As personality traits go, "compulsive" and "addictive"
are not generally considered all that terrific.
Those of us with an inclination to be obsessive struggle
to overcome our obsessions.
But hold on a minute! Being compulsive—easily addicted and slightly obsessive—can be a good trait when that propensity is harnessed and channeled in the right direction. Don't forget that compulsive people have great personalities, are driven to accomplish big things and bring a little sparkle to humanity.
As personality traits go, "compulsive" and "addictive"
Spring is a great time to get away from it all and take a giant deep breath. You can slip into escape mode the fast way with multiple margaritas, or you can slow down and figure out a plan to get back to nature, into the woods, on a lake, up a mountain, down a river—paddling, hiking, camping, fishing, walking, breathing, whatever suits your soul.
Your fitness goal? Renewal of the spirit. Your health will benefit greatly from a sharper focus and a serene attitude. That’s what a few days or weeks in the backcountry can do for you.
Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy a hiking trip, especially if it’s your first:
How Can I Improve My Child's Chances for Financial Aid?
Dear Carrie: My daughter is starting high school this year, and I'm worried about paying for college. I've saved some money, but as a single mom, I'm afraid I just won't be able to cover it all. Is there anything I can do to increase her chances of receiving financial aid? —A Reader
Dear Reader: I'm glad you're asking this question now while you still have several years to plan for college. As I'm sure you know, college can be expensive, but it's also one of the best investments you can make in your daughter's future—not only in terms of education but also for her career opportunities and lifetime earnings.
How Financial Literacy Can Help
Dear Readers: If I were to ask couples to name the top three things that keep them together, I don’t imagine that shared knowledge and interest in their finances would make the list. Yet money is often cited as one of the main causes of divorce. A recent survey by Policygenius found that 1 in 5 people say their partner is financially irresponsible. And these people are over 10 times more likely to break up over money issues than people who say their partner is good with money.
4 Ways to Let it Go
What do you do when you wake up to the world news and it’s all horrific
and overwhelms you with sadness and despair?
Hearing the political crisis of the day just as you are inhaling your first cup
of French roast turns a peaceful morning cold and dark. Making most of us able
to literally feel our stress levels curdling our bowls of organic full-fat yogurt.
Trust me, it’s the tip of the tamale.
I’m taking big jumps here, but please follow along:
Bad news causes stress, and stress causes sickness.
As someone on the path to a healthier, happier lifestyle,
you need a strategy to deal with it.
Bubbling with Romance and Good Times
“I could not live without Champagne.
In victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it.” —Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill was a fan of champagne, and this quote of his is on point for 2021, thus far. Really, it applies to just life in general. A glass of bubbles always lends itself to lightening things up. In raising a glass to more good times than bad ahead, here are six scrumptious, sparkling selections in every price point to celebrate victories, soothe defeats and calm your nerves in between. These selections are also perfect for adding a pop of magic to your Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day celebrations.
Welcome to 2021, the era of searching for love in a pandemic that seems endless. In this younger generation—20-somethings—we are dependent on our smartphones to connect us to the dating world. Why can’t we have the luxury like generations before us when social media was absent from the love equation and dating apps were nonexistent? An equation should be immutable, so my question is, “Why are things so different?” The answer points directly to dating apps and social media and how they have affected this generation's perspective on the way to find love...and how to behave in the process.
My Journey Back to Health
When I was a child growing up in Griffin, Georgia, I was tall with a thin frame. I loved playing outside and never turned down the opportunity to show my athleticism during pick up games of kickball, basketball, football, dodgeball, or jump rope with my friends from the neighborhood. How much I weighed was the last thing on my mind, but as I became a teenager, my boyish frame sometimes landed me at the brunt of jokes by the “pretty girls,” who had hour-glass figures that caught the attention of all the guys at school. However, I found a way to use my scrawny build to my advantage. I became a runner on my high school track team. The 400-meter race became my hideaway from my body-shaming critics, who were silenced when I was victorious.
Make Friends With Your Inner Critic
Wherever you happen to be on the rewarding and rocky road to a healthier lifestyle, you’ll travel more gently and feel more joy if you learn to make friends with your Inner Critic.
We all have one, and it is alive and kvetching, causing us to constantly question our behavior, our thoughts, our accomplishments: “How am I doing? Am I doing well enough—in my relationships, at work? Do others see what I’m doing? Do they approve?”
Psychologists call this critical voice the Standard Setter. (And you thought it was called Mom.) It’s the part of the human psyche that sets the bar for us. It’s a good thing in many ways, as a source of inspiration, as a spur to achievement.
The Brunswick Christmas Parade: December 5th- 5:30 p.m.
The annual Brunswick Christmas Parade is back and ready to warm your heart with its
hometown feeling full of community recognition! Generations of holiday parade
watchers and participants consider it the best city experience of the year.
Mathew Hill, Executive Director at City of Brunswick DDA, has quite a tally because he has been to 16 Brunswick Christmas Parades in a row. Mathew says most locals recall that the parade started after WWII in the ‘50s, but no one knows exactly what year. His research led him to learn about other southeast Georgia towns like Nahunta and Waycross, with their post-WWII Christmas parades, too. “Back then, first Saturdays in December often marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season, especially for downtown merchants. So, our annual parades are first Saturdays in December.”
