Category Archives: Online resources

How To Make A Self-Care Program To Combat Stress

Stress is epidemic, and science has already supported what millions have experienced for themselves under stress. Stress can make people sick, and it can kill.  From hypertension to heart attacks, from frayed tempers  to burn out, from fuzzy concentration to gnawing back-pain, stress can overload us physically, mentally and emotionally.

Stress is an inescapable part of life, but we don’t have to live helpless before it. There are definitely factors outside of our control when it comes to living with stress, so that just means we can focus on what we can do in order to  help ourselves. No one can afford to be ignorant when it comes to self-care about dealing with their stress. When we take accountability at a personal level, we decide for ourselves what no one else can or will, and that action by itself is of great help in getting our strength back.

Knowledge is power, and  we need to be more aware of what situations can contribute to stress, and how stress creeps up in and makes us ill. We can use that knowledge to prevent that from happening and be able to take care of our selves when it does.

Stress can come from feeling we have no control, comfort, or choice. By learning about stress, and applying that  awareness to action,  we take control and open up more choices for ourselves to address  the cause and relieve the pressure, creating better situations for ourselves. Continue reading How To Make A Self-Care Program To Combat Stress

DIY Self Care With Free Mindfulness Training

We’ve always been about how to work better and work smarter here with the articles on our blogs,  and this is where Dave Potter’s site on mindfulness comes in — as a resource to help you live and work with less stress.

Palousemindfulness houses a collection of carefully selected articles, video links and resources meant to help you learn and practice Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in an 8-week training program that is absolutely free. No email sign-ups, no need to log-in, you can go straight to the source.

Potter, a certified MBSR instructor and a retired psychotherapist, specialized in cases on anxiety, stress and trauma. He created the course  so people without access to formal, class-room MBSR courses can also benefit from the knowledge, saying that learning MBSR helps people with the following:

  • Cope with stress, pain, and the challenges of everyday life.
  • Deal with disturbing events with grace and composure.
  • Be fully present and alive in the moment.

Potter describes MBSR as “a blend of meditation, body awareness and yoga: learning through practice and study how your body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically.”

The 8-week self-guided program uses mindfulness meditation, body sensation awareness (“body scanning”) and simple yoga exercises to help people develop mindfulness. The benefits of starting and practicing regularly include stress reduction and better relaxation.

We get that you’re busy with getting things done, that’s why this self-directed course may be just the right fit for your schedule.  Sure,  it’s presented as an 8 week course, but once you have access to the reading material and print-outs, you can always go at your own pace. Like the site says, the key is consistent, intentional action.

Tailored for people who may not be able to attend live classes, or have schedules that make that  difficult, the training is modeled on the MBSR program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It includes YouTube video links, downloadable PDF’s for print-outs, and practices to guide people on the way. Continue reading DIY Self Care With Free Mindfulness Training

The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Archiving

31 August 2010, by Ariadne Cedilla

What’s the purpose of archiving your electronic data?

Preservation. Simply put, archiving, in this sense, is preservation. Of memories (vacation photos, wedding videos, the Family Reunion Of Which You Do Not Speak Of, etc.) and data (like photographs, business documents, scripts, novels, music etc.) that are static and won’t change.

Revisions and retouching aside, archiving stabilizes and stores a set of information that you can use for reference, proof and perhaps most vital of all, connection.

  • Need the very first “final version” of the company handbook before the current set of revisions got too bulky? Here you go.
  • A lawsuit is threatening to come down on your company due to what the opposition claims is shoddy work? You pull out the pics to prove it just ain’t so.
  • A dispute rises over the contract? You got it in writing, and with the digital signatures all in place.
  • You have a lifetime’s worth of photographs. You want it to last beyond your lifetime, so your great-grands can get to know you even after you’re gone.
  • Want to show your kids that yes, Mama was a natural blonde before puberty hit and her hair got darker? Sure.
  • Your in-laws want to see the ultrasound? You want your as-yet-unbaked bun-in-the-oven to get to see it? You got it.
  • You have something you need to say, something you want the world to know. Share it across time.

Insurance (as back-up) is secondary (but a close second) in this case. If you’ve done your back ups according to plan, you’re covering those bases. Archiving is simply making sure that any data you have that’s important to you is stored, safely, uncorrupted, and available in a way/medium that will survive time and technological changes.
Continue reading The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Archiving

The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Online Data and Syncing

In Protect Your Data, we set-up the basic guidelines in making a back-up plan. In this section, we’ll cover a few more things you can do to keeping the your online data safe and synced.

The issues:

  • It’s definitely simpler to do back up when you only have one computer, but what if you have more? And what if you’re not the only user?
  • Plus, you probably have other data, on-line, that you want backed up as well.

So, this article will lay out the issues with multiple computers, multiple users and backing up your on-line data.

  1. A single user with one PC is the simplest scenario. Maybe two external hard-drives (one back-up is not enough!), a CD/DVD burner, and some high quality blank optical media should be good enough to start with. Pull on-line storage like Mozy, Dropbox and Carbonite into the mix, you can secure your data easily. Flash drives can be life-savers as well.
  2. Single user, many PCs/devices would require syncing software (Dropbox offers this with its online storage as well), a detailed schedule for back ups, and more thought as to what you need to back up, and where. RAID array, a home server, online storage? The speed of your internet connection will also affect upload and download times.
  3. Many users, one PC means also backing up various profiles and personal data. You have to hammer out agreements as to what will be backed up and when would the best time to do it for the people involved.
  4. Many users, many PCs would involve syncing, and centralizing shared media, as well as customizing information access and flow. For personal units, it would be best if each user takes responsibility for his or her own data and unit.

