage your efforts at a healthier lifestyle and plan non-food activities with the others: hiking, a movie, an outdoor concert, a play, going dancing, a swim at the lake, etc.

If you found this post useful, please let me know and  share it with your network and on social media

Marguerite

 

Quick, Easy Ways to Save Money

HOW TO SAVE MONEY: Quick, Easy Ways

 

how to save money, saving money, money saving tips, best ways to save money

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It’s easy to find occasions to spend money but occasions to save money are all around us too.  They just need a little more work because they are not publicized as much.  Here are a few fairly easy ones I used this week.

But first, think about something you really would like to do, either a trip, buying your first home, taking an art class and direct some of the saved money into that special project saving account.  It’s not just about not spending. It’s about putting your money into something that really means something for you.  That’s the reason you want to save money.

Wash with cold water.   Unless you are washing very dirty, oily clothes, using cold water to wash clothes works just fine.  Easier on your clothes.

Use less soap than what the laundry detergent box says you should.   Most of the clothes we wash – except for work clothes and some kids’ just need some refreshing.  Using less soap is also kinder to the fibres in clothes.

Install-use the clothesline.  I washed flanelette bedsheets this week and within 2 hours they were dry and smelling of Spring.  Your clothes dryer is one of the worse energy vampires in your home.

Hem those jeans, sew that button.  If need be, take a basic sewing class. Doing those small repairs saves money and time.  It will serve you well.

Bake that cake.  I baked a Queen Elizabeth cake yesterday.  I figure it cost me about $5.00 including the cream-butter-brown sugar caramel I drowned it in.  Same cake at a fancy pastry shop: at least $20.  As a bonus I reduced the amount of sugar used, so less calories and I added cranberries for some fibre.   Time needed prepare the cake: about 15 minutes.

Go for a walk and do body weight exercises.  I went for a long walk along the river on Friday.  The weather was gorgeous – beautiful Spring day.   Got some vitamin D from the sunshine, walking is weight bearing so good for the bones.  Used free weights at home for upper body strength training.  No gym membership needed.  Exercising in nature is also a great way to boost the mental well being.

Make coffee at home instead of using Tim’, or Second Cup, Starbucks or Bridgehead.  Buy the best coffee and brew it at home.  I save at least $58 a month by avoiding coffee shops, except once or twice a month when I treat myself to coffee on the patio.  If you usually buy specialty coffee and something to eat, calculate how much you could save by preparing your own treats at home (see above: learn to bake).  I know people who regularly spend around $200 a month on coffee and donuts!!!!! That’s almost $25,000 over 10 years!!! In coffee and donuts.  Insane.

Happy Easter

Marguerite

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6 Tips To Make The Best Use Of Your Income Tax Refund

This post may contain some affiliate links.  See my full disclosure here.HOW TO USE YOUR INCOME TAX REFUND

This is income tax season and many of you may be waiting for your income tax refund cheque. (If you owe the government money, stay tuned, I’ll bring it up in a post soon).

Money does not grow on trees – well paper does – but you can make your money grow when you use these tips.

It’s so tempting to think of the income tax refund as play money.  The tighter the budget, the greater the temptation, but I beg you to look at ways you can make that money work for you.

You’ve all heard how it’s not how much you make but how much you save and it’s absolutely true.  Spending more or as much as you make will leave you penniless and possibly homeless.

We women outlive men.  We women usually earn less than 75% of what a man earns.  The chances you will find yourself widowed or divorced are greater than the chances you will win at the lottery.  Women make up a large percentage of the poor after age 60.  Being poor in retirement sucks.

Before you decide where you will allocate your income tax refund, look at your financial picture.  What you owe, what you own, your savings, your investments, your age, your prospect for higher income, or not in the future, etc

This is important because of at least one reason.  If you don’t  expect your retirement income to be very significant, you should probably invest in a non registered retirement plan (Roth IRA (Us) TFSA (Canada) so as not to cut yourself from government supplement at retirement.  Do consult an advisor and inform yourself as to what is best for you.  Knowledge is power.

