Tag Archives: work

10 Things Your Commute Does to Your Body

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The average American’s commute to work is 25.5 minutes each way, according to a report in USA Today. That’s about 51 minutes a day getting to and from work, or about 204 hours a year spent commuting. You know that commuting can be a huge pain in the ass—but what does all that back and forth actually do to your body, besides put you in a crap mood when you get stuck in traffic for what feels like the nine-thousandth night in a row? Read on to see how commuting impacts your mental and physical health—and what you can do to offset the damage.

Your Anxiety Increases
A new report from the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics finds that people who commute more than half an hour to work each way report higher levels of stress and anxiety than people with shorter commutes or no commutes at all. While there’s not much you can do to shorten or eliminate your commute, you can make the most of it by doing something like listening to an interesting audio book. Check out these other ways to take advantage of the time you spend in transit.

Your Happiness and Life Satisfaction Decline
The same report from the U.K. found that people with commutes of any length experience lower life satisfaction and happiness than people with no commutes at all. Riding a bus for 30 minutes or longer was associated with the lowest levels of life satisfaction and happiness, but even if you’re lucky enough to bike to work and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, your satisfaction takes a nosedive commensurate to how long you spend doing it. Womp womp. If you want to feel happiness in spite of your commute, be sure to check out these 12 Things People Believe About Happiness That Aren’t Actually True.

Your Blood Pressure Temporarily Spikes
Commuting during rush hour—especially when you’re concerned that you may be late to work or to an important meeting—can result in temporary spikes in stress levels that jack up your blood pressure, even if it’s normally stable. In fact, a researcher from the University of Utah set up an experiment where participants were placed in simulated driving scenarios: They were told they were late to a meeting and had a financial incentive to get to their destination quickly. Half the group was put in high-density traffic; the other half “drove” in a less congested environment. The people who drove in more intense traffic had much higher reports of stress, as well as higher blood pressure. If you feel like you’re always in a rush, it might be worth leaving well before rush hour—even if you arrive at work at the same time as you normally would, you’ll definitely feel less anxious on the drive over. Plus, you may also want to employ these tips on how to use yoga to de-stress during the drive.

Your Blood Pressure Rises Over Time, As Well
A study of 4,297 Texans found that the farther the participants lived from where they worked—the longer their commutes—the higher their blood pressure was. High blood pressure over time is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. To learn more about how stroke is related to high blood pressure, click here.

Your Cardiovascular Fitness Drops
The same study out of Texas found that people with longer commutes also had lower levels of cardiovascular fitness and physical activity. Cardiovascular fitness is critical for heart health and maintaining a healthy weight. For more intel on maintaining your heart health, check out four great (and four terrible) things you can do for your heart.

Your Blood Sugar Rises
Driving more than 10 miles each way, to and from work, is associated with higher blood sugar, according to a report written by researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas and published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. High blood glucose levels can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes. To counteract the high blood sugar issue, check out these 12 ways to never get diabetes.

Your Cholesterol is Higher
The same report in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the 10-mile one-way drives were also associated with higher cholesterol levels among commuters. Scary stuff since cholesterol is a warning sign for heart disease.

Your Depression Risk Rises
The researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas also noted in their report that people with commutes of at least 10 miles each way have a higher tendency toward depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if your down-in-the-dumps mood is a real problem or something that’ll pass. Check here to determine if you’re depressed or just feeling blah.

Your Sleep Suffers
The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found that people who commute for longer than 45 minutes each way reported lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than people with shorter commutes. To get better a better night’s sleep and feel more rested, regardless of your commuter status, check out our story, “Why Are Modern Women So Exhausted?”

Your Back Aches
Spending hours a week slouched over in a car seat (either as a driver or a passenger) has negative consequences on your posture and your back; commuters are more likely to report pains and aches in their backs and necks, according to this story in the Washington Post. To counteract these ill effects, be sure to check out six ways to straighten up your posture.

