Sanity SaversTM and More...
July 2008


As most of our schedules change (summer vacation for some, a slower pace, more time with people we care about) we are faced with an opportunity to think about the way we interact with those we meet, and those who may or may not be related to us but whose lives we influence just because our paths intersect.

In Reach Out to Children I focus on recognizing the positive value we each can have in the lives of children (ours or other people's). I ask you to consider how you can be a positive influence in the life of a young person who really needs you. Who doesn't need a positive role model or inspirational person to accept and encourage them?

In this month's tips, Be Kind, I suggest alternative ways to think about and behave in interactions that appear doomed to be confrontational. I ask you to think about the way YOU respond and behave (regardless of the other person's attitude, body language or words) and to recognize the choice that is always available to all of us as we enter into any interaction with another person.

Once again thank you for helping to get the word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.

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. For those of you with wedding related questions, please see my column on WeddingChannel.com at: www.weddingchannel.com/ui/buildArticle.action?assetUID=90252&s=84&t=71&p=106184112&c=90252&l=137006. 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
    Reach Out to Children
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Short Tempers:
    Tips for Responding with Kindness
  • 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
    Reach Out to Children

    Life is filled with surprises: good ones, bad ones, sad ones, happy ones, tragic ones and delightful ones. We all have people in our lives whom we like and don't like, who "get" us, appreciate us, and celebrate us, and those who don't do any of that. They may be jealous, resentful, disloyal or hurtful. They behave badly more often because of their own issues rather than ours. We "trigger" their insecurities and they come out blasting, so we need to protect ourselves and we need to have other people in our lives who support us and who take joy in who we are, without trying to make us into someone we are not. Children cannot always do this for themselves. They need to be protected and valued.

    Children need much reassurance and love from their parents, yet circumstances at home may not provide the tools necessary for them to build a healthy sense of self. You may be a parent with children at home. You assume many roles and parent is just one of them and sometimes being a caring parent is just not possible for you. If you are an adult with children who are in your life peripherally you can have a positive impact and influence on an impressionable child.

    Each of us has influence over others. How we are perceived by other people's children, for instance, is often not known to us but is, nonetheless important. We can be powerful role models and support systems in the lives of young people, particularly those whose parents are not alive, available, or who have difficulty relating to and /or appreciating and encouraging their children.

    Some of us are lucky to have an aunt or uncle or friend of our parents, or a teacher or clergy or coach who are our personal cheerleaders. They are interested in us, and as kids, we know they like us, they light up when they see us and they accept us as we are. They help us through difficult times socially, academically, or with our families. They literally "save us" and help us through tough times with our own families or identities. They help us realize we are wonderful people (even if we don't get that message from those who are parenting us.)

    Pay attention to the kids in your lives. Be there for them. Accept them, foster individual relationships and allow them to get to know life through your eyes as you learn to see it through their eyes. Expose them to things they might not be exposed to with their own families and encourage their growth. It is essential to be there for the kids in our lives. Whether or not we have our own children, we can have a profound impact on the nieces, nephews, and children of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues whom we meet in the course of our lives. We may never know how important our relationships are for them; but they are.

    So make the time to look around you and see the children in your life. Reach out and find an avenue for communication and an opportunity to be a positive influence in a young person's life.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updated listings.

    Cosmopolitan Magazine
    July 2008 issue: Guest Relationship Expert


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Reclaim Some Personal Time

    Taking time for you often produces guilt. If you have an extra hour in your day and want to stop and browse in a bookstore, or sit by a lake, or stop by a coffee house and listen to music, you may feel that you SHOULD do something else (i.e. call your mother, check in with a stressed out friend, or do something on your never ending "to do" list because you have a moment free). Well, as a way to save YOUR sanity, attempt to change the way you think about that moment. Do not consider it as a FREE moment, but rather, as a moment for YOU. A moment to refill your personal reservoir. A moment to recharge your battery. Whatever metaphor works, use it. Now, this is not so easy to do but YOU CAN. When a person or thing comes to your mind with a neon "should" next it, breathe deeply and watch the image or thought float by. Make a note, or tell yourself you will take care of it another time. Right now it is YOUR time so breathe, smile (no kidding), focus, and allow.

    For many people guilt is really a driving force in what they do and why they do it. Often following guilt is resentment. Now, a little bit of guilt never killed anyone and probably helps to keep us aware of our responsibilities. But be aware that sometimes, you must do things for yourself even when other people do not see the value in your doing them.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Short Tempers:
    Tips for Responding with Kindness

    There are so many times when people are snappy with us, show us their short tempered side, and our first reactions could be surprise, self protection, defensiveness, avoidance, or combat. When someone is initially thoughtless or rude, we can choose to respond to them similarly.

    This is one way to deal with the situation. But perhaps, instead, you can consider a different, kinder response. Rather than escalating (which the similar response will surely do), bring it down a notch as Chef Emeril says.

    Here are two tips to bear in mind when you find yourself in this situation:

    • Consider Your Response Options - We all encounter people with an "attitude." Instead of responding to this person with the same (or worse) attitude take a breath (a really deep breath) and tell yourself that this person is having a difficult moment (day, life, whatever.) Do they need MORE hate or more kindness? Think about it. Consider responding with a smile, an open heart, and patience.

    • Rewind and Start Over - You may (or may not) wish to say something. Perhaps, looking in their eyes with kindness is a start. You may wish to comment: "Seems like you are having a stressful time. "Let's back up and start again." "Can we begin with "hello?" Or maybe you can say, "No need to sound impatient. Let's take it from the top." Or, you can inject some humor: "Don't you just hate it when somebody comes up to you with a question? Well, I'm that somebody!"

      Every interaction you have with another human being is important and can enhance or diminish you and them. Watch your words. Watch your attitude. Remember, how you choose to interact with people is always your choice.

    A Thought

    "Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."

    Mother Teresa

    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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