Sanity SaversTM and More...
September 2010


In After the Family Vacation, I discuss ideas for easing back into your Fall routines and suggest ways for staying connected as a family.

In Gratitude in the Face of Illness, I focus on how we can be appreciative when our bodies weaken.

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, initiatives - such as Playdate With A Purpose, Read for the Record, and events like Scribbles to Novels. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so at www.jstart.org/donate.

Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk 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
    After the Family Vacation, and Back to the Routine
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Gratitude in the Face of Illness
  • 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
    After the Family Vacation, and Back to the Routine

    Many parents who work outside of their homes share a sort of ambivalent feeling about returning to work when they return from a family vacation. They like and value the challenges, joys, stimulation, and routine of their work lives yet simultaneously appreciate (and miss) the relaxed, easy going pace of a family vacation (even when the kids are not getting along as well as they would like).

    Parents who are reluctant to get back into the routine when Fall begins are not alone. More and more children (young ones, in particular) return from a family vacation, especially when they had their parents' total attention, feeling a bit bereft. Yes, they want to see their school friends and yes, they like their Fall routine, but they are concerned about no longer having the accessibility of a less distracted parent.

    When you are fortunate enough to have children who want to be with you, much of the lovely experience of parent-child connection occurs "in the in between" moments of life. When we are ultra busy with our work and school lives, there is little "in between" time. Schedules are tight, often people are late or stressed trying to make appointments, work life carries over to home and BlackBerries vibrate on the dinner table. Many conversations are interrupted by phone calls, text messages, pagers, and e-mails that MUST be immediately addressed. Even watching a movie together can be negatively affected when a family member texts or communicates with someone who is not there.

    If you happen to be the "preferred parent" and you are not as much available as you were during vacation, your child may act out, sulk, try to get your attention in any way they can. However, kids are resilient, and they do need to know that the "routine" is what much of life is about. This is why those precious morning reading experiences that you fit in before work and the other "catch as catch can" times are so valuable.

    Focused moments with children who "don't want you to go" or who have a tough time adjusting to the Fall routine, are invaluable touchstones for both parents and children. Those touchstones are the building blocks for a strong foundation that teaches everyone in the family that transitions from vacation to "work" are not easy but can be made without falling apart. Allow yourself to reflect on the wonderful moments of the vacation, encouraging and sharing discussion with your children so they also learn that "re-experiencing" a wonderful vacation keeps the spirit happy as well as encourages the continuation of the connection that you all felt when you were all together on vacation.

    Encourage your family to have "no tech" time where PDAs, phones, computers, etc. are turned off so you can all experience one another in a meaningful way. Consider your home a sanctuary where you can recharge yourself and establish a healthy balance. On weekends, plan something special for all of you to do together (stopping in the park while doing errands, sans BlackBerry, taking a hike, enjoying an ice cream, visiting friends, a gallery, or a neighborhood art fair). This can be your YOUR MINI VACATION. Solicit ideas from your children for weekend mini vacations anywhere from an hour to a whole day. That way you can all look forward to the quality of family time together that you experienced when "on vacation."


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    The M Word
    October 2nd: 5PM: The Coming Home: The New Challenge of the Boomers.

    WGTH.com, Darby and Friends
    August 19th: 5PM: The Value, Training, and Work of "Therapy Dogs," with Margarita Alban.

    WKTU-FM Radio Interview on KTU Cares
    May 16th: 9-9:30AM: Jumpstart's Playdate with a Purpose and the Issue of Early Childhood Literacy.
    KTU airs on Sunday mornings and focuses specifically on issues impacting the NY community. Available on http://www.ktu.com/pages/events/community.html

    Read Dr. Atkins' And Edythe Mencher's article in Reform Judaism Magazine,
    Fall 2010 Issue: Living With Secrets.
    Online at www.reformjudaismmag.com.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Therapeutic Issues with Recipients of Cochlear Implants," in the new text, Psychotherapy With Deaf Clients From Diverse Groups, Second Edition.
    Edited by Irene Leigh, and published by Gallaudet University Press.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling in Serving Children Who Possess Impaired Hearing," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation.
    Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by Plural Publishing.

    See Making the Case for Family Dinners, at iVillage.com: http://www.ivillage.com/making-case- family-dinner/3-a-62563

    See Dr. Atkins on http://www.workherway.com/02-stayinthegame/bullying-adults/#comments.

    Also see Googling Patients: Should Psychiatrists Research Cases Online? at http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/18/googling-patients-should-psychiatrists-research-cases-online/


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    You can be out of your thoughts without being out of your mind.

    Give yourself a mental break to restore equanimity. When the craziness of life (or other people's lives) get the better of you, take some breaths, relax your mind and give yourself a moment or two of deep breathing and "turn off" your thoughts. With so many opportunities to lose attention (as opposed to pay attention) we can, with determination, switch our focus to restoring our energy and caring for ourselves.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Gratitude in the Face of Illness

    It may sound like it's too much effort, but being appreciative during health crises seems to help in healing and in maintaining a positive attitude.

    One thing you can do, if you are physically able, is a daily gratitude walk, paying attention to your body and being grateful for it. Here are some tips that have been offered to me from people whose major life challenges emanated from physical illness:

    Give Thanks to Your Body - Treat it well. Walk every day (slowly is fine.) If you cannot walk, do a personal "body scan," paying attention to each part of your body. Acknowledge that you have a body that functions, even though some areas are diminished.

    Be Grateful for Your Mind - Take a moment to acknowledge that despite your illness, your mind is able to imagine, dream, and conceptualize.

    Appreciate the Healthy Parts - Be grateful for your eyes and that you can see or that you can hear. Revel in the fact that you have a natural voice and that your arms function.

    Visualize Your Body's Functioning Improving - Some days will be easier than other days. Physical or emotional pain will be more or less from time to time. "See" your body feeling and performing better and believe there will be improved days ahead.

    Say Thank You That You Are Alive - If you had major surgery, be grateful that you survived. If your illness is affecting some of your body while other parts function, be grateful that good medication, alternative therapies, and medical services are available to you and that you still can live a joyful, albeit different, life.

    Whatever shape your body is in, become aware and feel grateful for it.

    A Thought

    "It is easier to build a boy then to mend a man ."

    Charles Gavin

    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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