Your Ho-Ho-Holiday Spirit Action Plan
Here comes the December dilemma: Am I going to enjoy this holiday season or not?
We all have obstacles to overcome: too little time; too little money; too much
commercial merrymaking. And that's not to mention the nightly news!
And still, dear reader, we have a personal choice this December: Do I get into the holiday spirit and juice up my well-being... or not? We've got Hanukkah and Christmas and the winter solstice coming up, all leading to the end of the year, when we make resolutions to find true love, or lose 20 pounds, or make good on that promise to work smarter, not harder.
The sweet homey smell of freshly baked cookies and savory meals. The heartwarming feeling of snuggling into soft blankets with hot cocoa while watching favorite holiday movies. The sound of conversations and laughter rising and falling around family and friends as they make new memories. The whimsical sights of twinkling lights and festive decorations transforming the ordinary world into a wonderland.
Hosting Longtime Best Friends Makes for Lifelong Memorable Weekends
Longtime friends knew you back when and probably still, know you best.
We were band nerds, but my best friends and bandmates (both guys and girls) and I always envisioned ourselves as cool musicians. It was the early ‘70s, and we had sheet music for songs by Three Dog Night and Chicago. We listened to greats like Led Zeppelin, The Temptations, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Guess Who on transistor radios. At Ft. Lauderdale’s Northeast High School football games, our more than 200-member band marched to themes from “2001- A Space Odyssey” and “Hawaii Five-O.” With my school-rental bass clarinet, I rose to section leader and all-county band, and to this day, we’re all still in touch with our 90-year-old band director, Mr. Jamison.
I love Thanksgiving so much I would say it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the winter holidays, offering me a front-row seat on the very best time of the year.
I love all of those things. What I don't love is the idea that Thanksgiving is the only day of the year that we give thanks. Gratitude is too important in our lives to be considered briefly en masse on the fourth Thursday of November.
Elect to Be Happy, No Matter What. Here's How!
In the run-up to the election—I’m writing this before the results are in—my yoga teacher had us doing a lot of grounding poses. And I mean a lot. No wonder my hamstrings were climbing the walls last night. (Thank God for CBD cream.)
First, Sienna asks us to stand and connect to our breath. Then we focus our mind’s eye on our legs: standing tall, rooting deep, energetically drawing strength from the earth beneath our feet, wiggling our toes, arching our soles and opening channels in our legs, our hips, our hearts and our minds to help us through whatever happens next.
Does the practice melt my anxiety? Promote equanimity? Encourage optimism? Of course it does, because feeling grounded and calm in trying times is one of the ways we nurture our well-being. It’s not a fix; it’s a strategy. What’s yours?
One of the most important friendships you’ll ever have in this world
is with the person staring back at you every morning
from the bathroom mirror…
And no, you’re not about to read an ode to selfishness, nor are you about to view an instruction manual for escaping life’s chaos by saying adieu to everyone and climbing every mountain until reaching an ideal destination for a happy, stress-free existence.
Instead, you’re receiving a Selfieship Guide for establishing or strengthening a relationship with yourself.
But before jumping into that, if you’re entertaining any negative thoughts or hesitations regarding valuing and nurturing this kind of relationship, quickly write them on toilet paper and flush them down your toilet of choice. (If you’ve never flushed negativity down a toilet, you’re really missing out on a great deal of fun.)
The Eyes Have It
You’re excited to see an old friend in the grocery store, but how do you show it when your big, beautiful smile is covered and hugs are a no-no? The face is the window to our expressions, and mouths can have dialogue without any words. A frown, a smirk, a smile, pursed lips all tell a powerful story before any words are spoken. However, our faces have another center for expression—the eyes. So, while we are all masked up, we might as well lean on our eyes and allow them to speak up and speak out.
For tips on talking with your eyes, we turned to experts in beauty, Iris Hopgood and Amanda Kicklighter. Read on to learn how to select the right mask, escape the blank stare and implement “the smeyes”—(smiling with your eyes)…or if need be, a good eye roll:
Elect YOURSELF to Be in Charge
With the presidential election just a hop,
skip and several more aspirins away,
now’s a good time to talk about change. Not change for the country—
though that is surely coming, no matter who wins.
I mean personal change.
Healthy lifestyles don’t just happen, the way dust balls do. It’s up to you to carpe diem, to let go of old habits so you can dance with new ones—two steps forward, one step back—until the new ones become a juicy and joyful part of your life.
It all begins and ends with you, your readiness, your determination, your support system, your willingness to do something as silly sounding as keeping a journal.
Simple Record-Keeping Tips
If the paper monster has you buried under an avalanche of receipts, bank statements, ATM slips, investment records, paycheck stubs and bills, then read on. The good news is you can probably throw most of it away without worry. But before you fire up the shredder, you need to know what to toss and what to keep—and for how long.
