Sanity SaversTM and More...
November 2007


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 unknowns.

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 is to help people live the best life wherever they are. Please click Westin Renewal Council for some personal renewal tips. And if you would like me to speak to your group or organization, please contact me directly at dale@drdaleatkins.com or contact the Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    In Bookstores!
  • Sanity SaversTM
    The Value of Support Groups
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    When You Have the Beginning of a Debilitating Illness:
    Becoming Aware
  • A Thought

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    In Bookstores!
    SS Book Cover

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life is in bookstores and is filled with suggestions to save your sanity every day of the year.

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!

    Sanity SaversTM
    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 participants 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 than alone.

    "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 Work

    http://ui.constantcontact.com/rnavmap/evaluate.rnav/pid2UceaZWtls0UZ50XLGlobQU591# Add a trackable link with HTML formatting

    Women's Group of Temple Israel
    November 5th, 11AM: Speaker, Sanity Savers: Live a Balanced Life
    14 Coleytown Rd., Westport, CT

    The Women's Auxiliary of the Jewish Home for the Elderly
    November 6th, 12PM: Featured Speaker, Sanity Savers
    175 Jefferson St., Fairfield, CT

    41st Annual Jewish Community Book Fair
    November 8th, 7:30PM: Featured Guest Speaker, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    Buffalo, NY

    See article on Sanity Savers in the November, 2007 issue of The Beauty Magazine

    See also 28 Ways to Relax at www.parents.com.

    Sanity SaversTM
    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 health food 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 spots 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:
    Becoming Aware

    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 the answer department. And then you realize that life is full of surprises; some are terrific and some really tough to take. How to move forward?

    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 illness does 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.

    A Thought

    The most important thing that happens between God and the human soul is to love and be loved.

    Kallistos Kataphygiotis

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

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience and focuses on living a balanced life, parenting, aging well, managing stress, life & work transitions, family connections and healthy relationships.

    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
  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day.
  • And her new book . . .

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • .

    Find out more....
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