Sanity SaversTM and More...
March 2009


In Couples Living Apart for the Sake of a Paycheck I discuss the issues couples and families face when they choose to live apart for economic reasons. By anticipating what to expect and planning ahead, couples and families can adjust to this change in lifestyle with resilience.

In Warning Signs of Teen Depression I offer suggestions for being alert to teenagers' emotional and mental well being. It is imperative that the adults in our children's lives respond to them compassionately and follow up with appropriate concern, empathy, and when needed, assistance. Today's teenagers feel enormous pressure to achieve academically, to be well liked socially, to look great, perform athletically, musically, artistically, and all while figuring out who they are and what their lives are about.

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 and events. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so at www.jstart.org/don ate.

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/buildArtic l 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
    Couples Living Apart for the Sake of a Paycheck
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Teen Depression:
    Tips For Catching Warning Signs
  • 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
    Couples Living Apart for the Sake of a Paycheck

    The term "geographic single" is often used to describe persons who live apart from those they love. Families are experiencing strains that did not exist for them before, forcing them to make all sorts of changes and adjustments. They become "commuter marrieds" for the sake of a paycheck. The global economy has built in expectations that people can live far from where they work, and technology makes it possible.

    Some people are taking opportunities in places where they don't want to move their family, or they don't want to uproot their children and their social and support networks. Others may not be able to afford to have their spouses give up their income. In addition, buying or selling a house may just not be feasible in this market. In "the olden days" people often lived apart because it was often the best way to earn money to support their families. Many immigrants still live this way. One or two family members live in "the country of opportunity" and support the rest of the clan from afar with the hope of making enough money to return to their country and live a better life. Alternatively, they work toward the time that they will send for their families to join them here. However most people in the USA are used to a model of living together on a regular basis. They rely on regular interaction and participating in activities such as eating meals, daily routines, sharing family oriented activities, household responsibilities and decision-making together.

    If you and your partner face a situation of living apart, it is a good idea to have an open discussion of the upcoming separation and how you will cope. Discuss your concerns and fears honestly. Share your expectations about being apart from each other so there are fewer opportunities for misunderstandings. Discuss your expectations for visits and vacations. Develop a plan for establishing areas of responsibilities and decision-making when you are separated.

    Good communication is essential to keeping your couple and family relationship healthy, especially during separations. Be mindful of how you will stay connected over the miles; how you will "keep it going." Set up a communication system and know how you will be in touch on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. International phone calls, video teleconferencing through computer, SKYPE, international mail services, and electronic transmissions of words, cards, music, photos, and video keep you connected to your loved ones through cyberspace. LIFE IS STILL IN THE DETAILS so keep that in mind when you find ways to enrich your relationships even if you are on the other side of the world.

    During this time, plan for chunks of time together, not just an occasional weekend. Think in terms of several days. When you are together, plan alone time where you will not talk about the "business" of work and family. Be sure to focus on fun, dreams, romance, and just "being".

    When the family is together, do 'family" activities. The spouse who lives out of the house can feel as if he or she is an outsider in their own home or family. They can feel as if they are "missing" something.. Rejoining the family in fun activities allows the everyone to acclimate to one another and pick up the rhythm of the family and household.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check www.drdaleatkins.co m for current appearances.

    Counseling Workshop: For Professionals Working with Families Affected by Hearing Loss
    March 16: 9AM - 12:00PM, Speaker, Topic: Counseling Issues for Non-Counselors
    The Children's Hearing Institute, 380 Second Ave., New York, NY 10010.
    Register online at www.childrens hearing.org

    See article, Avoiding Wedding Woes, in Image Magazine, Issue No.1, 2009. pg. 40.

    See also Black Tie International Magazine, March 2009, for Dale's Sanity Saving Tips at www.blacktiemagazine.com.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Everyday Rituals

    With so many changes in the workplace and in our daily lives, it can be challenging to maintain a sense of peace, tranquility, and belonging. Everyday rituals can be a source of encouragement, comfort and reassurance. They can also help us gain insight when we are dealing with change.

    Morning coffee and reading the newspaper, walking the dog along a familiar path, calling a friend at the same time each week can be simple ways to ritualize a familiar pattern. Everyday routines can become rituals if you pay close attention to them and focus on the change you hope to experience.

    Keep it simple. Rituals can be as simple as lighting a candle or filling a vase with flowers or thinking a special thought. The object is comfort.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Teen Depression:
    Tips For Catching Warning Signs

    Because teens are not quite children and not quite adults, they can often feel isolated and powerless in a world that wants them to grow up and excel but does so by giving them mixed signals. All of these pressures, along with the normal physical and emotional changes of adolescence, cause many teens to experience depression and turn to drugs or engage in other forms of behavior that usually have a negative impact on them and their sense of selves.

    As adults in our children's lives we need to look for early warning signs and intervene compassionately, responding with appropriate concern and action. These are some warning signs when teens become depressed:

    • Radical and Otherwise Unexplained Personality / Mood Changes

    • Consistently Sleeping More or Less than Usual

    • Withdrawing From Family and Friends

    • Loss of Interest in Activities Formerly Enjoyed

    • Self-punishing Behaviors Such as Bingeing on Food, Starving (marked weight gain or loss), Self-mutilation

    • Overuse of Drugs, Alcohol

    • Overly Sexualized Behavior

      Many of these signs or symptoms overlap. If you are seeing a cluster of signs, and they are more than just normal adolescence, arrange to have him/her seen by a professional. Spend a lot more time with your teen. It could be just sitting in her room and really listening or trying some new activity of his choosing together, whether or not you think you would enjoy it.

    A Thought

    Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next.

    Gilda Radner

    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....
    Quick Links...


    Dr. Dale's Sanity Savers for a Balanced Life

    Dr. Dale's Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Advice

    Dr. Dale's Wedding Advice

    Contact Us

    Website Developer

    I'm OK
    You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works

    Now in Paperback!

    Join our mailing list!