Is Debt Crushing You? How to Deal With the Stress

Most of us have been there at one time or another—you lie awake at night worrying about how you are going to pay your mortgage, how you will put your kids through college, or even how to pay for this month’s bills.

According to a Gallup Poll in 2014, about 31 percent of Americans were concerned about not being able to pay housing costs such as rent or a mortgage; about 35 percent worried about not being able to pay for their children’s college education; and about 36 percent were concerned that they did not have enough money to pay the bills. Well over a third of the American public is under some form of financial pressure.

Peace of Mind Starts with a Plan

It is nice to know that you are not alone, but what can you actually do about it? Fortunately, peace of mind starts with a good financial strategy. For most people, it is the uncertainty of what to do about a situation that causes the most stress. While your financial problems are not going to go away overnight, setting up a plan to deal with them can help to ease your mind about the future.

Whether you are worried about this month’s bills, next month’s housing payment or helping your children avoid student loan debt, the steps toward improving your financial situation are remarkable similar.

Find Out Where You Stand

The first step can be pretty scary—you need the details of each debt owed. That means finding out what must be paid every month and what interest rate is being charged. Many people don’t even have a full understanding of their situation until this happens.

Now that you know what the extent of the debt is, you can start to set some financial goals. Take a look at the list of debts. Are there any small amounts that you can settle quickly within the next couple of months? If so, these are the debts that you should target first.

Paying off these small debts is easier and puts a mark in the win column for you. The motivation this provides often outweighs any financial gains you would make by paying off the highest-interest debt first, which is another popular strategy.

To start paying off your debt, you’ll need to find some extra money. For some people, that will mean finding a way to increase their income, while for others, it may mean reducing waste and cutting back on unnecessary expenses like cable and eating out.

Small Victories Lead to Big Victories

Once you pay off that first debt, it becomes a lot easier. Once that debt is gone, the installment for it is like “extra” income and you can put this amount towards the next debt on the list. From there, it is like a house of cards, your debt will start to topple and your financial situation will become more secure as time goes on.

Another great tool for taking control of your financial situation is a credit monitoring service, which can help to identify improvements in your credit rating and, at the same time, help you protect your hard-won improved credit status from being misused by fraudsters and identity thieves.

Having a plan in place can do wonders to alleviate anxiety when it comes to financial matters. For instance, if you notice something suspicious on your credit card statement, you can respond quickly to head off bigger problems.

Your financial future is your own hands; re-take control today for a better tomorrow!


Diabetic Socks Promote Health without Compromising Style

Socks have been around forever. Most of us rely on them to keep our feet warm and toasty, but they offer additional benefits as well. For example, diabetes frequently affects a person’s feet. Diligent foot care — including having the best socks and shoes — is essential for keeping the feet as healthy as possible. Sturdy shoes that don’t irritate the feet are a good choice. But having the right diabetic socks is crucial to help protect the feet while reducing discomfort and sensitivity. Socks of all types also happen to be back in style, which is great news if you’re in the market for a new pair of diabetic socks.

Whether you suffer from diabetes or arthritis, finding the right pair of socks is essential to keep your feet comfortable and protected. It’s important to opt for diabetes-specific socks over regular varieties for several reasons. For example, traditional socks can reduce circulation, as they often fit too tightly for someone with diabetes. Additionally, traditional socks contain coarse seams that can irritate the skin of the feet, leading to blisters and calluses. You’ll want to slip on a pair of diabetic socks in cold temperature to prevent frostbite. Aside from offering maximum blood flow, most diabetic socks fit nicely inside of a variety of shoes.

There’s a wide selection of diabetic socks for men and women, both of which offer moisture reduction throughout the day along with lesser amounts of friction, wrinkling, and bunching. For females in particular, it’s important to look for diabetic socks for health-related needs that also have a fashionable appearance. You might instinctively think of knee-high socks when you picture diabetic socks, but that’s not always the case. If you just need a pair of socks for foot protection, for example, consider a pair of mini crew socks, which sit just above the ankle. Another option is socks that rise just above the ankle, providing essential cover to the lower leg and feet. Whether you opt for shorter socks or taller ones, you’ll be happy to know that you’re making a stylish choice.

