Sanity SaversTM and More...
November 2008


The November colors and the November chill remind us of change and bring into view the cycle of life. We usher in the month as we witness a change of leadership and see who will become the next president of our nation. And we will close the month concentrating on gratitude for that which we have as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Focusing on the positive in our collective as well as our individual lives is essential during such challenging times as these.

In Finding Perspective During Challenging Times I offer ways to bring balance into your life if you are worried about some of the adjustments you are making due to changes in finances, employment, living arrangements, goals and plans.

In Tips for Relaxation I offer suggestions for breathing, creating moments when you can focus on stillness and regaining your sense of perspective. You can make a point, every day, to participate in breathing to balance yourself as you care for yourself and train yourself to become more resilient.

Can you imagine your childhood without your favorite stories? Neither can I. That is why I ask you to donate to Jumpstart's Read for the Record, an early childhood literacy campaign that encourages adults to read the same book on the same day with a child in their life to break a world record. With just a small donation of $10, you will provide a copy of this year's campaign book, Corduroy, to a child in a low income community. Become a part of the Read for the Record campaign. Visit www.readfortherecord.org to learn more.

Finally, please remember to vote for whomever you support. Your ability to vote is a right that most people in the world do not have. Many people have fought to the death to secure it for their fellow men and women. Do not take this liberty lightly.

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
    Finding Perspective During Challening Times
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Stressed Out?
    Tips For Relaxation
  • 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
    Finding Perspective During Challening Times

    The economic downturn has caused many of us to be more stressed, anxious, frightened, critical, less patient, and generally feel that we are "on edge." Some of us (or our family members) have lost (or are in danger of losing) jobs. Others have lost other sources of income. So it may seem odd timing for me to suggest that now may be an opportune time to begin focusing on the REAL meaning of the holidays. This is a time to be grateful for what we have. Prepare for and put into effect an action plan but do not dwell on the unexpected or on those aspects of our lives that we do not have or fear we will lose. Keeping a positive attitude in times of strife will help you get through the most trying times.

    Remind yourself of the things that we should be grateful for and the values we hold dear. Take care of yourself, from what you eat to whom you spend time with, to taking care of your physical body and your soul. Keep your attitude in check so you do not often travel down the negative path, turning your thoughts and language against yourself. It is hard to move forward when you are simultaneously pulling yourself back!

    If you have lost your job, volunteer for a local organization so you leave your home every day. Go to some place where you are needed and can make a valuable contribution. You can train to take care of animals at a local shelter, deliver food to home bound elderly folks, read books to children in a community - based after school program, sort books at the library, or collect toys to refurbish and wrap as holiday gifts. This is a time to manage yourself as you realize that there are many things that beyond your control. Develop a plan of how to approach and live each day. Decide the best time to exercise, spend time outdoors, and engage friends and family, volunteer, network, search for jobs. Whatever you do, keep to a schedule.

    If you have children, be mindful of how you interact with them. Be honest but do not frighten them. It can be scary and unnerving for children to see their parents out of control and unable to cope. It can be unsettling to tell your children they cannot shop they way they used to, that they need to pay closer attention to what they (and you) can do during these uncertain financial times. Enlist their suggestions and respond positively to their efforts to "chip in." This can be done without frightening them but rather as a way to contribute (conserving, recycling, creating things they may have previously bought.)

    Children thrive when their lives are disrupted as little as possible. If things in the family are going to change, share the "the plan." Yes, it can be difficult to engage them without specific answers to their questions, but engage in as anyway that is age appropriate that you can. WHEN will you get another job? WHEN will you know if we need to move? WHEN will I be able to go shopping? WHEN will we be able to go on vacation? Rather than saying, I don't know, begin a conversation about how we, as a family, will get through this time of uncertainty. That while you are looking for a job you will be meeting people, Create a set plan that will guide you from week to week or month to month and review it with them. Share what you can and try to enlist their help. You can help to assuage their fears by reassuring them that you are doing the best you can to get through this period as a healthy, tight knit family; a family in which everyone pitches in. It is a time to reinforce the meaning of family and how you rely on each other.

    As part of dealing with getting through this difficult time, realize that attitude is everything. It is up to you to work out the feelings of disappointment, failure, anger, depression and let go of past hurts which may come up to "bite you in the neck" as you deal with the sense of loss and collapse and disappointment that you feel now. It is up to you to keep a positive internal dialogue alive (be your own cheerleader) as a way to make it through this challenging time. You can make yourself feel good about who you are as you focus on your strengths, talents, values, and abilities and make them work for you at this time.


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

    Jewish Family and Children's Services (JF&CS)
    Nov. 9th: 10:00AM - 12:30PM: Seminar: Intergenerational Family Issues
    Temple Beth Shalom, 40-25 Fair Lawn Ave., Fair Lawn, NJ. For more information please call (973) 595-0111.

    Anti -Defamation League, Daniel Ginsburg Humanitarian Award Dinner
    Nov. 9th: 5:30PM: Master of Ceremonies
    Hyatt Regency Greenwich, 1800 East Putnam Ave., Old Greenwich, CT. For more information please call (203) 288-6500.

    The Experts' Guide to Doing Things
    Chapter: Bury the Hatchet

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Increase Positive Feelings

    Take a mental picture or find a real picture of positive events and revisit these good times on your own or with others. Write about them and then read what you wrote and recreate the feeling of joy that you had when you experienced it for the first time. You will RE-EXPERIENCE the feelings.

    By remembering times when you felt good, and doing so on a daily basis, you can develop a different outlook and improve (or maintain) your well being.

    Increase positive feelings and enjoy the present.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Stressed Out?
    Tips For Relaxation

    In the 1960s, Dr. Herbert Benson coined the phrase RELAXATION RESPONSE. Fortunately, since then, many of us have incorporated a time into our day to calm ourselves; to quiet the noise within. Research has continued to show us that our health improves when we practice this. Wherever I go, with whomever I speak, I encounter people who are worried and stressed out. Particularly now, they feel overwhelmed and challenged by issues related to work, family, finances, and security.

    Participating in a repetitive movement (like knitting, running, playing music) is one way to find balance and tranquility in your life. Another important activity is getting involved with your breath, shutting out other concerns for 10-20 minutes to help you face whatever you are dealing with. When you do this, you will find a renewed sense of strength.

    Giving yourself 10-20 minutes during your day to allow your mind, spirit, and body to connect, to release tension through breathing can make a tremendous difference in how you face life's challenges. Enjoying these moments will help bring you to a calmness at your center. As Jon Kabat Zinn advises in one of his mindfulness mediations, the surface of a lake may be agitated or quiet but there is always stillness at its depth.

    Here are two tips for finding your relaxation response through breathing:

    • Visualize - If your mind wanders, which it likely will, watch your breath and visualize the world CALM as you breath in. Adjust to physical changes with an attitude of CAN DO rather than that which you can no longer do. As you breathe out, visualize the word STRESS leaving on your breath.

    • Choose Your Words - Whatever words works for you are the words you should use. Some people use WHOLE as they inhale and FRACTURED as they exhale. Others see PEACE coming in and FEAR going out. Some enjoy LOVE coming in on the inhalation and PAIN leaving on the exhalation.

      Do this every day once or twice for at least one to two weeks. You will surely see a difference and then, keep it up! Your health and well being, during times of strife, is something you can truly monitor.

    A Thought

    "Joy's soul lies in the doing."

    William Shakespeare

    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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