STEP NO. 1: TOSS ALL YOU CAN
Monthly. Once you have recorded the amounts and reconciled your bank and credit card statements, you can shred ATM receipts, bank deposit slips, credit card receipts and sales receipts at the end of each month. Exception: Keep receipts for purchases that may be tax deductible, those that involve a warranty and any item whose replacement cost exceeds the deductible on your homeowners or renters insurance.
Among Seniors During COVID-19
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Americans have adopted social distancing, mask wearing and self-quarantine protocols. This has become commonplace during this time to miti-gate the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 and keep vulnerable populations, like seniors, protected from unnecessary exposure. For a quarter of seniors over 65, isolation and loneliness are common. Throughout COVID-19, the effects of loneliness have become increasingly exacerbated for those who live by themselves. Loneliness can lead to physical and mental health issues including anxiety, depression, agitation, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. To curb these effects, we’ve come up with five helpful suggestions to assist seniors during this time.
We have all heard of it, know others who have had it, but never really expected it would happen to you. That diagnosis is often a woman’s fear come to life. At first there may be questions like: why me? How bad? Will I survive?
Then a second wave of questions: Will I need chemo? Will I lose my hair? Will I have to lose my entire breast? What does reconstruction mean? Well, there is hope and multiple resources available to help answer these and many more questions.
What You Need to Know About Your Health Benefits
And what does fall bring? Health insurance events:
You’ve got Open Enrollment (Nov 1-Dec 15) for those under 65 on a Marketplace plan; Annual Enrollment Medicare beneficiaries (Oct 15-Dec 7); and most employer sponsored health insurance renews in the upcoming months. All these events allow you to review and often change your insurance coverage. But how do you know if it is worth the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to switch coverage?
A couple months before your renewal or enrollment period you will receive information on the upcoming changes. I know you’d probably rather read a washing machine user manual than information on your insurance coverage, but it really is critical. So much can change, and it’s import to know ahead of time how you will be impacted.
The Creative Repurposing Dynamic Duo
Nancy Reynolds Haven and Bobby Haven are a couple of creative souls on a new adventure called Honna’s Haven—the place for throwaway old stuff brought back to life in a new form. They claim their two artistic minds have been given new life in repurposing salvage, antiques and exceptional wood pieces into useful and upcycled décor and works of art.
Fans of boho vintage décor, the Havens have a collection of salvaged doorknobs, corbels, cornices, beautiful salvage pieces and relics. Wrought iron, railings, antiques and architectural finds. Salvaging is a top priority and favorite pastime.
Daily mask wearing is fast becoming a personal fashion expression experience, but underneath, could be causing facial dryness and irritation. Iris Hopgood and Amanda Kicklighter return to our pages to share their beauty wisdom to keep you feeling luscious, smooth and more confident in your daily routines:
Strategies to Help You Cope and Stay Calm
Dear Readers: Even in the best of times, money concerns can cause a lot of stress.
But according to a recent survey by the National Foundation for Financial Education, nearly 9 in 10 Americans say that COVID-19 is making money a primary cause of anxiety. Add to that the need to juggle working from home, child care, home schooling and health concerns and people are being stretched to the limit.
Understandably, people are worried about their financial future. Equally understandably, they often don’t feel like they have the energy to deal with it. But as overwhelming as it can seem, there are strategies to help you cope and stay calm. As I wrote recently, you may have to think differently to get through these times, but there are ways to do it. And it starts with awareness.
Resetting Your Wellness Lifestyle
"You're too young to be this out of shape," my friend Diana’s doctor told her.
Diana had a gym in her building, and a husband who would cover
for the kids, and she certainly had the clothes.
Diana set her alarm for 6 a.m. every morning for the first week. She crept out of bed and was on the treadmill by 6:10. Thirty minutes of walking (and checking her mail), followed by a few stretches and some weights, and by 7 a.m., she was back in her apartment, showering for work, fighting off the urge to drink a Diet Pepsi for breakfast.
By the middle of Week Two, Diana was shutting off the alarm and snuggling up with the children's father. No more early morning workouts, and her promises to hit the gym after work withered and died as well. Yesterday, she told me she's given up and feels like a failure.
With even more hacks for your unruly Covid-19 hair and ways to look summer sensational in your masked makeup, Paisley Magazine’s Iris Hopgood and Amanda Kicklighter are back! Each with more than 20 years experience in the cosmetology industry, Iris is a professional makeup artist, and Amanda, a master stylist. Here are four summertime beauty prep and presentation tips:
Your mind attaches to the negative.
Who cares? So what? Why is that even helpful?
See? You’re doing it already. You’re thinking negative thoughts about thinking itself instead of relaxing into the fact that your brain is hard-wired to be fearful and anxious. The trick is to consciously shift to the positive, taking full advantage of your brain’s neuroplasticity.
This “negativity bias” isn’t your fault as much as it’s your autonomic nervous system kicking into survival mode, managing your body and your mind through the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. (Just seeing the words “sympathetic and parasympathetic” may make you want to cut and run. Resist. Relax. If you hang in there and learn a few things, it’ll be easier for you to start rewiring your brain for a much calmer and healthier future. Really. It’s possible.)