Let’s face it — the words “stylish” and “socks” might seem like polar opposites. However, feet (and the socks that cover them) are making strides in the fashion world, making them an essential for men and women. This is true for just about any type of sock, including diabetic socks. In fact, sales sock sales have been booming in recent years. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, sock sales for the past year have risen 14 percent, and sock sales (including all types) have created a $2.8 billion industry.

Aside from rising sales, it seems like one main reason for the socks’ increasing popularity is the fact that people are buying them for a variety of occasions. It wasn’t too long ago that most people associated wearing socks with heading to the office for a day at work. Nowadays, socks of all types are in vogue, including compression socks that athletes frequently sport — the same type of sock that is recommended for diabetics and those with arthritis.



Health Issues We Don’t Talk About, But Should

There’s a lot of stigma surrounding so-called “gross” body problems, such as warts or cold sores. Society suggests sufferers of these ailments are imperfect and even dirty, but that’s simply not true. These beauty woes can affect everyone, and hygiene does not play a role. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn just how common these maladies are, and how they can be treated quickly.

It’s time to stop being embarrassed, and start loving your body, “warts and all.”

Skin Tags

Skin tags are growths that typically appear on eyelids, necks, armpits, in skin folds, and under breasts. They’re unsightly, but rarely dangerous.

No one wants to discover one of these small, fleshy bumps on their skin, but it’s unavoidable. reports that: “Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their life.” So, take a deep breath, realize it’s no big deal, and do what you can to remove it.

To treat the symptoms of a skin tag, you may want to use an all natural skin tag remover. A remover is safe and effective, and it won’t leave a scar. Do not listen to anyone who suggests tying string around it and waiting for it to fall off, or using duct tape to remove it. These methods are unsafe, and could result in pain and scarring.


Warts are small growths that typically appear on the hands, fingers, and feet. They’re not dangerous, but sometimes they can itch or hurt. They’re caused by the human papillomavirus; an extremely common virus that approximately “20 million Americans ages 15 to 49 currently have,” according to Moreover, it’s estimated that 25 percent of the population has a wart right now. So, if you have one, don’t fret because you’re not alone.

Although warts are easy to treat, it’s important to talk to a doctor because what you think is a wart could be something more serious. Only a doctor can diagnose warts. If it’s a wart, your doctor will likely suggest an over-the-counter medication. If the medicine does not treat the wart, he’ll suggest a strong medicine containing salicylic acid, and something to freeze it.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are blisters that appear on and around the mouth. They can be painful (sometimes extremely painful), and they’re definitely unsightly. For a few days, the blister will swell, and then it may break, leak, and scab. There’s nothing fun about cold sores, but they don’t last forever – typically a few days to around two weeks, according to WebMD.

WebMD also reports that everyone will have a cold sore at least once in their life, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed, or feel as though you have contagious mouth herpes. Although they are contagious, they’re only contagious when the blister is visible. Once it’s healed, feel free to kiss whomever you wish. Cold sores typically heal on their own, but you can pick up an over-the-counter medication, such as Abreva.


Hemorrhoids are extremely common. About 12 percent of the population receives treatment for hemorrhoids every year, and that’s only counting folks who see a doctor about the issue. A lot of people deny treating their hemorrhoids because they’re embarrassed, but with those numbers it’s clear there’s simply nothing to be embarrassed about. Hemorrhoids can be indicative of more serious issues, so if you’re experiencing them, seek out a physician’s consul right away.

Especially for women, it can be difficult to discuss the above mentioned maladies. It’s simply too embarrassing to admit to these ailments, but it’s important to note these are common issues. It’s time to face reality: there’s no shame in an embarrassing body issue, and admitting to said issues will only help promote overall awareness, and more effective treatments.


