5 Exercises to Prevent a Tight Neck

Whether youre sitting in front of a computer all day, craned over an art project, or have your head in a book, neck tightness is a common issue that can put a real hitch in your day. Headaches, discomfort and tension can all hold you back from feeling your best. These five exercises will help remedy that neck tightness and help you conquer your day.

Head to Chest
Tuck your chin towards your chest. Place your hands at the base of your skull. Gently pull your head down and hold for 30 seconds.

Head to Shoulders
Drop your right ear to your right shoulder. Using your right hand, grab the left side of your head and pull your head gently to the right. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat to the other side.

Self Massage
An effective method to relieving tension is through self massage. There are many methods, so its important to find which one works best for you. For an easy, effective massage, use your right hand to grab your left upper trapezius”the muscle on your upper back that spans from your neck to your shoulder and often holds most neck tension. Press into the muscle and raise and lower your shoulders 10 times. Repeat on the other side.

Chicken Peck
Neck tightness is often caused and amplified by poor spinal posture. Improve your posture and strengthen your neck muscles with this simple exercise. Start with your head in its natural position. Slide your chin forward, pull it back. This will mimic a gentle pecking motion. Repeat 10 times. Rest. Repeat 2 times.

Wall Angels
This exercise will help strengthen the muscles that assist in creating good posture. Stand with your back against a wall. Slide down the wall so your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Extend your arms to the side and bend your elbows so your arms are at a 90 degree angle, mimicking a goal post. Keeping your back flat against the wall and maintaining the bend in your elbows, slide your arms over your head until your fingertips touch. Slide your arms back down the wall so your elbows tuck in as much as possible while leaving your full back flat against the wall. Repeat 10 times. Rest. Repeat.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

When Should You Retire?

When planning for your future, one of the most important questions youll have to address is when you should retire. Figuring that out is not as simple as it may seem. Several factors may influence your decision, and remember, what works for someone else might not work for you.

What Do You Want Your Retirement to Look Like?
Think about what aspects of your lifestyle you want to keep the same in retirement and which youd like to change. You may want to stay where you are, or you may dream of downsizing or moving to another state to be closer to loved ones. Those decisions will impact your total living costs.

Some people dream of retiring and never having to work again. They want to relax, travel, pursue hobbies and spend time with their grandchildren.

For others, that sounds like a recipe for boredom. Some individuals prefer to retire from their current job and pursue a new career in a different field. They may be willing to accept a pay cut if they have the opportunity to pursue a lifelong passion.

Some individuals retire from a stressful career and want to have a simple, low-stress job afterward. That can provide an opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with other people, have a sense of purpose and earn a paycheck, even if its a modest one.

How Can Other Family Members Influence Your Decision?
If your kids will be attending college in the coming years, that may impact your ability to retire. If you havent set aside as much money as youd like for your childrens education, you may decide to focus on that and retire after theyve finished college. If your children have already graduated and moved out on their own, that wont be an issue.

If youre married, consider your age and your spouses age. If there is a significant age gap, that may impact your decision. If one person is home alone all day while the other is working, that can lead to loneliness. In addition, the individual who is still working may have to shoulder a heavier financial burden without the other spouses salary.

When Can You Afford to Retire?
Once youve got a handle on the type of retirement you want, youll have to figure out how much it will cost. If youll have your mortgage paid off before you retire, thats a major expense that you wont have to worry about. If not, carefully consider how much money youll need and make sure youll have enough.

The age when youre eligible for full Social Security benefits depends on when you were born. You may be able to start collecting benefits before that age, but theyll be less than the total amount youre eligible for. Its generally better to wait until full retirement age, if possible.

Consider how much youve already saved for retirement. A financial advisor can discuss your goals and where you currently stand and help you adjust your strategy, if necessary.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell [INFOGRAPHIC]

Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • If you’re thinking about selling your house this season, focusing on a few quick and easy updates outside can help your home look its best.
  • 78% of real estate agents polled say poor landscaping affects property values. As a seller, that means your yard could impact your bottom line.
  • When getting your house ready to sell, let’s connect to discuss what you should do to make sure your house shows well and catches the eyes of more potential buyers.

Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell [INFOGRAPHIC]

Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Give Your Curb Appeal a Boost Before You Sell [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • If you’re thinking about selling your house this season, focusing on a few quick and easy updates outside can help your home look its best.
  • 78% of real estate agents polled say poor landscaping affects property values. As a seller, that means your yard could impact your bottom line.
  • When getting your house ready to sell, let’s connect to discuss what you should do to make sure your house shows well and catches the eyes of more potential buyers.

5 Journaling Tips to Help Maintain Your Routine

Journaling is a relaxing and rewarding practice that can oftentimes be therapeutic. It is also a wonderful way to catalogue and recognize your growth through different stages of your life. Unfortunately, the concept of moving the beautiful swirling ocean of thoughts from your head onto the page can easily become overwhelming.

Find a Journal You Like
Journals come in all shapes, sizes and colors. You should have one that youre excited to fill! Find a journal that fits what youre looking for. Do you want something small and discreet or something with plenty of space? Should your pages be lined or blank? How durable do you want your cover to be? Check bookstores, online stores and office supplies stores for a full range of designs and formats.

Keep It Where You Can See It
Its easy to forget about a new practice when its in the primary stages of becoming a habit. Placing your journal somewhere where you are sure to see it will help to remind you to jot down a few thoughts before your day comes to an end. Set your journal on your bedside table-“or even under your comforter so that its out of view of others”to give yourself a visual reminder each day.

Prompts
Write a list of prompts on the front page of your journal that you can refer to on days youre feeling particularly stumped. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Tell a story about something funny that happened today.
  • What interactions did you have with others today that added value to your life? Did any interactions take away?
  • Was there something that happened during the day that you wish would have happened differently? Why?
  • What are you grateful for today?

Get Artsy
Journaling does not always require words. When you cant quite articulate what youre feeling by writing it, let yourself explore your artistic side. Doodle, sketch, make a word map. Journaling is an intimate and personal experience. You get to choose how you practice it.

Remember, Nobody Can Read it Except You
Its easy to put pressure on yourself to make each journal entry a beautifully-written essay chalked full of perfect grammar and profound epiphanies. This is an entirely unrealistic and unnecessary expectation to place on yourself. Feel comfortable being sloppy, honest and open because nobody else will ever read your journal unless given permission.

Published with permission from RISMedia.