Sanity SaversTM and More...
December 2010


In Being with Family at the Holidays, I offer some thoughts about how to maintain your composure during the holidays despite what is going on within the family.

In Be Fully Present to Listen, I ask you to think about the ways we present ourselves when we are there for friends in need.

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.

Why not join us in our online book drive campaign? Click on www.readfortherecord.org/goto/dalebookdrive for further details.

There is something that every single one of us can do to help those less fortunate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world.

Please see Marlo Thomas' new website, www.marlothomas.com, where I discuss psychology and relationship issues. This past Monday, Marlo Thomas and I talked about families and the holidays. Tune in for some sanity saving ideas for YOUR holiday season.

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 and use the Quick Links sidebar to access ongoing articles. I am available 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
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Being With Family at the Holidays
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Be Fully Present to Listen
  • A Thought

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    SS Book Cover

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life 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
    Being With Family at the Holidays
    family holiday dinner

    In your mind is a Norman Rockwell picture of the "quintessential" family as you envision spending the holidays with one another.

    Even though no holiday has come close to that image, you say once again, "This year will be different." Maybe, but not likely. Guaranteed, someone will say something that offends someone between Thanksgiving and New Year's. And somehow you have to survive another telling of how you were so awkward when you had braces, pigtails, and freckles, or, worse yet, how you were so smart and promising in school and nobody knows what happened.

    Make efforts to avoid troublesome yet familiar communication patterns. Remember, it takes two to tango, and if you don't dance, there is no chance to do the old steps.

    Consider doing what you feel is right and appropriate regardless of the way your family behaves. Avoid playing "games," unless of course it is bingo or scrabble; that way you will avoid "keeping score."

    Ask people about their lives. Get into their histories. Ask them to share times when they were most content, involved, joyful. By doing this you can discover these people in ways that you never knew.

    Be realistic, but appreciate what you can do to enhance your chances of having a successful and warm holiday.


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

    Be sure to check out Dr. Atkins and Marlo Thomas discussing family relationships at the holidays on www.marlothomas.com, "Mondays with Marlo," November 29th show.

    Read Dr. Atkins' article on Grandparenting in the current issue of Now.

    Read Dr. Atkins' interview in Bottom Line/Personal,
    November 2010 Issue: Getting Along with People Over the Holidays.

    The M Word
    October 16th: 10:30PM: 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
    zen garden

    Time to Gather Yourself

    Take a moment each day to review what your week will be going forward. Think about what you want to accomplish, who it is important that you have a conversation with (be sure to be in touch with at least one good friend each week even if you need to make an appointment on the phone to make that happen), and consider how to get a bit closer to achieving some particular personal or professional goals.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Be Fully Present to Listen
    couple talking

    Recently a friend told me that it can be so helpful to remember the acronym WAIT ("why am I talking?") when trying to be present for family and friends who need an "empathetic ear." Psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck wisely suggests that we "listen from emptiness." How can we best do that? Our minds sometimes race and process what is going on in our own lives as a response to what the person is sharing with us. It is most helpful to "be there" for someone and listen with an open heart; without judgment. We must try to clear out our own minds to make space for them.

    As you attempt to become fully present to listen, consider these tips:

    Breathe Deeply and Focus - Try to put everything else out of your mind and just be aware that your purpose at this time is to BE with this person with your attention fully on them and what they say with their words, their body, their being. If you find yourself finishing the person's sentences, are eager to jump in with a response, advice, your own comment, release those thoughts. Don't worry if you "won't remember it." If you really are there to listen, get your own thoughts out of the way so you can do just that.

    Be Self Aware - If you have some thoughts or feelings that get in the way of your being fully present, pay closer attention and slow down your own thoughts. Tell yourself that whatever is in YOU will be addressed after you finish being where you are now, which is with your friend as a listener.

    Be Patient - Know that by listening to someone else you will find what you need to be of help and service.

    A Thought

    "Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment."

    Tao Tzu

    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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