 

[Source: Women’s Health]

Your Surroundings Make a Difference

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Happy Monday. Notice how there’s no explanation point at the end of that 😉 so I was just wondering if others felt the same way as me about this: when it comes to working, your settings make a huge difference, right? For example, wouldn’t you rather sit by a window being able to look outside throughout your day rather than sitting in a corner facing a wall? I truly believe that people can work better if they enjoy what is around them… being in a bland colored office all day with no windows can literally drive one insane. Is it just me? Since my mind is just extremely restless and it’s hard for me to sit still either way, I wasn’t sure if this was something that mattered to others as well! Now I need to go get ready to head to the bland, window-less office. Share your thoughts please and thank you 🙂

It’s Just a Job

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I was at my last job for 5 1/2 years. It taught me responsibility and that you can’t just call into work whenever you want. It also taught me something else though. It made me realize that your job is just your job. You shouldn’t let it make or break you, ESPECIALLY if it isn’t your career. I used to work every Saturday from 9-5 starting at the age of 18 up until I was 24. Think of all the things a young girl does between that time period… parties, bars, turning 21, celebrating other 21st birthdays, staying up late or never going to sleep at all. The nights I got the least sleep and was so tired the next day sitting at my desk, are the days/nights I remember the most clearly. So many times I sat at that desk hungover barely able to look at the computer screen as the phone rang loudly in my ear with annoying customers on the other end yapping away in my ear. I look back and wonder why I cared so much about a job I would not be at forever. My boss was very lenient and pretty much let us do whatever we wanted, which made it even harder for me to care. I did at first, but as time went on I began to realize it was just a paycheck. A small paycheck. A paycheck that barely fed me weekly and put gas in my car. But, it was a paycheck and I was thankful for that, of course. But, think of all the things we sacrifice and do each day to make people at our job happy. To make others at our jobs happy. We wake up early, drive to work in traffic while still feeling like we’re asleep. Get there to listen to what we are supposed to do until we get that half hour of freedom (lunch break) then we’re back at it until we leave. Then we sit in more traffic until we make it home. As I get older, I care less about the money. YES, it is important because we need it to live, blah blah blah. But, if I’m not happy then it’s just not worth it to me. You know why I work? Because I want to travel. I want to see things I can’t see while sitting in my cubicle. My mind is caged all year long so I can break free for a while, which keeps me half way sane for the time being. Sure, I want money to buy a house one day and a nice car that is safe for  my family and all that good stuff… but it’s just not enough to keep me hungry for it. It may make me sound lazy but in reality it’s just me being hungry for something different and more exciting. I hope that one day I can write as I travel all over the place, making a living off my journeys and sharing them with others. Until then… I have these paychecks.

Don’t take the money and the work so seriously, we will spend the rest of our lives working. Live a little.

Bittersweet

After working at my job for 5 1/2 years, today is my last day! After today I will officially have my Saturdays back to myself to do whatever I please! I cannot wait! It is bittersweet leaving a place you have been this long, one you have been so comfortable at, but there is never growth if you stay in the same place! You have to move on from things in order to open new chapters of your life and move on to bigger and better things. Don’t ever be afraid to make certain moves in your life it it means it will help you continue to grow. I am so excited for the year ahead! 🙂

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Eyes Open Wider As You Get Older

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Sometimes I make myself nervous, aren’t I supposed to care more about things as I get older? Like having a career and money to buy a house and savings to start a life? Instead, I find myself caring less than I did in high school, a time when most don’t care at all. I’ve become mentally lazy with things and the only thing I can think of as a reason to why is because I’m just not fully satisfied. I need more. I work to make money to do things I want to do, but I don’t find myself doing any of it. I just keep waiting for the right moment, the right time to hop on a plane. The thing is, if I had enough people around me that felt the same way and wanted to get away as bad as I do, I’d be somewhere new every 2-3 months. I’d find the money to do it because it’s what would make me happy. Unfortunately, work and other responsibilities get in the way of the fun. I’ve grown so impatient with everyday life but mark my words I’m on my way to not letting that happen anymore. It may take some time, but if it’s what you really want then don’t let anything get in your way.

Ways to Make it on A Little Less Income

I posted these great ideas along with an article the other day, here it is again by itself for those of you who missed it!