Wearable Technology That Is Good for Your Health



Already sweeping the fitness and health arena, wearable technology is revolutionizing the health industry in a big way. Also known as wearables, these devices can be worn around your wrist, are loaded in some earphones and can even be tracked with your phone. Each device is a little different, but the ideas is the same: monitor your health and your lifestyle on a daily basis to ensure you are moving, eating right and using healthy habits to feel your best.

With so many options out there to monitor your health, it’s important to do your research and find the wearable device that gives you the most useful information. Many are custom to what you want to track and record, but here’s a look into the world of wearables.

Fitbit Zip

The most affordable wearable in the Fitbit family, the zip is a small tracker in a silicone sleeve that you can slip into your pocket or hook to your belt. Available in five different colors including blue, pink, white, grey and lime green, the small device (1.4 inches wide) tracks steps, calories and syncs with your smartphone. It’s affordable at $60, water resistant and durable. For a basic fitness wearable that’s easier to track and more stylish than a pedometer, the Fitbit delivers the basics of wearable technology.

Jawbone Up

A stylish band you wear around your wrist, the Jawbone Up tracks your daily activity, diet and sleep. In addition to tracking, it also shows users how to make simple adjustments to their lifestyles to lead a healthier, happier life. The device includes a healthy food score, water intake logging and more. Another great aspect of this wearable is sleep tracking, which monitors your sleep patterns and lets you know how much quality sleep you get each night. All together, the wearable is a great tool to teach you how your day, night and food affect your health.

FreeWavz Earphone

This gadget is a wireless earphone that uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and track your pulse, heart rate and number of calories burned during a workout. FreeWavz Earphone tracks your distance, activity duration and oxygen saturation so there’s no guessing how your workout went. Health stats are audible so users can hear what is going on during their workout. The frequency of alerts can be altered, or users can wait to track their workout stats after it’s over.

iPhone 6

The fresh new phone to hit the market, the iPhone 6 comes pre-loaded with a health app, called HealthKit, which can sync up with other health and wearable technology apps. The app is a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your personal fitness data. It works with any of your other health apps and wearables and syncs your fitness information in one place. It even lets you share the information with other people like your doctor. This app is a great one-stop place to track all of your health and fitness stats.


Soft Tissue Injuries Among Lasting Issues Following Car Accidents

The immediate effects of an accident often include damaged vehicles, injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to more serious problems, and ongoing battles with your insurance company. While these issues generally resolve fairly quickly, accidents often lead to lingering problems. One frequently overlooked dilemma is soft tissue injuries. These injuries are generally overlooked, whether it’s because you simply don’t feel any pain in the affected area following the crash or you’ve decided to wait and hope that the pain improves on its own. Many people suffer from hidden problems such as this after an accident, which can lead to financial issues, loss of employment, and mental health difficulties. These so-called hidden problems are often tough to resolve and can have lasting effects for the years to come.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Sprains and strains are some of the most common soft tissue injuries. However, this type of injury encompasses a wider range of problems beyond strains and sprains. Bursitis, tendonitis, and stress injuries are other problems that can affect the soft tissue. According to, it’s common for passengers in a car to incur soft tissue injuries in low impact collisions. These injuries generally involve stretching and tears within the connective tissue between bones and joints along with tendons, muscles, and ligaments. It’s possible to suffer from nerve damage as well with soft tissue injuries.
The same source also describes a common soft tissue injury in rear-end collisions: whiplash. This type of injury results from the body absorbing momentum from the impact with the other vehicle involved, which in turn causes the head to move quickly forward then back. The resulting soft tissue injury in one’s neck from the high impact can range from a ligament tear to a more serious problem, such as disc herniation or protrusion.
The NHTSA states that the number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 dropped down to 2.3 million from 2.4 million the previous year.
Accidents and Long-Term Results
Serious car accidents often have long-term results, from the initial pain and suffering related to injuries from the event to the arduous task of dealing with insurance agencies and auto repair shops. While the lasting effects of more serious accidents are often obvious, the same isn’t always true for seemingly minor accidents. Studies have shown that nearly one out of every three people involved in nonfatal accidents suffer from anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorders following the event. This is true even for accidents that are not medically serious. Not everyone loses their car, home, or job following an accident. However, this doesn’t mean that the affected individuals aren’t experiencing significant losses or problems of a different magnitude.
Whether you’ve suffered a soft tissue injury or are slowed down by other long-term results following an accident, you’ll need a helping hand. For those of us who live in New York, we know there’s no shortage accident lawyers. It’s just as easy to find an expert auto accident lawyer in San Diego or any major West Coast city. Wherever you are, it’s crucial to find a qualified individual with several years of experience in this field and who knows how insurance companies typically handle car accident claims. A fully qualified attorney can help clients recover significant benefits and even settlements to ease the negative results of long-term suffering.


