7 Things I Don’t Buy for the Holidays

The day after Halloween, one of our local radio stations switched to 24/7 Christmas music. The day after Veteran’s Day, our nation’s flag was replaced with wreaths all around the city. It’s not even Thanksgiving, yet Christmas trees are on display at the mall and holiday music is playing throughout stores. Instead of getting me into the “holiday spirit,” it’s getting me disappointed in the commercialization of our holidays. While I love giving my children gifts for Christmas, here are 7 things I don’t buy for the holidays.

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Affordable Mental Health Treatment

Happy Veterans Day! Today we recognize those who have served and protected our country, many of whom incurred physical and emotional pain as a result of their sacrifices. And they’re not the only ones who struggle.

Many Americans are living with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic symptoms, substance abuse, shopping or gambling addiction, or adjustment to illness or other life stressors. Please don’t feel you have to go through it alone. Money should never be a barrier to receiving mental health services. There are a number of free or affordable resources. Here are a few. Continue reading Affordable Mental Health Treatment

Preventing Burnout

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care month. This month, the work of psychologists, social workers, nurses, caregivers, and others who provide high quality care to patients coping with serious or life-threatening illness is recognized.

As a psychologist working with palliative care patients, I’m often asked what I do to prevent burnout at work. Here are some suggestions inspired by minimalism for preventing burnout. Most of these tips can apply to anyone, regardless of their occupation. Some of these I’ve been doing well, others I need to work on.

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Save Money, Save the World

How did it ever become okay to use something once then, throw it away? The answer: great marketing because it makes companies money.

Companies make more money when they are able to sell a product every week, month, or year than if they only sell it to you once. In addition to the financial cost, there is also the cost to our planet. Most things I used once and threw away will still be on this earth long after I am gone. This is not okay. Become a hero for our planet and save money by saying no to single use items.
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ACT to Save Money from a Psychologist’s Perspective

Inspired by a form of psychotherapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), I’ve changed my thinking about personal finances from “how can I save more?” to “what do I value in life?“. Here’s how you can build a better life based on your values, and save money in the process.

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My Month of Eating Junk: Is Fast Food Really Cheaper?

The average American eats fast food an estimated three times per week. This month, my family experimented with being normal. We ate fast food during weekend days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and a holiday off work) for an entire month. We recorded the effects it had on our wallets (and my waistline). Is fast food really cheaper than homemade meals?

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Guess What Happened When I Met the Joneses?

I didn’t realize who they were when we first met. They were a beautiful couple. He looked like he could be a personal trainer. She looked like the popular girl everyone wanted to be friends with. Their children were beautiful. And worst of all, they had great personalities. Guess what happened when I met the Joneses? Continue reading Guess What Happened When I Met the Joneses?