Ways to make it on a little less income:

1. Spend less! Start bringing lunch with you to work instead of buying each day. I have been doing this, sometimes buying once a week to treat myself. It really pays off in the end.

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2. Be smart when it comes to going out and spending. If you want to get together with friends, pick a night when there’s good deals going on. I did this the other night and only spent $15 (with tip!) for 3 Blue Moons and quesadillas! The friend I was with only spent $8! It’s possible to eat and drink cheap if you find the right place with the right deals.

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3. Coupons. I am just starting to do this because I’ve realized that it can help a lot. This isn’t only for married people either! Young people in their 20’s should most definitely do this because a lot of us have financial struggles trying to get to where we’re going. Start buying what is on sale and what you have a coupon for. Even if it’s only a couple cents, it stills helps.

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4. Groupon or similar websites. I’ve had a Groupon account for a long time now and really haven’t used it much. Now that I plan on only working one job, I have been searching on here a lot. It gives you great deals for a variety of different things, even weekend getaways!

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5. Cut down on the non-necessity things. For example, getting your hair done or your nails done. Stretch it for as long as you can with the hair, I understand it’s hard to keep up with but if you need it done that badly, do it yourself at home until you have the money to get it professionally done. When it comes to nails, I have acrylic and it can get expensive but I try to get the permanent french which can last a whole month. It takes a bit longer but it’s worth it to not have to go every two weeks. (I haven’t gone every two weeks in probably two years, it’s a waste of money.) Pedicures – it’s winter now so you can do them yourself.

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6. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE DONE – Not buying a new car just because I was sick of mine. I have a 2006 Hyundai Elantra, it’s not the ideal looking car but I’m almost done paying it off so it was stupid of me to want a brand new car just to have another payment. Only get a new car if you have no other choice, it doesn’t matter what others think. What matters is you not breaking the bank just to drive around in a luxurious car that you’re just going to get sick of again. Don’t get me wrong, I almost bought a new one because I was bored with mine until my mom talked me out of it. And now, I am so thankful I listened to her! I would much rather put my money aside for better things like traveling! If you NEED a new car, buy it at the right time when they have major sales going on. Ex: Labor Day weekend!

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7. Wait for the right time to splurge. I recently bought a lap top in October from Walmart for just $300. Electronics are cheaper in October, up to 40% off! If you’re looking to get something, wait it out if you can so you can get a cheaper price. Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well. (If you’re the type of person who can do Black Friday, I’ve done it twice and am surprised that I even could deal!) Some things aren’t worth getting on Black Friday but large items like TV’s, iPads/tablets and other electronics are a good idea.

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8. PINTEREST! I am obsessed with this site. They have so many DIY ideas that can save you a lot of money. Ideas from decorating a new home to DIY home cleaning products that cost a lot less than buying the name brand stuff.

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Changes are Coming [Also, Ways to Make it on A Little Less Income]

So, after over 5 years at the real estate office, I am putting in my 2 weeks today. My manager should be coming in sometime today and I’m a little nervous but so excited to finally move on from this place. They literally just signed off on a tiny raise for me (after 5 years) and I feel like it might be a slap in the face to them but that’s how I’ve felt for awhile so I guess it’s called karma? I have continuously thought about leaving here for well over a year and have not had the courage to do so for money reasons and comfort reasons. I slowly cut my hours as time went by, now I’m only working Saturdays because I work at the website during the week. I have been dying to have my Saturdays and weekends back to myself instead of giving my time to a place that has yes taught me responsibility, but has also taken a lot out of me. Many rude encounters and phone calls, many times biting my tongue to please people and customers. I’m happy that at the website I don’t have to answer phone calls, I write and keep to myself! Coming here on Saturdays to answer the phone to sometimes extremely rude people, really makes you start to lose it after awhile. I hope that after today, I no longer feel stuck here. I was staying because of money reasons but have realized that my happiness is more important. (And I won’t be missing out on THAT much money, honestly.)

