Sanity SaversTM and More...
September 2009


In Keeping Yourself Healthy During Transitions I discuss the importance of maintaining your health as you deal with seasonal challenges.

In Tips For Setting Limits With Parents I offer suggestions to help adult children find the balance between doing too much for their parents and not doing enough.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. 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. THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK HAS PROCLAIMED THAT OCTOBER 8, 2009 IS OFFICIALLY READ FOR THE RECORD DAY IN NYC. 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. For wedding-related questions, please click on the link for the Wedding Channel on the side bar of this newsletter. 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
    Keeping Yourself Healthy During Transitions
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Setting Limits
    Tips For Striking A Balance With Parents
  • 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
    Keeping Yourself Healthy During Transitions

    As we transition from summer to fall, it is helpful to focus on keeping ourselves healthy. Seasonal changes often affect people physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Be conscious of your physical, mental, and emotional responses as you shift from your "summer mode" into fall.

    Unreasonable expectations (ours or someone else's) can interfere with our taking care of ourselves in ways that we may have discovered benefited us during the summer. Perhaps you discovered that by reserving a few extra moments to lie in bed you were able to consciously consider that which you are grateful for. You may have discovered, this past summer, that you enjoyed a pace that was just slow enough to notice that which usually eludes you during the rest of the year. Or maybe you made an effort to really listen to those people who are important to you. During this summer you may have even turned off your BlackBerry and cell phone during meals, story time, or while watching a movie with the family.

    Understand that during any transition you will likely feel different from how you normally feel. Allow yourself to listen to what is going on within. Quiet yourself and just pay attention. Change can contribute to a sense of uneasiness. You may feel anxious or exuberant or any and all feelings along the spectrum. Change and transition are challenges and opportunities. Although you may feel hesitant about what lies ahead, know that you can develop a positive, "can do" attitude which will help you go forward or deal with whatever is on your plate.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Sept. 3, 9:15AM: Helping Friends Get Out of Abusive Relationships. Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updates.

    See Dr. Atkins' and E. Mencher's article, Are You a Buttinsky?, in Reform Judaism Magazine, Fall 2009/5769, pg. 8. www.reformjudaismmag.org. There is also a complimentary discussion guide offering thoughtful questions for conversation.

    See Dr. Atkins' article, Sanity Savers for a Balanced Life, in Black Tie Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1, pg. 64. www.blacktiemagazine.com

    Hear Dr. Atkins on the radio show, The M Word, hosted by Lori Sackler, WOR News Talk Radio 710, Sunday evenings 9:30PM EST.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Reviewing Your Day

    At the end of every day, spend a few minutes looking back on what you did, what went well, what went wrong, what you will do differently if you have a second chance. Review your goals and the progress (or lack thereof) you've made.

    No day is perfect, but you can learn from every situation. Do not forget to acknowledge and celebrate your successes. A journal would be a great way to capitalize best on this daily review.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    Setting Limits
    Tips For Striking A Balance With Parents

    For our aging parents, there is often a huge gap between what is perceived as a crucial "need" and what is a "want." Parents' demands can trigger elemental fears. - the looming specter of their mortality, the scary knowledge that a parent's decline brings us a step closer to our own old age. By facing these fears we can defuse them and put ourselves back in control, enabling us to negotiate and set necessary limits with our aging parents.

    You can find the appropriate balance for you with doing too much and not doing enough for your parents. Consider the following tips:

    • Do Pack Your "Baggage" - Often parents' demands create extreme feelings of guilt about the times we've hurt them. We may also harbor resentment about the times they hurt us. Either or both can contribute to our misinterpretation of our parents' intentions.

    • Don't Settle Old Scores - No matter how neglectful or cruel your parents were when you were growing up, their dotage is not a time for payback. Show them compassion and respect, whether or not you feel they deserve it. This is a mark of your adulthood and depth of character.

    • Don't Mistake Money for Caring - People who confuse the two often come from families where money was a defining issue. Nobody is too old to change. It is possible that even those parents who valued money above all else will appreciate outward expressions of love.

    • Do Make Fun A Priority - Many people mistake quantity for quality when it comes to spending time with their parents. Consider spending less time with them and make sure those hours are truly satisfying. Or, if proximity allows, shorter amounts of time at more frequent intervals may work for you. Plan activities that will bring you together as human beings. If possible, hire people who can help with routine chores and save your time and energy for more meaningful interactions. This is not to imply that "routine chores" cannot be meaningful. They can be IF you have a positive attitude.

    • Do Say No Gently - It's not easy, especially when we're faced with a request we're not prepared to argue against. It can even take practice. Enlist a spouse or friend to role play a scenario in which your parents make an unreasonable demand. Write your dialogue in advance, supplying your helper with a list of your parents' usual responses and defenses.

      Remember that our parents' aging is not easy, either for them or for us. Deal with the feelings you have and be available to discuss what some of the fears may be that get in the way of your being fully present for your parents in ways that are comfortable for both of you.

    A Thought

    "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    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 newest book . . .

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

    Find out more....
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