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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Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way of interacting that facilitates the flow of communication needed to exchange information and resolve differences peacefully. It focuses on sharing human values and needs, and encourages the use of language that increases good will - and avoidance of language that contributes to resentment or lowered self-esteem.

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Here's a simple set of items to help you and your family build very positive skills. You can take one and make it the family activity for the week, or you can provide positive feedback every time your famiy hits on one of these methods. In any case, you'll be better for following along.

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When you're helping someone else - friend, child, family member, care partner, whomever, it's easy to get wrapped up in the tasks you and they have agreed upon. Helping others often necessitates paperwork, follow-up and follow-through - work that puts your own needs on the back burner. So we're here to remind you of 6 important and easy steps that will keep your own life balanced and healthy.

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No matter what your age – it’s never too late to take a college course – one that truly interests you (not one that’s required). And the great news is that you can take any of 8,000 college courses at the very best universities, with professors handpicked for their good teaching, at the time and place of your choice—FREE! Thanks to the generosity of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the work of the OpenCourseWare Consortium of universities worldwide, you can get the same courses others are paying $5,000 for right in the comfort of your living room. We offer you the information you'll need and some tips you’ll need to get you started.

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Readers and workshops attendees often say, "If you'd just put a list together of all the things I need to do and need to have, my life would be much easier, and part of my personal safety net would be much closer to complete."

Well, it takes more than a list, although it is a way to get you on the road. So while we want you to read up and work on your skill base - learning to ask, learning to plan, and learning to use a group to accomplish goals and needs - we hear your pain.

Therefore, here is a simple list to get you started. Print it out and start organizing and completing the check list to know that you'll be better prepared when those unexpected challenges and changes come your way.

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In our book, Personal Safety Nets, we present stories of how life happens to people from ages 8 to 80+. Experiencing unexpected and unwanted challenges and changes happens to all of us. Are you prepared?

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Continuing on with their research, we follow the Hope Foundation as it tests if there is even a link between health and hope. And what is the definition of hope as defined by those of differing degrees of health. This is interesting reading.

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What support will your student need to have an adequate Personal Safety Net in place for when they are away at college and the unexpected turns up in her/his life? Most often you can't be available in person, and answers on the phone may not be enough. Parents and students should sit down and discuss the many corners of their safety net that will have to be supported once they leave their home. This is the first in a series of articles to help you get started - now, before they leave.

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A new study on cardiac rehab tells us that "more is better." Patients who suffered heart attacks, or undergone bypass graft surgery, or been hospitalized for chronic stable angina (chest pain after exertion) lived longer and had fewer subsequent heart attacks when they had more rehab sessions. Check out the research and PSN's take on getting to the gym.

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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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A new study that we follow tells us that prepared foods contain an average of 8% more calories than what their packaging label says. And restaurant meals can contain up to 18% more calories than what the menu claims. And perhaps the worst news is that the Food and Drug Administration says these margins of error are perfectly O.K. Read on for the whole story.

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When it comes to parenting, it's funny how humor can motivate children when more negative tactics do not. Parenting guru Jane Nelsen, EdD, the author of dozens of books, including Positive Discipline and, with H. Stephen Glenn, Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World, says humor is a key tool to successful discipline. When moms or dads issue angry commands, kids of all ages tend to dig in their heels and resist. And no one benefits. How do you learn to take a lighter touch? Try these tips.

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Your goal is to build a dependable support network by communicating clearly and effectively. A kind of knowledge that goes into “strength” is knowing when and how to ask for help . . . and being able to just do it. Ask!

Good (Effective) Communicators:

  • Are aware of their conversational style and habits.
  • Know what styles and habits in other people are difficult for them.
  • Are flexible in their communicating.
  • Sincerely desire to create shared meaning with others.
  • Interpret gently.

Begin improving your control by gaining strength through asking - try the easy exercises on this form.

Download a Form to Help Exercise Your Asking Muscles

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So much information about Health Care - what's true and what's not? We're not here to comment on the legislation but rather to help you gather the facts. We've found great sources of information that will tell you the truth, along with an excellent timeline for the legislation. A PDF is attached that gives you a complete 13 page summary. Happy reading.

From the Kaiser Family Foundation
From the CBO Timetable

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When we walk into a store, emblazoned on nearly everry box, bag and bottle on every shelf is a multitude of nutritional claims - screaming, "Buy me! Buy me!" But remember: claims are marketing ploys, pure and simple! So we've provided some rules to follow to make you a truly savvy shopper.

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Arm youself with information you need to make smart choices when you decide what to eat. How can you make good nutrition certain? Here's the simple answer: Just eat these eight foods--along with a little protein such as salmon, turkey, or lean beef--every day. We've even supplied some menu ideas, along with some substitutes for when you can't find the real thing.

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Feeling rundown? Try laughing more. Some researchers think laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step.Join with us to read why, for some, laughter is the best medicine.Read the latest evidence:Laughter Therapy: What Happens When We Laugh?Laughter's Effects on the BodyThe Evidence: Is Laughter the Best Medicine?Laughing It Up for Quality of Life

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This download discusses a variety of new research focusing upon the role of friendship and health. We've come to find out "The Beatles Were Right!" You do need friends - and do much better when surrounded by them. The download also focuses on the story of 11 childhood friends and their 40-year friendship and what that friendship meant to their health.

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Who knows what winter will bring. In the Northwest, loads of rain, flooding, and possible power outages - we may even have snow, and all the trouble that brings. Around the country citizens will see a variety of weather-related troubles. For instance, the National Weather Service tells us about 800 tornadoes touch down in the United States every year. So if you live in a coastal community, hurricanes, wildfires and floods can be common occurrences.

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There’s a deep grassroots "giving back" (or "paying it forward") movement sweeping the country. People across all age groups are volunteering like never before. But giving back doesn’t mean that you don’t get anything in return.Helping others rejuvenates us in ways that another margarita-soaked vacation, more stuff, a fatter resume, or a supersized house can’t begin to. We want to feel useful. We want to find meaning. We want to feel this alive and on fire with possibility. Here are some ways serving others can serve you--from finding your true calling to improving your health to boosting your overall sense of joy.

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