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  • Ways to Cope


    Please join us today and share with us all your survival tactics, saving tips, ways of managing layoffs and dwindling finance, and most of all, share with us your wisdom and fighting spirit.

    ways to cope

    Self Evaluation for Depression ***

    (by Ann Veilleux — http://annveilleux.com/ )

    Depression is a serious disease; it steals your life away. Many people put up with depression, because they are too depressed to take any action or don’t realize they have it. 80 to 90% of depressions can be treated.

    Below is a self test you can take if you think you might have depression. If you have more than half of these symptoms and they have persisted over time, it is worthwhile to seek professional help.

    * Suicidal thoughts or impulses. This is a dangerous situation and you must get professional help now.

    * Recurring negative thoughts about yourself; low self esteem.

    * Ruminating thoughts.

    * Feeling hopeless, helpless, inadequate.

    * Low mood.

    * Low energy, feeling sluggish or that you don’t want to move. Having trouble completing things, procrastination.

    * Trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

    * Little or no interest in doing things that you previously enjoyed, avoiding people.

    * Problems with mental acuity like sharpness of thought and poor memory.

    * Trouble making decisions.

    * Irritability or anger in excess.

    * Change in sleep patterns such as oversleeping or difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking in the early morning and not being able to go back to sleep.

    * Changes in your appetite, eating more or less, food seems unappealing or you crave carbohydrates.

    * Loss of interest in sex. Loss of pleasure in everyday things. Feeling flat.

    * Daily mood change, for example: you always feel worse in the morning and better by evening.

    * Family history of depression, other mental or emotional problems or alcoholism – either treated or not.

    *** Ann Veilleux (MSSW, LCSW) is a psychotherapist who has been in private practice for over 30 years. Her website is about her experiences as a therapist and about psychotherapy from her point of view. Her pratice is in Wisconsin.

    Tips for New Grads

    * During recessions, alcohol abuse, emotional and higher rates of personal and family problems. Seek professional and personal transitional support, specific career transitional help and stress management.

    * Change expectations and be creative about their job hunt. know who you are, your passions and strengths.

    * Think about new areas of interest and new ways you can apply your skills, e.g. a social sciences graduate, can have a set of very portable skills, such as writing, research, analytics and measurement, which are useful in other jobs.

    * Stay in for another year in graduate school.

    * Have your networking cards on hand, with your name, contact information, degree and area of expertise. Don’t underestimate the power of weak links, because occasionally contacts through an employer’s relative, hair-dresser, or neighbour can land you a job.

    * Build a directory of employers to apply to, you may get a better chance of getting a job with a company that is not posting a vancancy than with one that is.

    Got laid-off, what you can do

    If you’ve been laid off or know someone who has, some important guidelines may help avoid pitfalls that can exacerbate a bad situation.

    Experts suggest:

    * Get help. Possibilities include an official employment-support program, a mental health association, your doctor or a member of the clergy.

    * Find information on the Internet regarding depression, anxiety and available treatments.

    * Avoid isolating yourself and internalizing negative thoughts. This is the time to speak about your feelings and develop as many relationships as possible.

    * Make the time and effort to engage or re-engage with friends and family members.

    * Recognize anger that is spilling out at home and get help before it escalates to violence or broken relationships.

    * Create realistic to-do lists and celebrate small accomplishments.

    * Maintain an active schedule, including physical exercise, relaxation techniques and healthy eating.

    * Recognize that children pick up on parents’ tensions and anxieties, much more so if those issues are not being practically addressed.

    * Be aware of regression in children: soiling themselves, acting out or doing poorly in school, needing to sleep with mom and dad.

    * Hunt for silver linings until you find some.

    * Gratitude for what you have is important.

    * Don’t look back and wish for what no longer exists.

    And for those supporting someone who has lost a job:

    * Don’t criticize or return anger.

    * Don’t overload or make excessive demands.

    * Recognize that those who are depressed are often judging themselves with impossible-to-meet standards.

    * Look for signs of depression and offer to find help.

    * Be as encouraging as possible.

    Barbara Turnbull (Toronto Star)

    10 Tips for saving fuel

    (These handy suggestions come from Green Living Enterprises Green Tips booklet.)