Continue reading The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Online Data and Syncing

The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Protect Your Data

When it comes to backing up data, there are only 2 groups of people involved. The first group are people who have lost data, like those who have had hard-drives die on them, or were exposed to the Virus that Ate The Internet. The second covers those who haven’t had the pleasure of that particular experience. Yet.

But it’s only a matter of time, statistically speaking. And you can never predict when, or how it will happen. Brand new drives die a few days out of the box, while older ones faithfully chug on for years. You bed down for the night, as your laptops purrs on, worry-free. The next morning a howl of disbelief shatters the early morning silence of the dormitory. “I didn’t DO anything!”
“Are you sure, dude?”
“YES!”
“Uh, download anything new last night?”
“Nuh–oh?”

Then, “Oh, crap.”

The drive can’t be detected. The laptop falls due to your cat’s panicked antics, and you can’t get it to boot. Your sippy cup wasn’t fastened as tightly as you thought it was. Viruses, trojans, hackers and theft. Lightning strike, fire, water from a leaky pipe…you just don’t know.

Thus, back-up. There’s something you need to understand about back-up, though:

Back-up is not a guarantee, unless and until you test it (data verification) and even then, stuff happens. Back up is insurance, and as with any kind of insurance, back up comes in handy after a loss of some sort. See the difference now? And as with any kind of insurance, you need a plan that suits your needs.
Continue reading The SMART Guide to Back-ups: Protect Your Data

Setting Up Firefox to Use Google Apps for mailto: Links

We use Google Apps extensively here at JROX.COM, and I was a bit annoyed that the default mailto: links in Firefox only had the regular GMail option to use for clicking on the mailto: links.
Luckily, I found a pretty cool config setting to register Google Apps as the default email client to use when clicking on those mailto: links. Continue reading Setting Up Firefox to Use Google Apps for mailto: Links

Beer Time!

I know we just finished a series on business lessons from defensive driving, but I’m assuming you’re all adults and are responsible people. That being said, this post is about beer.

To be more specific, brewing your own.

The resources cited below are from past visits and click by’s on Life Hacker, The Simple Dollar and GenX Finance. You’re certainly free to do your own research, since these are just starter lessons and simple tools for the brewing process. Continue reading Beer Time!

Money Matters: The Simple Dollar and GenXFinance

In case we haven’t mentioned the site before, Trent Hamm’s finance blog, The Simple Dollar (with 73,000 readers) is one of our most frequently visited resources.

Since his blog has been around since 2006, this means you have years of entries to choose from with great advice on a wide variety of issues, from making your own laundry detergent, to the merits of cooking at home, to reader Q & A’s, to the pay-off’s of making sensible money choices in the face of other people’s negative opinions (and he also shares on how to deal with those opinions).

Hamm also has a Small Business section too, and aside from the many well-thought out articles (especially his 14 part Money Rules series) you can also download his free e-book, “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page.”

Another favorite is Wisebread, a blog community updated daily with deals, commentary, analysis and advice on personal finance. Play around in their forums for stimulating discussions geared towards helping you “live large on a small budget.” Continue reading Money Matters: The Simple Dollar and GenXFinance

Visualizing Your Data

The writers of Tripwire Magazine, featured in an earlier resource post , collected over 50 assorted tools and methods to help you present your data visually. Now, lest visions of pie graphs and death by PowerPoint put you off, wait just a bit.

Forged by evolution, we’re a visual race, and living in these modern times we tend to take this aspect of ours for granted, casually ignoring all the in-your-face-advertising and screaming messages that assault our senses every day.

Just like we use filters to weed out spam on-line, we learn very quickly to filter out the thousands of pushy messages we’re targeted with, in sheer mental self-defense.

How do we do this? We zero in and focus in very short blips when we need to.

Results: A forcibly shorter attention span and a generally diffused focus (we usually don’t see anything out of the ordinary, unless a) we pay attention or b) something jumps out and waves at us).

It’s the “Ooh, shiny!” magpie moment. If it doesn’t look interesting, pass on, pass on…It’s the rare person who can take the time to throttle back and take a second (or third), closer look, what with all the stuff competing for their attention. Continue reading Visualizing Your Data

Tripwire – The Weblog for Web Design and Development

Tripwire is a very informative online resource for web designers and web developers. With literally hundreds of tutorials, tools, tips and step-by-step examples of the best design and development out there on the web, Tripwire’s writers share information that can help change the way you think about and approach design and the Internet.

A quick preview of post titles should give you an idea of what to expect in terms of samples and other helpful tools:
16 Scarily Realistic 3D animations
15 Stunning Fresh Photographic Effects from DeviantArt
10 Brilliant On-line Tools For Freelancers
30 Essential Tools For Web Designers

Tripwire offers articles on things from CSS, design and development, icons and Javascript to Photoshop, themes and logos. For the artistic and the analytical among you, this site offers hours of fun, inspiration and helpful lessons on how to expand your repertoire of skills, and expose you to how other designers and developers think. Have fun!

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