In The Value of Support Groups I
discuss the importance of being among people
who are experiencing a life issue similar to
yours. Whether it is health, relationship or
job related, sharing the space with others
who may have something to offer (and who can
benefit from your experience) can make a
world of difference in your attitude and
approach to whatever it is you are facing. We
all need support (one of the 5 S's in Sanity
Saving) and the ability to access support in
the form of a specific group at a specific
time can make a world of difference in your
life and in the lives of those around you.
In this month's tips, When You Have the
Beginning of a Debilitating Illness I
offer practical suggestions for keeping
yourself balanced as you assess where you
are, what you are capable of (physically,
attitudinally, emotionally, spiritually,
mentally), how to care for yourself, conserve
and restore your energy, and how to most
appropriately involve those in your life as
you proceed along a path filled with many
Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com
for updates on my appearances related to my
newest book, Sanity
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced
Life. I am proud to be a member of the
Westin Renewal Council, whose purpose
help people live the best life wherever they
are. Please click Westin
Renewal Council for some personal renewal
tips. And if you
me to speak to your group or organization,
please contact me directly at
email@example.com or contact the
Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.
I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with
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Wishing you health, peace and balance.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is in bookstores and
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
The Value of Support Groups
In trying times, and even in good times, the
need to be a part of a group of people with
like interests and who are going through a
similar life experience can be invaluable.
Nobody but someone who has had a similar
experience knows what it is like to, for
example, survive the death of a spouse, lose
a job, face
a debilitating illness, be dependent on
alcohol, or raise a child alone. In a
support group you can convey your
apprehensions and projections, and share ways
to approach everyday challenges. Regularly
meeting with those who have similar issues
or concerns helps to develop a feeling of
belonging and gives strength as well as
helpful ways of approaching and /or coping
with what one faces in life. Support groups
generally provide an environment where
feel nurtured, strengthened and encouraged.
For some of us, expressing and sharing
feelings about our lives is difficult. To
others, it is culturally inappropriate to
discuss personal matters either at all or
outside of the family. Even for those of us
who do not have personal or cultural
constraints, it is hard to communicate
feelings of fear, confusion, skepticism, and
mistrust even to those who are helping us
manage whatever is our challenge.
Support groups can be powerful and valuable
influences on the participants. Among other
things, participants learn that they are not
alone. Knowing that some other person is
experiencing similar feelings and thoughts is
a relief. Although you do not know the
people in the group when you begin, close
connections can form just because someone is
facing something similar to what is happening
in your life. And just that awareness allows
you to accept
that the scary parts of life appear to be a
bit less threatening when they are navigated
with others who have been through or are
going along a similar road.
People gain companionship and understanding
that emerge naturally from sharing
experiences in a support group.
Participants, reaching out to help one
another, work on solving problems in a
non-threatening setting. Since the purpose
is to offer support and information that is
specific to their interest,
friendships develop based on mutuality and
similar ordeals. Information is exchanged
while people develop confidence in
themselves. Slowly they learn to adapt and
give meaning to their new role or challenge.
Over time, at your own pace, you get the
message that you are
not alone and that you can do what is
required of you.
Countless people report changes in their
relationships, in their feelings about
themselves and their families, in their
understanding of the impact of whatever the
issue is they are facing, and in their manner
of communication when they participate in a
support group. Support groups work because
people feel better and more capable in them
"A shared joy is twice the joy.
A shared sorrow is half the sorrow."
-Parent at John Tracy Clinic Support Group
TODAY Show (NBC)
November 3rd: Marriage and How to Make it
Add a trackable link with HTML formatting
Women's Group of Temple
November 5th, 11AM: Speaker,
Sanity Savers: Live a Balanced Life
The Women's Auxiliary of the Jewish Home
for the Elderly
November 6th, 12PM: Featured Speaker,
175 Jefferson St.,
41st Annual Jewish Community Book Fair
November 8th, 7:30PM: Featured Guest
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced
See article on Sanity Savers in the
November, 2007 issue of The Beauty
See also 28 Ways to Relax at www.parents.com.
A Good Daily Habit
Eating Out for Health
For many people on the go (and who isn't
these days?) fast-food
places can become the norm when we have to
eat on the run. Instead, why not stop at the
section of a grocery store or deli that has
prepared meals low in salt, sugar and
saturated fats and select something that is
not only good for you but also tastes good?
Try to visit
that have at least two or more soups piping
hot and loaded with vegetables and legumes.
Order a sandwich on whole or multi-grain bread.
Eat colorfully by adding plenty of greens,
carrots, red or yellow peppers, and grapes or
strawberries to a salad. You can get a day's
worth of fruits and veggies while on the go
and keep your body's engine in great shape.
Take charge of your health and well-being as
you experiment with food and portions when
you eat out.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
When You Have the Beginning of a Debilitating Illness:
Life is going along swimmingly. You feel
beyond blessed. Lucky, really. The sun shines
on your path. And then Pow! Wham! You
discover that you have an illness that you
need to monitor because the assessment is
that it will be with you for the long haul.
How can this be? You ask yourself over and
over. You go back and forth about fair and
unfair and faith and what did
you do to deserve this and on and on. You ask
questions but don't get much satisfaction in
department. And then you realize that life
is full of surprises; some are terrific and
some really tough to take. How to move
Consider these tips:
- Become Informed - Take the
information in as you can. Some people scour
the internet and read everything that was
ever printed about this particular disease or
illness. Others need to ease into it in
order to feel less overwhelmed; researching
in small doses. It is about
tolerance and style and processing
information (and is a great reason to go to a
medical appointment with a trusting, caring
person who can be another set of ears and who
takes really good notes!)
- Talk With Others - Talk to other
people who are dealing with similar
conditions. Remember that everyone is
different and everyone's experience of
illness is unique. Having said that, hearing
how another person lives with what you have
can be inspiring, instructive and a great
source of support (and you may find a
compassionate ear, an alternative approach.)
- Stay as Fit as Possible - Treat
your body well. Exercise. Talk with
people about alternative and supportive
approaches and strategies such as Tai Chi,
Yoga, Flower Remedies, Visualization, Bio
Feedback, Vitamins, and making appropriate
adjustments to your diet to enhance your
health and well being as you adjust and adapt
to life with this illness. Remember, this
not define you. It is a part of you.
- Communicate - Keep your
communication open with those you live with
or with whom you are close. Be sure they know
when you are tired, when you need help (they
will know because you will ask for it; they
are not mind readers) so you can preserve
your energy and care for yourself during more
difficult times. Be conscious of how you
feel and what doing "just one more thing"
might do to you, and set limits accordingly.
Adjusting to what you are
able and unable to do takes time. And most
often, it varies based on a multitude of
factors, including stress which is often at
the top of the list. Get to know those
factors and you
will be ahead of the game.
The most important thing that happens between
God and the human soul is to love and be
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works
Now in Paperback!