    1. Start off slower
    Being first to zoom ahead at the green light doesn’t get you there any quicker. Countless studies by universities, highway authorities and engine manufacturers prove it. Jackrabbit starts save less than three minutes over 60 minutes of driving but end up using 40 percent more fuel and increase toxic emissions by 400 percent
    2. Slow down
    It’s not just dangerous but speeding wastes fuel. Highway speeds over 100 km/h drastically impact fuel efficiency — cars travelling at 120 km/h instead of 100 km/h use 20 percent more fuel to cover the same distance. Trucks travelling at 120 km/h instead of 100 km/h use 50 percent more fuel. Both emit 100 percent more carbon monoxide, 50 percent more hydrocarbons and 31 percent more nitrogen oxides.
    3. Tune-up!
    Be sure to provide your vehicles with frequent tune-ups. A well-maintained vehicle performs better on the road, decreases maintenance costs and improves fuel efficiency.
    4. Smooth move
    Changing the oil regularly is another double bonus for your car and the environment: when your engine is running in top condition, it is burning fuel most efficiently. The average recommendation for oil changes is every three months or 5,000 km. Ask the mechanic to see that your old engine oil gets recycled, and check the replacement oil: the best oils for fuel efficiency are labelled “Energy Conserving” and can reduce your fuel consumption by 3 percent. Consider using a bio-based transmission oil for your car.
    5. Stop idling
    Letting your engine idle for more than three minutes not a good idea. Idling quickly consumes fuel and can add 50 percent to fuel costs while shortening the effectiveness of your engine oil by 75 percent. And it’s not doing anything for the longevity of your engine either. Idling runs your engine below peak temperature, which means that over time you’re actually doing damage to it. There’s also no need for that morning warm up since our cars are now electronically controlled. An engine actually warms up faster while driving.
    6. Tire pressure
    There’s a lot more than the environment riding on your tires. For safety reasons alone, you should make a regular habit of checking your tire pressure but do so when tires are cold, not fresh from use. In addition or under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption and cause premature wear on the tires.
    7. Lighten your load
    Carrying excess weight places unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s engine and greatly affects its fuel efficiency. A loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 15 percent on smaller cars and up to 5 percent on SUVs or trucks. Even driving with an empty rook rack wastes gas.
    8. Cut back on your driving
    Save gas by driving less. Combine several errands into a single trip, take a minute before you leave home to plan multiple errands and map out your route. Start using public transit as much as possible. Leave the car at home if you can get there by walking, cycling or taking the bus, train or metro.
    9. Trade in the off-road vehicle
    Sporty utility vehicles and trucks pollute over twice as much as the average new car. Do we really need that SUV on city streets, where the extra weight and friction caused by four-wheel-drive equipment guzzles up gas? SUVs use 30 percent more gas than other cars. So, opt for a lighter, two-wheel-drive vehicle — they’re easier to park anyway!
    10. Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle
    While the best choice by far for clean driving is a hybrid car, which runs on a combination of battery power and gasoline and uses far less gasoline. But there are also traditional vehicles with respectable fuel-efficiency ratings. A typical car produces roughly three times its weight in carbon-dioxide emissions every year, so a good general rule is the lighter your car, the better its fuel efficiency.


    (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    A staycation (or stay-cation, or stacation) is a neologism for a period of time in which an individual or family stays at home and relaxes at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions. Staycations have achieved high popularity in current hard economic times in which unemployment levels and gas prices are high.

    Common activities of a staycation include use of the backyard pool, visits to local parks and museums, and attendance at local festivals. Some staycationers also like to follow a set of rules, such as setting a start and end date, planning ahead, and avoiding routine, with the goal of creating the feel of a traditional vacation.

    Saving Tips from Calgary

    (by Helen Chiu/ April 22, 2009)

    Here is a list of Saving Tips sent in by our reader.

    * Save coupons to shop;
    * Check out sales;
    * Buy cheaper cuts of meat and use slow cooking to tender meat.
    * Check out the reduced items.
    * There is nothing wrong with most of the food items, except that the expiry date is the same day or the next day or some of the canned goods may be dented or disfigured.
    * Cook and bake from scratch rather than package food.
    * Cook at home rather than eat out unless you get a two for one coupon.
    * Boil your own water rather than buying bottled water.
    * Grow your own vegetables and freeze them.
    * Use public transit instead of driving your car.
    * Walk as much as possible for a healthy you rather than going to a gymn
    * Engage in a hobby rather than looking for entertainment outside the house..
    * Buy clothings & shoes that are wearable rather than name brand items.
    * Basic money saving habits will save big.

    Green Granny

    Barbara Warmsley, UK Oxfam’s Green Granny starts a new series of tips and ideas for saving money and living better. For more information and to tell us your ideas for living better go to http://www.oxfam.org.uk/goodideas.

    This video introduces the idea of 4-a-week which involve buying more fairtrade, wasting less, buying less…

    Barbara Walmsley, Oxfam’s Green Granny starts a new series of tips and ideas for saving money and living better. Here she shows us how to make the most of stale bread, mend clothes and get outdoors.

    Barbara Warmsley, Oxfam’s Green Granny continues her series of tips and ideas for saving money and living better. Here she talks about a great website for generating recipes from leftovers and shows how simply flicking a switch can save you cash.

    Green Granny shares her of tips and ideas for saving money and living better. Here she busts the myths that buying second hand is boring and surfs the web for fantastic bargains online.

    Barbara Warmsley, Oxfam’s Green Granny continues her series of tips and ideas for saving money and living better. Here she talks about a great website for generating recipes from leftovers and shows how simply flicking a switch can save you cash.