Sanity SaversTM and More...
January 2012

Greetings for the upcoming holidays!

In Life Experiences as Chapters I discuss how we view people, events, and circumstances we have experienced in our past as we move forward in our lives.

In Make Your Doctor's Visit Count! I offer tips to maximize a positive experience when you visit your health care provider.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs well-trained, caring adults with underserved preschoolers who live in poverty in year long mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels; Playdate With A Purpose; and Read for the Record.

I was honored to be Jumpstart's Read for the Record's National Spokesperson on NBC's Today Show on October 6, 2011. Thank you for continuing to be involved since Jumpstart's work continues in low income neighborhoods every day. We need your help, so please, if you can, contribute by clicking on 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. Let us eliminate the 2-year achievement gap that exists between children from low income and those from middle income neighborhoods when they begin kindergarten!

Please see Marlo Thomas' website, www.marlothomas.com, where I discuss psychology and relationship issues. Marlo Thomas and I talk about families and the holidays (and we surely have a lot of 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
    Life Experiences as Chapters
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Make Your Doctor's Visit Count!
  • 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
    Life Experiences as Chapters
    rock garden

    Some of us think of our life as if it was a book of chapters. When we finish one chapter we go to the next. They are related and build on one another, but once a chapter is closed it is closed. Never to be revisited. Never to be re-examined for its linkage to the rest of our life.

    We hear talk about closure. Moving on. Leaving the past where it is. Depending on the situation, this can be good advice. Sometimes, however, our past moves into our present. We are reminded of a past event or person or feeling because we hear a song and immediately remember where we were and with whom when that song played and we recall what it meant something to us at the time. We smell something and recall a place, a person, or an incident all triggered by that particular scent. We see someone who walks like someone we have not seen for many years and immediately recall something about that person and "who we were" at that time in our life when we knew them. We have those moments, and then we go on.

    Perhaps we share the memory, that slice of our life; perhaps we don't.

    Sometimes we meet someone from our past and reflect on their impact on us. The impact may have been a long time ago, or it could be now, months or years afterwards-- when we are "different" from how we were.

    Each person IS a part of our life. Each event IS something we experienced. The difficult and the easy; the joyous and the sad. These people and events and experiences are threads that weave through our entire lifetime. How we choose to integrate them is up to us. Do we cut them and have them fray? Or do we weave them into the whole cloth of our life and know they are there but don't see them much because there are so many other threads covering them up?

    Recently someone told me she heard that someone who had been very close to her had become gravely ill. She reached out to him via e-mail to express what she thought would be comforting words and shared that she remembered their time together with good feeling and wished him well. She heard nothing in return. She reached out to a relative of his, expressing her concern for the family and wishing them well during what surely was a difficult time. She heard nothing again. She could have felt rejection. She chose to feel that she sent messages of comfort to someone whose thread had still been very much a part of her life fabric and came into focus when she heard of his illness. Perhaps he and his family were too overwhelmed to respond, or maybe they were not interested, or perhaps they wondered if there was an underlying agenda to the reaching out, or maybe they had "closed" that chapter.

    There are different ways to think about our past. Some people believe that those we have known in the past come in and out of our lives for a reason. How do you think of the people and events in your life? As chapters to be closed, never to be revisited, re-read, or re-examined, or as "ever present" yet not "ever obvious" threads in a fabric of your life story?


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

    Canyon Ranch Miami Book Fair
    January 21st: 10AM - 3PM: Featured author and book signing.
    The Conservatory, Canyon Ranch, 6801 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL.

    Access Circles Winter Retreat
    January 26th - 29th: Speaker, with thought leaders Dr. Karen Koffler, Julie Morgenstern, Dr. Rubin Naiman, Dr. David Pearlmutter, and Dr. Brian Weiss. A conference which will change how you think about your life, your health and the wellness of your families.
    Canyon Ranch, Miami, FL.
    You can register online through AccessCircles or call Access Circles at 203.661.1173.

    Dr. Atkins is also the focus of an article, Work, Life, Balance, written by James Reisler. The article will appear in the December 2011 issue of TC Today Magazine. A PDF of the article will be available on www.drdaleatkins.com mid-December.

    Topics by Dr. Dale Atkins:
    Issues to Deal with before Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Types-of-Issues-to-Deal-With-Before-Getting-Married.htm;
    Warning Signs of Cheating Spouse: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-Cheating-Spouses.htm; Tips for Maintaining Interfaith Marriages: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Maintaining-Interfaith-Marriages.htm;
    Tips for Growing Old Together
    and, Most Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married: http://video.about.com/marriage/Most-Important-Questions-to-Ask-Before-Getting-Married.htm.

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

    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.

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

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    maple leaves

    Be Eager for Personal Growth

    As we begin 2012, seek knowledge, adventure, and friendship. Do not confine yourself to a familiar road, traveling along paths others have gone on or mapped out for you. Leave the familiar path from time to time. Be adventurous. Find your element; never stop searching. Continue your quest in life. It is all about growth!

    By changing your attitude, you can try things you thought you were "unable" to do and have experiences that will open your mind to incredible possibilities.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Make Your Doctor's Visit Count!
    doctor and patient

    We are all aware of how the practice of medicine has changed and how doctors' visits, in particular, have changed. It is more common that a doctor's visit will be quick (10 minutes) and the time to discuss complex issues, symptoms, medications, and alternative treatment options can be overwhelming, especially when you are not feeling so well to begin with!

    Healing and wellness is a collaborative experience and process.The patient, the doctor and the medical team do best when they work together to understand the various contributors to one's illness and it is important to have good listening and questioning skills, to be prepared, informed, and "present" when meeting with your health care provider. Realize that certain questions can be answered by the office staff, a nurse or a physician's assistant. Save what you need for the doctor to maximize your time and purpose.

    Choose your "engagements" wisely. Here are some tips to consider:

    Select a Doctor That You Like - Someone who receives your questions willingly and who gives you the impression that you are the ONLY person and your situation is the only thing on his or her mind when you are in the office is useful. Sometimes the office staff can be off-putting due to any number of reasons and it is not uncommon for patients to change doctors because of the way the office staff treats them. Do your best to be respectful and kind to the office staff.

    Come Prepared To The Appointment - Try to make an appointment early in the day since waiting is always an issue and doctors' schedules are always changed due to unforeseeable circumstances. Have your questions and concerns written, along with a list of prescriptions and over the counter medications (dosage and frequency) and vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies you take along complementary and alternative approaches to your healthcare such as acupuncture, etc. Be sure to include whether and how much you drink, smoke, and what your family history is re: certain illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, etc. Bring health records and the names and phone numbers of other doctors you see.

    Speak Honestly - Especially about topics that may be difficult to discuss. Mention all symptoms you experience and have a good idea how long you have had them. When words, phrases, terms are used that are not clear (medical speak) be sure to ask for clarification. Sometimes doctors use terms with patients that are understood by other doctors but not by most people. It is your job to remind them to speak in a way that is understandable. Over time, you will learn the "language" but it takes time and repetition. Try not to feel intimidated by not understanding the terms. Just ask for clarification.

    Bring a Friend or Family Member - Their job is to listen, take notes and maybe ask questions if you have discussed this beforehand. Having another person with you can be amazingly helpful if you are not feeling well, having to understand complicated diagnoses or treatment plans, or just for support.

    Follow Up - Before you leave the appointment, be sure you understand what next steps you are to take (further testing, medication regimen, other consultations) and be clear about your follow up and how you can reach the doctor should you have questions.

    A Thought

    "Each moment of the year has it's own beauty - a picture which was never before and shall never be seen again."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    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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