I have written a couple of different blog posts regarding making the right decisions to make yourself happy, even if you’re afraid to do so. Like I said in those other posts, it’s fear of the unknown and fear of making such a big change. Change is good though and is a positive thing. And if you’re at a job that you’re starting not to enjoy as much anymore and it isn’t your career… then nothing is stopping you! Even if it is your career, it’s never too late to make a change. Think about it, your happiness is at stake here! Our time on this Earth is too short to let jobs consume you. I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m ready to move on and continue with the website where I’m content doing things that are useful for my career path. Too many of us feel stuck and never make a move to change things for the better, I don’t want to fall under that category. I’m done just talking about it, now today I’m going to be about it. As a young girl starting to work here, I had to learn about kissing ass and keeping your mouth shut regarding confrontation with agents or people over the phone. Don’t get me wrong, I have been rude right back plenty of times because you know what? If you’re rude to me, I’m being rude back. I let some things slide because I don’t need strangers ruining my day but some people go way too hard to be rude, and those are the ones I let loose on. THE CUSTOMER ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT! I don’t care how many companies use this ridiculous saying because honestly, those who are high up and telling you this – are probably annoyed they have to be nice to rude people as well! It’s all about the business baby. But, after awhile, kissing ass gets tiring. And I’m tired.

So the point of this post is – MAKE MOVES! MAKE CHANGES! A month from now you will be glad you did it and it will make it easier for you to get what you want in the future.

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Ways to make it on a little less income:

1. Spend less! Start bringing lunch with you to work instead of buying each day. I have been doing this, sometimes buying once a week to treat myself. It really pays off in the end.

Image

2. Be smart when it comes to going out and spending. If you want to get together with friends, pick a night when there’s good deals going on. I did this the other night and only spent $15 (with tip!) for 3 Blue Moons and quesadillas! The friend I was with only spent $8! It’s possible to eat and drink cheap if you find the right place with the right deals.

Image

3. Coupons. I am just starting to do this because I’ve realized that it can help a lot. This isn’t only for married people either! Young people in their 20’s should most definitely do this because a lot of us have financial struggles trying to get to where we’re going. Start buying what is on sale and what you have a coupon for. Even if it’s only a couple cents, it stills helps.

Image

4. Groupon or similar websites. I’ve had a Groupon account for a long time now and really haven’t used it much. Now that I plan on only working one job, I have been searching on here a lot. It gives you great deals for a variety of different things, even weekend getaways!

Image

5. Cut down on the non-necessity things. For example, getting your hair done or your nails done. Stretch it for as long as you can with the hair, I understand it’s hard to keep up with but if you need it done that badly, do it yourself at home until you have the money to get it professionally done. When it comes to nails, I have acrylic and it can get expensive but I try to get the permanent french which can last a whole month. It takes a bit longer but it’s worth it to not have to go every two weeks. (I haven’t gone every two weeks in probably two years, it’s a waste of money.) Pedicures – it’s winter now so you can do them yourself.

Image

6. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE DONE – Not buying a new car just because I was sick of mine. I have a 2006 Hyundai Elantra, it’s not the ideal looking car but I’m almost done paying it off so it was stupid of me to want a brand new car just to have another payment. Only get a new car if you have no other choice, it doesn’t matter what others think. What matters is you not breaking the bank just to drive around in a luxurious car that you’re just going to get sick of again. Don’t get me wrong, I almost bought a new one because I was bored with mine until my mom talked me out of it. And now, I am so thankful I listened to her! I would much rather put my money aside for better things like traveling! If you NEED a new car, buy it at the right time when they have major sales going on. Ex: Labor Day weekend!

Image

7. Wait for the right time to splurge. I recently bought a lap top in October from Walmart for just $300. Electronics are cheaper in October, up to 40% off! If you’re looking to get something, wait it out if you can so you can get a cheaper price. Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well. (If you’re the type of person who can do Black Friday, I’ve done it twice and am surprised that I even could deal!) Some things aren’t worth getting on Black Friday but large items like TV’s, iPads/tablets and other electronics are a good idea.

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8. PINTEREST! I am obsessed with this site. They have so many DIY ideas that can save you a lot of money. Ideas from decorating a new home to DIY home cleaning products that cost a lot less than buying the name brand stuff.

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Good luck with your future changes and hope these money saving tricks can come in handy! 🙂