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financial advice
Wellness
Published Monday Apr 16, 2018 by Loretta Shapiro

How to Find Balance When It Comes to Your Finances

Expert Advice
Personal Growth

Tax season has come and gone (phew!), and while many Americans find themselves rolling in a refund, others will owe money. Whether you have a “windfall of funds”—extra money—or are reluctantly reaching into some savings to pay your taxes, these actions can create an attitude of “What am I going to do?” Save or spend? 

According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, more than 60 percent of Americans stress about money. Yep, you read that right. 60 percent! It’s important to remember that your health includes your wealth. If your finances are out of whack, so are you. And if you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to pay bills, this can take a toll on your emotional, mental and physical health.  

Looking to push the reset button on your cash flow? Follow these three tips to find balance in your financial life and get your overall wellness in check!

 

1. Rework Your Refund

Getting money back? It can be easy to spend it on something big, but maybe it’s time to rethink your refund. Take your tax return and apply the majority of what you get back from the government to any credit card debt you have. Start with the ones with the highest interest rate. Next, add some money—even if it’s not a huge amount!—to an emergency savings fund. Finally, don’t forget to spend a little on you! You worked hard, and you deserve to treat yo’ self. 

 
2. Build A Budget

The first step to finding financial balance is through creating a personal financial statement at least twice a year. The simple way to accomplish this is to take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. On the left side, list all your assets—funds in checking/savings, value of cars, home, and any property or investments that you may have. On the right, list the balances of all the debt (liabilities) that you have—what you owe on credit cards, loans, home loan, car loans, etc. At the bottom of the page, subtract the difference between your assets and liabilities—that’s your net worth. This practice will help you see your big financial picture. 


3. Make it Monthly

Now it’s time to establish a monthly financial statement. Again, the easiest way is to get a sheet of paper and list your total monthly income (take-home pay) at the top. Under this list, write down your monthly payments of all bills including house, car, credit cards, etc. Don’t forget to include things like daycare, cell phone bills, utilities, insurance, gym memberships, manicures—all monthly expenses. Need a little extra help? Consumer.gov has a few handy worksheets to use. Lastly, take a long, hard look at your monthly expenses and see if there are any items that you can live without. Are you spending $5 per day at Starbucks? Going out to too many work lunches? Can you make that $9 smoothie at home? It adds up! Trade dinners and drinks out for hitting the gym or going for a run. Slash those expenses and try to pay down some of the debt you owe.




Breaking down your finances so you can see where you are and where you are going is a real eye-opening experience. Bestselling author and finance guru, Jean Chatzky, says her money philosophy is to “spend less than you earn.” It sounds easy, but dealing with your dollars can be a challenge. Just like eating clean or exercising, be mindful of your spending and work on practicing financial balance daily to get ahead. It’s never too late to start!

Loretta Shapiro
Written by
Loretta Shapiro
Contributor | Financial Executive
About the author
Loretta Shapiro has a passion for exercise, health, and fitness. She has competed in over ten half-marathons, regularly runs 5Ks in her local area, and is a member of Tribe Team Fitness at her gym. Her role as a Bank Vice President keeps her desk-bound during business hours, so she tries to get active before or after work most days. As a mom of two teen daughters, encouraging people to lead a healthier and more financially fit lifestyle is her game!
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

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Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.