Sanity SaversTM and More...
January 2009


This January marks the fourth anniversary that I have been writing the Sanity Savers and More Newsletter and thanks to you, there are many more people receiving it who are asking me to address specific topics. As we celebrate the beginning of 2009 we must make every effort to look to a future infused with hope.

During the holidays we may have been with family or friends and saw things about their lives that disturbed us. In Meddling in Other People's Lives I ask you to think about the value and potential consequences (both positive and negative) of involving yourself in another person's life.

During stressful times, many people notice they cannot recall basic facts such as names of good friends, the titles of books they just read or movies they saw, items to buy at the grocery store, or where they left their glasses or keys. In Stressful Times: Keeping Your Memory Sharp, I offer suggestions for doing just that!

As you may know, Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs caring adults with underserved preschoolers in year long one-to-one mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart.

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/buildArticl e.action? assetUID=90252&s=84&t=71&p=106184112&c=9025 2&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
    Meddling in Other People's Lives
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Stressful Times:
    Tips For Keeping Your Memory Sharp
  • 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
    Meddling in Other People's Lives

    You may or may be someone who wants to or feels you should get involved in someone else's business. Some people want to get involved and others really shy away. In fact, sometimes, becoming involved can cause resentment and may possibly push the person to behave badly, out of spite.

    Before you do anything, consider the relationship you have with this person. Is he or she family, a close friend, and acquaintance, colleague, someone whom you know from the community? Consider the personalities that are involved as well and that what may be helpful to one person could, indeed, be painful or useless to someone else.

    Next, ask yourself three questions: 1) Are you getting involved for them, or for yourself? 2) Is the person in question happy, even though what they are doing would not make you happy? And, 3) Will getting involved put your relationship with that person at risk? If so, decide whether that is a risk you are willing to take.

    There are plenty of examples in which the risk of getting involved is appropriate: interventions for drugs, alcohol, and gambling. If your involvement will hurt the person you care about, think and re-think becoming involved. Most applications require an application of the "zipped lip."

    As you re-examine your potential involvement and advice, assess if the disclosed pain is something you want to be associated with forever. For example, most often, if you are going to comment about couple relationship issues, the warring couple makes peace and both shoot the messenger (that would be you). When focusing on parents and adult children, realize that at some point these ARE adult children and discussion should be just that, discussion not pontification.

    Additionally, when you get involved (give advice?) you need to know when to stop. Expressing an opinion does not require that the other person take your advice. If you have made your point and you were heard, but the person is still doing what they were doing (and they are not putting themselves or others in danger), move on. Hearing you does not mean they have to agree with you. If they are putting themselves or others in danger, then you may have to intervene, sometimes anonymously, as in the case of reporting child or spousal abuse.

    Many people do not think clearly about what and how they say what and they want to say. It is important to think about how you frame your comments. Be careful about not blurting out your comments in a fight. Instead, plan a time for private discussion. Try to express clear points based on your real observations and thoughts, not, in the case of your daughter's boyfriend, "I just don't like him."

    When you get into someone else's business you should not have any expectations of the other person's reactions. If you feel it is serious enough (danger, health, potential emotional hurt) then whatever the person's reaction is should be taken in stride. This is about them, not you.

    Before you get involved, remember to take a deep breath and think about why you are doing it. If you are truly concerned and there is real risk to the person, okay. If it is because you think you know best and must present your own opinion without any concept of limits, think again.

    Think before you act.


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

    The Experts' Guide to Doing Things
    Chapter: Bury the Hatchet
    http://www.expert smedia.com/

    CNBC, On The Money
    Family and Personal Finances

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Visualize As You Embrace Change

    Some people like change. Others don't. Or you may like some change but not a lot. Everyone is different and everyone handles changes in their lives differently. But one thing you can bet on will be a constant in your life is change.

    A change in life circumstances, whether positive or negative, is something that initially knocks you a bit off-balance as you wonder how you are going to adjust. When something comes your way that you didn't foresee, get back on track and save your sanity.

    Practice visualization daily as a way to help you adjust to and embrace change. Breathe deeply as you quietly create a comforting mental image. Although it's been around for ages, visualization is a powerful and effective way to face your fears and become balanced. By calmly visualizing yourself handling change, you will likely succeed.

    Remember the three Bs when you face challenges brought on by changes: Breathe, Become balanced, and Bounce back.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Stressful Times:
    Tips For Keeping Your Memory Sharp

    A sure sign of stress (and sleep deprivation) is memory loss. All of us, at some time or another, find ourselves shocked, dismayed and frustrated when we walk into a room and blank on why we came in there in the first place. Or wonder exactly where DID I put my keys? Or, as we fill with panic, cannot recall the name of the person walking toward us with a big smile.

    Getting upset with ourselves makes the situation worse. Why? Because in addition to the stress, we pile on criticism and diminishing comments directed to ourselves that make us even more stressed. Rather than make ourselves crazy, the best prescription for keeping your memory sharp is to reduce and manage stress at every opportunity. Engage in deep breathing and relaxation rather than chastising yourself. You will be more likely to remember that which you forgot if you don't beat yourself up. Give yourself "space" to remember.

    Here are some additional tips for keeping your memory sharp:

    • Reinforce - When you are learning something new (being introduced to someone, for example) pay close attention and repeat aloud what it is you are trying to remember. Reinforce through multiple pathways (auditory, visual, etc.). If you used to be a whiz with names, play an association game and work hard to put the new information into your brain.

    • Visualize - Visualize an image that relates to what you are trying to remember. Focus on what you are trying to remember and keep the distractions to a minimum.

    • Slow Down - Rushing often takes our focus away from where it should be and makes it nearly impossible to remember that which we try to recall.

    • Minimize Interruptions - How often are you in the middle of a thought or action, remember something that you want to do or say, return to your original activity and when finished, you have forgotten what you wanted to do next? Too many interruptions, distractions or interferences can work against trying to keep your memory sharp.

    • Exercise - No matter what age you are, be sure to include aerobic exercise into your life routine. To maintain good brain function during your life, it appears that aerobic exercise and sleep seem to keep memory skills sharp.

    • Write - Write down what you need or want to remember. Read your notes and pride yourself on your ability to remember where you put the note pad!

      Appreciate that as we age, we learn and retain new information slower. This does not mean we cannot learn. It means we learn a little slower than we used to. But we MUST keep learning and keeping our brains active.

    A Thought

    Change your thoughts and change your world.

    Norman Vincent Peale

    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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