Creating Your Healthy Home


Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” many people feel there’s no place like home. We rush home to our loved ones, comfortable clothes and familiar surroundings after work or school. We like to spend time at home in our gardens, reading the Sunday paper, or in our favorite armchair. But our homes can affect our health and well-being, according to the University of Minnesota. The quality of indoor air, residential water and sights and sounds impact personal environmental health and make it important to create a safe and healthy home.

Healthier Indoor Air

A variety of issues affect indoor air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Second-hand cigarette smoke, radon, carbon monoxide, organic vapors and volatile organic compounds and mold affect our health and comfort if not addressed.

The EPA recommends not smoking indoors, testing for radon, using a carbon monoxide monitor in sleeping areas and basements, minimizing use of chemical products indoors and monitoring indoor moisture to prevent mold. The American Society for Horticultural Science reports that three common houseplants significantly reduce indoor air pollution: spider plants, snake plants and golden pothos. Elle Decor recommends using houseplants as green sculpture in interior design to freshen the look of a room with plants like fiddle-leaf fig, palms, banana trees, or split-leaf philodendron.

Watch the Water

You may take the clean tap water in your kitchen and bathroom sinks for granted, but the EPA reports that drinking water can be contaminated by improperly-disposed of chemicals, animal and human wastes and naturally occurring substances. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 regulates the nation’s public drinking water supply and the EPA requires regular testing of public water supplies and prompt notification when contamination occurs. Water suppliers must provide annual notices of water quality and if you don’t receive them, contact your local water authority.

Public water quality is affected by microbial contamination, chemical contamination from fertilizers and lead—all sources that are normally filtered to a great degree by water treatment facilities. But contaminants may remain in small percentages, which is why many people choose to use additional water filtration at home. The EPA defines four types of home water filtration systems, including the activated carbon filter, ion exchange unit, reverse osmosis unit and distillation unit. They use different processes for filtering water, and the EPA reminds users that all water filtration units must be regularly maintained or they will become ineffective and possibly also become a source of contamination.

Create a Healing Environment

Medical researcher Dr. Esther Sternberg advises that a healthy and pleasing environment affects your immune system and physical health. She says everything we experience through our physical senses affects not only our mood, but by extension, our health.

Dr. Sternberg recommends paying attention to the space around you and how it makes you feel rather than just accepting a busy, chaotic daily routine and home environment. She says using features in interior design such as attractive window treatments to shut out the busy world and relax, fragrant plants to calm and de-stress and painting the walls with your favorite colors will make your home healthier for you mentally, emotionally and physically.

Ginevra Holtkamp, writing for Mother Earth Living, suggests choosing healthy furniture and decor rather than items that are mass-produced and chemical-laden. She recommends choosing solid wood furniture over pressed-wood products made with particleboard or plywood. She cautions homeowners about upholstered furniture with foam padding flame retardant chemicals, and recommends looking for natural and untreated materials such as wool, organic cotton, linen and silk.


