3 Ways to Get Ahead During Tough Times

During turbulent periods, it's easy to feel like you have zero control over your future. That's why we've created this crib sheet of info that will help you navigate several areas of your life through stressful events.

1) Your Money
Freaked out by the economy? Smart girl. But it turns out that showing shopping restraint can go a long way toward calming your nerves. "Not buying something offers an instant, powerful sense of control," says financial expert Jean Chatzky, author of Make Money, Not Excuses. Track your expenses, in a spending diary to reveal places you can cut back. These tips can help you shave $250 off your expenses this month. And call your cable company, Internet provider, and gym to see if the deals they're giving new cash-strapped customers can be extended to you. These six money-saving switches will help you get in the black.

2) Your Job
In times like these, you need to become indispensable to the higher-ups. For starters, don't just meet a looming deadline - beat it, and make sure the right people know it. "You can be the hardest-working employee in the world, but if your boss isn't aware of it, you won't net any gains," says workplace expert Patty Sias, PhD. So write e-mails that underscore achievements: The client meeting went well tells your boss that you're nabbing the company an edge. I'm getting you the report early so you can prepare for the meeting says that you endeavor to make your boss look good. Find out the career success secrets you'll never hear from your boss.

3) Your Health
It's no secret that stress can have a detrimental effect on your well-being. "You can be irritable, distracted, and piling on pounds," says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. Fortunately, you can medicate with movement and these amazing weight-loss tips. When you do physical activity - even a vigorous walk - you increase the production of beta endorphins, chemicals that relax you. So make it a priority to be active every day. Shake up your work-out with these tips from Olympian athletes.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.