Sanity SaversTM and More...
January 2011


In Developing Self Awareness as the New Year Begins, I discuss the value of taking a step back and giving yourself the opportunity to contemplate what it means to live a life that reflects yourself (your hopes, dreams, values, purpose.)

In Realistic Expectations About Volunteering, I ask you to look at volunteering in the context of your life and to appreciate how you can offer to help to someone, even when you are so very busy, in a small way, as an enhancer to your own life and to healing the world.

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. Marlo Thomas and I talk 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
    Developing Self Awareness as the New Year Begins
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Realistic Expectations About Volunteering
  • 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
    Developing Self Awareness as the New Year Begins
    buddha head in garden

    Recently I spoke with a woman who said she no longer recognized herself. She was not referring to her physical body, although we all know what it feels like to look into the mirror and wonder whose reflection we see. Rather, she had spent so much of her life becoming what she thought other people wanted or expected her to be, that she no longer knew: 1) what her own "true" voice was, 2) what she really loved and enjoyed, and 3) what she wanted to do with the rest of her life now that her children were out of the house. She had time. She had dedicated so many years being available to, and reflecting others in her family, focusing on what they expected of her, that she no longer had a "feel" for her core; her essence. This is not uncommon.

    As we begin the new year, we can take the opportunity to re-think and re-evaluate our lives and the way we live our lives. We can begin with allowing ourselves to reflect on the kind of life we would live if we lived with intention and meaning. That meaning would reflect the purpose of our life.

    Paying attention to our own needs, desires, and opinions is essential for self awareness. To become self aware, we need to pay attention to our unique desires, needs, and opinions. As we grow in self awareness, we will better understand why we feel what we feel and why we behave the way we do. When we do this, we begin to notice who we are as individuals. We learn what "makes us tick," and we understand how we function in the larger world.

    Without this self-awareness we are more susceptible to reflect others; to accept their perceptions of who we are and who they believe we are supposed to be.

    When we know who we are and what it is that we truly want, we become more focused and able to consciously pursue courses that can make those wants realities. If we don't, we will continue to pursue patterns of thought and action that direct us and reflect others' views of us rather than becoming proactive, and directing our own thoughts.

    With a clearer perception of who we are, we can better understand others, our responses to them, and who we actually are. By being more self aware, we are able to assess and interpret what we are thinking and feeling, and having that be a truer reflection of our own essence.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Jan. 6th: Finding Yourself In Your Relationship;
    Jan. 12th and 13th, 8:30AM hour: Memory Loss;
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins

    Access Circles
    Mind, Body, Soul - Staying Connected; Living a Life of Love, Laughter, and Happiness

    Jan. 28th-3oth: Featured Speaker: Is Life Balance Possible?
    Canyon Ranch, Miami Beach.

    Read Dr. Atkins' And Edythe Mencher's article in Reform Judaism Magazine,
    Winter 2010 Issue, Cover Story: Behind Bullying, and When Jack Pushed Jill Down the Hill.
    Online at www.reformjudaismmag.com.

    WGTH.com, Darby and Friends
    January 4th: 5PM: Keeping Stress to a Minimum in the Family.

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

    Read what Dr. Atkins has to day about about how to improve your relationships with your loved ones on brightsmilebeautifulyou.com

    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.

    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

    Calming Visualization For Problem Solving

    Take a moment at the beginning of each day and also throughout the day to breathe slowly and deeply from your belly, twice or three times. Allow your breath to calm you as you then positively visualize the situation you want to address. Whether it is a meeting, a sticky problem, a person who repeatedly focuses on the negative, when you practice this different approach you will access a part of yourself that will assist you to see this challenge differently.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Realistic Expectations About Volunteering

    Committing to volunteering is something most people feel is important to do - to give back to the community and help others. Volunteering is important to living a balanced life.

    With responsibilities such as family, work, health, to name a few, some people are finding their volunteer demands are adding more stress to their lives and are releasing themselves from those commitments. That can be helpful to give yourself a chance to regroup and prioritize what is important. Perhaps taking some "time off" might serve as a "re-set button." However, before you completely abandon your volunteer commitment carefully consider its value both to you and to those you serve.

    Clarify Expectations - Set boundaries for yourself. Bear in mind your current obligations in all aspects of your life. Then, make sure to set clear expectations with the organization or the person you are helping about what will be your specific tasks and time commitment.

    Be Realistic - Change takes time, often a lot of time. Consider the resources you have and how best to allocate them for the benefit of the organization or person you are helping in both the short - and long-term. You can always begin "small" and then grow into more of a commitment as your life allows. If you need to see immediate results, be sure you have the right position.

    Be Patient - Consider the type of volunteer work you are doing. For some services, unless you can stay for years, you may not see much immediate impact from your volunteer efforts. For other services, you will see change more quickly. Focus on the contribution you are offering as part of a continuum of other volunteers, each of you giving time and energy to making a difference.

    Don't Underestimate The Little Things - Remember how powerful are simple acts of human kindness; a smile, offering encouragement, listening to someone who is often alone, and a willingness, on your part, to learn from the people or the organization you serve. These can have an enormous and lasting impact.

    A Thought

    "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

    Oprah Winfrey

    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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