The first tips is to pay down your debts, but do keep some money to fill up your emergency fund too if you either have no emergency fund to speak of (like if you only have a few dollars saved).  In other words, don’t put all to reducing your debt because that will leave you at the mercy of credit should an emergency happen and it would just add to more debt.

income tax refund: make the best use of your tax refund, income tax return

  • Pay your debts. Pay your credit card balance, your student loans or what you owe to your parents.   Start by paying the debt with the highest interest rate because that’s the one that steals the most money from you.  See paragraph above about saving some too, even if you have debts to pay.
  • Fill up your emergency fund.  First get it to $1,000, and eventually to having 6 months living expenses.  Imagine how free you will feel if you lose your job, or have medical emergencies.
  • Start a saving account or add to the one you already have.  Emergency fund is for emergencies.  Savings is for: a planned trip, a wedding, buying a house, a big celebration, changing your car, home improvements, etc.
  • Start investing for your retirement, add to your retirement fund.  The younger you start, the better for you as you will reap the rewards of compound interest.   Match your employer’s share and invest in a IRA or TFSA. When you can no longer make money you will thank your younger self for having had the forethought of taking care of you.
  • Invest in your education.  Whether in a course to help you get ahead in your work, or classes to prepare for another career.  I invested heavily in my education as a adult and it has allowed me to change career and find work I loved.  It has also allowed me to retire early and have a home business as a psychotherapist and life coach, and finally it is allowing me to continue working with this blog.  I am a big advocate of finding work you love so whether or not you make big money, you are excited to get up each morning.
  • Start the side business you’ve dreamt of for so long.  Retirement can be for 20, 25 years.  If you have the energy and you don’t do much, you will be bored to death!!! A side business can keep you mentally and physically active well into your golden years.

Then, keep a little to:

  • Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a long time.  Put a limit on it, like 5% of the income tax refund is for fun, 10% max(that’s if you have a very small refund).  My refund this year is $8.34 so I’ll spend it all.
  • Treat someone you love to a a small gift, a meal.  Limit: 5% or 10% max
  • Congratulate yourself for having done what’s best for you.

Is your income tax refund money free money?  In a way, yes as it can get you to financial “free-dom” much sooner than expected.

I hope I have convinced you to take action now to improve your financial wellbeing.  If so, please let me know, and do share this post on social media to help me reach more women.

Add even more to your nest egg by earning money while shopping

Related posts: http://www.makesenseoflife.com/emergency-fund/

Getting rid of debt

 

 

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Tips For Your Milestone Birthday: You Can Heal Your Past

Tips for Your Milestone Birthday: You Can Heal Your Past and Make Your 40’s The Best Decade Of Your Life

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According to research, we are most happy before and after mid-life, or put another way, happiness levels dip at mid-life.  And if this was not enough to cry over, some studies suggest that the great apes, yes monkeys, also experience a dip in happiness around the same time (I am not kidding, there is research on that).

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There seems to be many factors that contribute to this sad state of affairs in your forties, when many people experience “the” middle-life crisis. But because the apes also go through the same “crisis”, it seems that biology plays a role in that phenomenon.

Some of the factors that seem to have an effect on human happiness in mid-life are the many demands of work, children and often aging parents.  It’s often a time when success is defined as having achieved the right job, the right neighbourhood, etc. and when many fall short of the expectations they had for themselves.

And, it’s a time when we realize we are looking at the second half of life and that can be a scary vantage point.

From my work with thousands of women both as a psychotherapist and a life coach, I discovered the three most important steps you can take to help you through those inescapable ups and downs of mid-life.  I call them the 3 Secrets to Make your 40’s the best decade of your life.

Even if biology normalizes a dip in your happiness, you don’t have to take it lying down.  Here is what you can do to build a personal foundation that will make you more resilient to face life’s challenges. Continue reading “Tips For Your Milestone Birthday: You Can Heal Your Past”

Stress: 9 Tips To Prepare And Defeat Stress

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Defeat Stress Like A Pro

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You already know you are stressed.  No need for a stress test. Learning to defeat stress is what you need and it can be lifesaving.  Stess is a fact of life.  The definition of stress is “demand made”.  We feel stressed when what we have or think we have is less than the sum of what is asked of us.

Life will keep on making demands on you and something in your upbringing may lead you to believe you don’t have what it takes to face certain situations.

I don’t want to minimize that some stressors can be totally frightening and yes, you can feel like a scared 5 year old, whether it’s losing your job, a divorce or worse yet, the death of a loved one.  A lot of how you react to stress may have to do with how stress was lived and dealt with when you were growing up and you can learn to be more resilient.

The problem with stress is that if you don’t learn to manage it, it does not go away and the next stressor can be the proverbial Continue reading “Stress: 9 Tips To Prepare And Defeat Stress”

Your Journal Can Help You Make Difficult Decisions

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Are you struggling with making some decisions right now?  One week you think you should stay, the next you just want out – of the job, the friendship, the relationship, or even a move to another house or across the country.   Or you are thinking of switching career, or going to University?  And it’s been going on for a while now?  Believe it or not, your journal can help you decide.

I have found a fairly quick, simple method to help you make a better decision. Start a diary about this particular situation.  Yes start journaling or maybe continue journaling but add a new twist to it.

For a whole month, or longer if you need to,  take a few minutes every day to Continue reading “Your Journal Can Help You Make Difficult Decisions”