Cool Resources

What's a "Cool Resource?" It's cool (and very useful) because it does one or more of these things: it makes you think, helps you plan, provides you with new and unique information, helps assist you with solving problems, or simply makes you smile.

We're always looking for useful and interesting articles, materials, lists, worksheets, and information to put in front of you. You need not have Personal Safety Net expertise or knowledge to enjoy a Resource - our aim is to cover the bases of life's challenges.

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How do we help others to see and find hope? It's not all that hard if you have a plan and find a way to get involved. Read about the essential story of having and being part of a Personal Safety Net.

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A new survey on aging by the Pew Research Center finds, as expected, that good health contributes to one's contentment, but it also goes on to find the reverse is also true - happiness leads to good health. Findings also lead scientists to suspect that expectations and the ability to adapt to changing life circumstances also influence happiness. Read all about the relation of good health to happiness.

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We've all heard of spring cleaning, but making sure your home is fresh and clean for winter is probably more important. Why? Once temperatures nosedive, we spend a lot more time inside. And a poor indoor environment can give kids headaches, coughs and trouble concentrating, and can increase their exposure to toxic chemicals. Take a few steps and you can avoid those hazards and help keep your family feeling good all year long.

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What are the attitudes and behaviors that have helped survivors? Two doctors provide us a description, along with a rationale of why hope is most important from a patient standpoint. Find out why there is no tonic as powerful as the expectation of something better tomorrow.

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Often "security" advise to college graduates deals specifically with learning about managing personal finances, taking immediate steps to budget and save, and maintaining those good habits. This is such advise - but with an addition: five other must-do tips.

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A recent survey that found most adults over 50 feel at least 10 years younger than their actual age, while one-third of those between 65-74 felt 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of people over 75 and older felt 20 years younger. And while we feel young, we also want to think young: On average, survey respondents said old age begins at 68. Those under 30 said old age begins at 60, but those over 65 said "not so fast" - old age begins at 75. Read more on this survey.

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Use this page as a guide to deciding who might be in a potential members' circle. Put the person needing care (in the center) as self, then let your mind travel toward the outside of the circle in each of the five directions, adding names to each ring as you go.

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Sometimes getting yourself or another out of a rut can be as simple as changing how you think or doing something new. Next time you’re feeling in the dumps, or asked to care for another, think of these tips as easy and fun ways you can change direction and put a smile on an important face. So let’s get you started!

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Sooner or later, everyone gets the blues. Feeling sadness, loneliness, or grief when you go through a difficult life experience is part of being human. And most of the time, you can continue to function. You know that in time you will bounce back, and you do.But what if you don't bounce back? What if your feelings of sadness linger, are excessive, or interfere with your work, sleep, or recreation? What if you're feeling fatigue or worthlessness, or experiencing weight changes along with your sadness? You may be experiencing major depression.

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Are you a shopping addict, overconfident consumer, status seeker or a smart spender? Being honest with yourself is the first step to pinpointing a problem. Look at why you buy. And if you're not quite the model of perfection, don't fret, but you may want to pick up Stuart Vyse's, Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold On to Their Money (Oxford University Press). After you read over the information, we've added a little test that may help you decide why and how you shop.

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Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of Alzheimer's, a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor. The worksheet and information is provided by the Alzheimer's Association (

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If you're starting a request for help by saying, "I really hate to ask you . . ." maybe the person you're asking is thinking, "I really hate it too!" Asking for help isn't easy! But it's a skill we can all learn. It's a matter of being positive, organized and direct.

In this Cool Free Download we provide some sample tools to help you develop the skills to ask for help and have better results in gaining the other person's engagement. We also provide some real answers to help you understand the benefits of asking for help.

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With twice as many Americans born in 1955 than in 1935, millions are entering, passing through, or have completed mid life, and though retirement will be different for everyone, there are common phases to the process. It helps to understand these because it provides retirees with a language to put their feelings and experiences into words, and also provides a set of landmarks to help them judge where they are and what lies ahead.

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After a rough day at the office or a nasty interchange, a great joke can often quickly lift us out of a bad mood. But why? Dutch researchers think they've verified why this is so and how a joke helps us -- most of the time - laugh it off and turn our negative mood positive.Madelijn Strick, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and her team set out to figure out exactly how a joke can lift bad moods.Not to spoil the punch line, but the researchers found a joke works not just because the humor distracts us from negative emotions but because of the cognitive work we need to do to "get" the joke.

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In 2005, Stanford University psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky decided to put the kindness-fulfillment connection to the test. She asked students to carry out five weekly "random acts of kindness" of their choice, anything from buying a Big Mac for a homeless person to helping a younger sibling with schoolwork. Read about her findings and the research of others . . . .

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For many of us, asking for help, and then receiving it, is not easy. It's certainly part of our North American culture to believe we should be able to handle our own problems and situations. Asking for help can also mean feeling embarrassed and vulnerable as we tell even selected others our personal information. Additionally, there can be an assumption that others have more important things to worry about in their own lives. We might wonder, "Why would someone want to help me?" And if we do get past the "ask" then what? What if they say no? If they say yes, are we ready for their help? This download gives you seven steps to follow when you find it's time to reach out for help...or want to prepare for that eventuality.

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It's important to know - first - when asking for help, a "no" most frequently says something about the folks who are saying it rather than about the person who has asked for help. Remember that - first and foremost! Unfortunately for many, asking for help translates into a mayday call for help that is not made at all, or only made when there is almost no other choice. But the good news is that you can learn to ask for help. We've found an author that helps you see that it can be a fairly simple act. But first, you've got to debunk some common cultural myths.

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In her book Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need (Berrett-Koehler, 2007), M. Nora Klaver, a Chicago-based master coach, explains The Mayday! Process - a seven-step approach to making sure your "askings" for help and assistance are transmitted with both strength and clarity, on target and complete - we've taken the liberties to add a few steps!

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The author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth gives us a list of eleven foods that are easy to find, but don't always find their way into our shopping carts. Here's an easy list to read and take directly to the grocery store.

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If you've never had the opportunity to read, Personal Safety Nets: Getting Ready for Life's Inevitable Changes and Challenges by Dr. John W. Gibson and Judy Pigott, we have the "Cliff Notes" version. In just 16 pages we've outlined all the highlights and information you'll need in order to build strong helping communities and move your helping teams move in a very positive direction. Or read this online now!

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