Sanity SaversTM and More...
March 2011


In Being There For Friends Who Don't Have Family , I talk about the importance of being there for (and including) friends who are alone at the holidays and for vacations, either because their family members have died or the relationships with their families are strained.

In Balancing Technology, I ask you to reflect on the way you have incorporated technology into your life and to seriously consider the impact this has on your own personal life balance as well as on your personal and professional relationships.

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.

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 family gatherings.

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 There For Friends Who Don't Have Family
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Balancing Technology
  • 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 There For Friends Who Don't Have Family
    friends around dinner table

    Years ago, when I wrote SISTERS, a woman whose sister had died attended a Sisters Seminar. She commented to the group how lucky everyone was to have their sisters and brothers alive. She listened to people discuss both the joyous and painful experiences and interactions with their siblings, then shared that she could never again fight and then make up with her sister. Nor would she be able to work through the difficulties which she now realized, years later, helped her to grow as a person. Those conflicts provided her with important life lessons which only her sister could teach her. Her comments triggered the discussion about the value of appreciating that when there is life there is the possibility of hope for healing and transformation within relationships.

    In some families, the adult siblings and their spouses or children consider one another "personas non grata" and they do not seriously factor into one another's lives. They may see one another from time to time but the interactions seem coated with protective shield. People "walk on eggshells" and there is little if any depth of true sharing, feeling or comfort. In many cases, although they see one another, they continue to hold onto the pain and hurt that transpired, often years before, and sometimes, unknown to the other people in the family, and refuse to consider either forgiveness or reconciliation. Sometimes, the difficulties are rooted in personality differences that one or the other family member find intolerable. This can result in family members avoiding one another and falling away from each other's lives. They look outside of the family to form bonds with friends who serve as surrogate family which can be a healthy and comforting substitute.

    A friend recently shared with me, "I guess I always find myself on a sustained search for my very own nurturing, welcoming, organic family that is fantasy based, and simply doesn't exist. All the more reason I cherish my friends who invite me and my children to join their celebrations. As we all know so well, we can't have everything we want in life. And isn't it so ironic that so many who have sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents with whom they could share holidays and vacations can barely stand to be in the same room with them for even a minute?"

    For these dear friends it is important to open your homes, set your holiday tables, and plan vacations together. The concept of friends as family can go a long way to offer healing comfort where there is serious pain.


    TODAY Show (NBC)
    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

    Hadassah and Temple B'nai Israel
    Mar. 15th: 7:30PM: Featured Speaker: The In-Law Relationship.
    Temple B'nai Israel, 2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT

    Jack Birnberg Speaks Out Radio Show
    Mar. 18th: Infidelity in Marriage
    WVNJ 1160 AM, www.wvnj.com

    Parenting Magazine
    Mar. 23rd: 2-4PM: Inservice Training for Volunteers: Exploring Issues Related to Children Who Live in Poverty.
    2 Park Avenue, 9th Floor, NY, NY

    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.

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

    Charity Event: Sunset Yoga on the Intrepid
    Mar. 13th: 5:30-8PM
    The Intrepid, Pier 86 (46th St. and West Side Highway. Suggested Minimum Donation - $25. All donations are tax deductible. Contact New York Yoga at 212-717-9642 for preregistration.

    I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    beach in fiji

    Using Metaphors From Nature

    The ultimate balancing act is performed by Mother Nature. She tries to stay in balance no matter what is thrown her way (quite literally as people continue to pollute). Try to be in nature every day and learn from her.

    Discover how you can balance your life by using metaphors from nature. Visualize your life as flowing river. What can you learn? Is it rushing or trickling? Are there paths that have been forged due to the constancy of the same flow, or are there new paths that have formed because of a storm or fallen tree? What obstructions interrupt the flow?

    Appreciation of nature's balance is what allows us to keep balance in our daily lives.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Balancing Technology
    busy mom on phone

    Consider the amount of time and energy you are engaged in technology. I often speak and write about living a balanced life, yet I am astounded by the apparent ease with which intrusive technology has become an accepted part of the interpersonal landscape.

    Vibrating PDAs are as common on tabletops as knives and forks. It has become acceptable for couples, friends, parents, and children to interrupt each other and themselves to receive or send a text, instant message, e-mail, call, tweet or page. Yes, everyone's lives are "connected" but we need to seriously consider the effect of the technological connections on our face to face human connections.

    Consider these tips next time you carry your device:

    Show Consideration - Tell someone you are with, in advance, that you may need to be on a call or answer e-mails and it should take your attention for ____ minutes.

    Take a Time-Out - Turn off your device at meals, when you are interacting with your children (during conversations with them, while playing board games, when helping with homework, or when on the playground). The best "moments" occur when you are REALLY available. Similarly, avoid using your device when visit someone who is not feeling well (particularly when someone is in a hospital.)

    Disconnect Periodically - Inform friends, family or colleagues that you will not be checking e-mails or messages on certain days or evenings or between specific hours.

    Practice - Wean yourself off of the addiction to keep checking your device every few minutes, particularly when you are with other people. Even when you think people don't notice, they usually do. The message is that whatever is going on via your device is more important than what is happening now, at this time, with these people, or on your own.

    Savor Expereinces - Consider what moments in your life would be like if you did not have your PDA with you. Visualize walking in nature sans technology, enjoying a yoga class without checking your e-mail as soon as you finish, savoring a meal alone or with those you love with full knowledge that you will not be interrupted. Allow your senses to guide you without the buzz, vibration, ring or ding that has so permeated our lives.

    Turn the device off. Then you will be fully present.

    A Thought

    "The time is always right to do what is right."

    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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