Sanity Savers and More...
April 2006


Spring has sprung and its time to check in and see how to grow and flourish in this new season of hope.

To live a BALANCED life, we need to care for ourselves and to show others we care for them. I hope you benefit from Is Your Reservoir Dry? and Living a Life of Gratitude and can incorporate my Sanity Savers and Tips into your everyday life.

Please pass along this newsletter to your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
    Is Your Reservoir Dry?
  • Let's Have Another "Virtual" Cup of Tea Together
  • Happening in April
  • TIPS:
    Living a Life of Gratitude
  • A Thought

    Is Your Reservoir Dry?

    Look At Your Life
    Ask yourself these questions: Are you on track? Are you running on empty? Do you feel overwhelmed? Are you spending too much time with people who deplete your personal resources--not to mention your patience? Is it hard for you to say no? If you can answer yes--even begrudgingly--to any of these questions, you may be at a point where it’s impossible to give of yourself. This bottom- of-the-barrel feeling lets you know that your reservoir is dry.

    You Can’t Give Anything To Others If Your Supply Is Empty
    I often use the metaphor of a reservoir to help people imagine their own reserves. Is your personal reservoir full to the brim? Half-full or dry? When you get dangerously close to empty, your capacity to give dries up. Always remember that you must have SOMETHING in your reservoir both for those unexpected emergencies when you need to pull yourself together to be there for yourself or others, and for everyday, successful living and coping. If you’re not meeting your own needs, there is no possible way for you to attend to others or give your own life projects the energy and attention they deserve. Your live your life too close to the edge.

    Visualize a Full Reservoir
    Right now, this minute, relax and, in your mind’s eye, imagine a reservoir full of water. Then imagine it empty, but with hordes of people trying to get the water they need. You’ll see panic, fear, anger--and an empty reservoir. Consider what you need to do to refill it so you have what you need to stay full and giving. Then prepare a checklist of activities and attitudes that will help it remain full. When you sense that your reservoir is dropping to scary levels, refer to your list to keep yourself healthy.

    You can also soak up these Sanity Savers to avoid dry spells:

    1. Breathe - Notice what is happening when your body becomes depleted. Are your breaths shallow, short, restricted? Take deep breaths that are long- lasting. Take moments out of your day to breathe through life’s challenges and bring calm back into your world.
    2. Remove and Refill - Is there something that you can put aside or totally remove from your daily tasks to encourage your replenishing yourself?
    3. Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses Or Anyone, For That Matter - When you talk to people, are they comparing their busy life with yours? Is there a subtle jealousy regarding who is doing more or has more on his or her plate? Identify those with whom you feel competition and determine how much energy you want to give to that dance. Try sitting on the bench and observe rather than running the “I Want What You Have” race--which nobody ever wins, by the way.
    4. Limit Your Time - Are you spending a lot of time with people who deplete your personal resources? If so, do something about it. Determine ways to limit or restructure the time you spend with them so that your experience is enhanced. It sometimes helps to bring along a neutral friend to relieve pressure.
    5. Savor Your Time -What would it mean if you said no to people so you could gather your own wits about you and have more time to think or simply be still? When asked to do something that you really don’t have the time for or interest in, think of this response: “Sounds great, but this is not the right time for me.” Or, "Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.” Do as you say you will, and get back to them. But say what you mean.
    6. Keep Your Own Needs High On The List - Always consider the pros and cons when you have to invest time and energy. Turn the ringer off of the phone and sit quietly, even if only for a few minutes. Drink a cup of aromatic herbal tea as you relive a wonderful visit to a park, a great family party, a summer vacation. Play with a pet, attend to houseplants or your garden. Do something that thrills you.

    Your reservoir will only be full when you take time to fill it.

    Let's Have Another "Virtual" Cup of Tea Together

    Or do you like coffee, cappuccino or a latte? Whatever your relaxing beverage of choice, pour a cup and let me know what's on your mind by emailing me at dale@drdaleatkins.com or simply click on IDEAS (and then click on my email address).

    I look forward to staying current with what you are confronting in your life and what you want to read about in upcoming Sanity Savers e-newsletters.

    Who knows, you might even have a great topic for TV!

    Happening in April

    TODAY Show
    Dates and times of upcoming segments to be posted on Dr. Dale's website.

    Naomi's New Morning (Naomi Judd)
    The Hallmark Channel

  • Caregiving
  • Slowing Down

  • Dates and times to be announced on Dr. Dale's website.

    Living a Life of Gratitude

    You know them! You’ve seen them! Those people who have light in their eyes, whom you cannot resist, who are ageless. What is their secret? No it is not a wrinkle cream. It is living a life of appreciation, gratitude and awareness of the beauty around them and within their lives.

    Having an attitude of gratitude and appreciation contributes to keeping you young, vital and involved. A thank you, compliment or expression of praise given to someone else is a low price to pay to reap the priceless rewards of a youthful outlook. In the most difficult times, these “appreciators” have hope. Their positive perspective contributes to their resiliency and pulls them through any situation.

    Now that it's SPRING (think new beginnings), there is opportunity for new growth which brings transformation and change. We see beauty all around us in nature as flowers bud and breezes get warmer. These are wonderful things to appreciate so how can you apply this feeling of gratitude to your own life? What can you appreciate more and while you are at it, demonstrate that appreciation so others know they are valued.

    Beginning to notice and focus on what you may have taken for granted is a good way to SPRING into your own transformation. Here are a few more ways to increase your appreciation:

    • Be Aware - Of everyone around you. Is there someone who touches you in a positive way? It doesn't matter how big or small the effect on your life, what matters is that this person contributes positively and will welcome the acknowledgement.
    • Family Matters- Isn't it the way it goes? The people who support us the most and who are always there, are the ones who never get enough recognition. We tend to take our loved ones for granted and "assume" they know we care. Let people closest to you know how much you appreciate all they do for you and for others. Kids especially respond well to praise for tasks accomplished and chores well done rather than complaints aimed at the inevitable "messy" room or the TV left on again. And remember to tell them you love them as they are.
    • Repetition is OK - Expressing your thanks is as important to you as for the other person. People always need to be appreciated. If they say, "Oh you don't have to keep thanking me," find the right way for this person to know you value them.
    • Find Creative Ways to Say You Care - How we express our gratitude matters. If you usually say it, try a hand written note next time. Surprise them with the right card or their favorite flowers to emphasize your feelings. Spending time enjoying each other's company (especially when everyone's so busy) is another good way to demonstrate your gratitude for having this person in your life.
    • Also Give Thanks for Every Breathe - Life is a gift and that's why the here and now is called the PRESENT. We should never let a sunny day, sandy beach, or awe inspiring mountaintop go unoticed. Let nature and all it has to offer inspire your grateful attitude. Allow every day you are here on this planet be an amazement and offer up your thanks.

    If you have a story or a unique way in which you express gratefulness, let me know. I'd love to share your thoughts with others. Jot me an email at dale@drdaleatkins.com or click below (and click on my email address).

    A Thought

    One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.


    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and media commentator who appears regularly on the Today show.

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience as a relationship expert, focusing on families, couples, parenting, aging well and stress management.

    Dr. Atkins is the author and/or co-editor of several books including:

  • Sisters
  • From the Heart:
    Men and Women Write Their Private Thoughts about their Private Lives
  • Families and their Hearing-Impaired Children
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that Works
  • and her latest book

  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
  • Find out more....
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    Dale's Advice on Weddings at WeddingChannel.com

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