Mental Illness and Substance Abuse: A Societal Aberration

There are many ways to make use of the statistic that 53 percent of drug addicts have a serious underlying mental health problem.
You could note that 47 percent of persons with drug addictions do not have serious mental health disorders as an underlying cause. Just from an editorial perspective, this might reveal something about society’s attitudes towards health and recreation. We are a society that lusts for instant gratification. Life is a party. Life is a beach. Is that what we think?
We have underlying anxieties that are considered universal. Men and women frequently go on dates to a place where wine or other liquor is served, because alcohol loosens inhibitions. It serves as a catalyst for relaxing what could be a tense situation. But could there be more effort made to take some of the pressure off of the dating and mating game? After all, various cultures have different approaches to finding a mate and not all of them include having a drink in order to relax. Could we make improvements there?
This bring us back to the 53 percent of drug addicts who have underlying mental health problems. This clearly suggests that drugs are used for recreation to reduce very real, involuntary pain. (No one chooses a mental health problem.) For an even better breakdown of drug addiction statistics, visit
Now consider the stereotypical image of a drug addict. By stereotype, the treatment center Axis Recovery points out, an addict is first thought to be a late-twenties male, poor, washed out, down-on-their-luck, hippy-types and loners. So, how does this explain Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was an enormously popular actor, successful, wealthy and talented, when he died of a heroin addiction at age 46 in February 2014?
Stereotypes are often wrong or misaligned. Some addicts are males in their late 20s, who are poor, alone and down on their luck. But drug and alcohol addiction is a great equalizer. It cuts across all facets of society and includes poor, rich, male, female, young, old, and every race in various degrees.
In the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it was reported that 10.7 percent of black or African Americans age 12 or older had used an illicit drug within the past month. Among whites, 9.1 percent of those age 12 or older had used an illegal drug in the past month. For Hispanics, the figure was 8.1 percent. For Asians, the survey found 3.5 percent had used an illegal drug within the month.
Numbers also varied concerning alcohol use with over 55 percent of whites using alcohol, 25 percent to excess at least once a month and over 8 percent considered heavy drinkers.
For blacks, about 45 percent used alcohol within the month with about 20 percent using it to excess once a month and about 6 percent considered heavy users.
Now some data on substance dependence. “In 2010, among persons age 12 or older, rates of substance abuse were lower among Asians (4.1 percent) and Pacific Island Natives (5.6 percent) than other racial/ethnic groups,” the report said.
“The rates for the other racial/ethnic groups were 16 percent for Native American Indians … 9.7 percent for Hispanics … 8.9 percent for whites, and 8.2 percent for blacks.”
Now re-read the first sentence of this article. For those drug dependencies, 53 percent have underlying mental health issues. That’s a 37 percentage point spread between this group and the second highest group with addiction issues, Native American Indians. That’s a 43.8 percentage point spread between persons with mental health issues and blacks, the group with the lowest dependency rate.
This tells us a lot. It tells us that treatment of mental health issues is not close to where it needs to be to relieve the pain and distress that comes with them.
Attitudes towards substance abuse might need to shift, to allow an honest response to the problem. It turns out, most of the time, dependency is not about kids from the ghetto who made bad choices. It is about persons across social spectrum with real pain – pain they never asked for – and their struggles to cope.
Persons diagnosed with a mental health issue early in life need a much more serious attempt by society to ward off the dangers of drug and alcohol use. This is absolutely clear.
There are also stereotypes among those with mental illness. Hopefully, we can now toss aside the idea that a mental illness is a situation in which a healthy person chooses a frivolous, irresponsible life. Bi-polar disorder is not someone on a lark or vacation. Neither is depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder or the other conditions categorized as a mental illness.
Hollywood has made huge strides forward in recent years portraying people facing mental illnesses with courage and conviction. The feature film “Silver Linings Playbook” explores the life of a man with bi-polar disorder. “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” looks at the life of a young man with post-traumatic stress disorder.
These films counter the notion that mental illnesses are about people choosing to have a debilitating illness that just happens not to be visible under a microscope.
Lastly, the percentage of persons with chemical dependency issues who also have mental health issues is a towering national embarrassment. It is hard to see it any other way than that.


Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 159 160 161 Next