Sanity SaversTM and More...
August 2013


In this month's article, Managing Worry, I discuss ways to prevent worrying from overtaking your life.

In Tips for Cutting the Financial Cord Between Parents and Adult Children, I invite you to consider ways to foster financial independence.

Charity in Bloom:
FLOWERS! Who doesn't light up when they receive FLOWERS? Jumpstart is excited to be partnering again with Winston Flowers' Charity In Bloom program this September. That means that 20% of the proceeds from an exclusive floral design, created just for Jumpstart, will be donated to Jumpstart (see Jumpstart section below). What's also exciting is that Winston Flowers can deliver these exclusive arrangements anywhere in the country, just in time for back to school, religious holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or any occasion. Watch for more exciting details. Let's support Winston Flowers as they support JUMPSTART!

Please visit my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for information and updates about my professional interests, thoughts, and engagements. Please contact me directly if you would like me to speak to your group or organization at dale@drdaleatkins.com.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletters by clicking the Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Managing Worry
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Cutting the Financial Cord Between Parents and Adult Children
  • Happenings
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • A Thought

  • Sanity SaversTM
    Managing Worry
    snap decision

    "Woulda Coulda Shoulda" and "What if" are, for some of us, worry "mantras."

    So, what is it about worry that both helps and hurts us? And, what can we do to minimize its negative effects on ourselves and our loved ones?

    Control: There are times in our lives when we feel that we have control when in fact, we actually have NO control. There are other times when we think we have no control when, in fact, we do! Often, when things appear hopeless, we worry about what could have or should have been. Instead of focusing on re-thinking what already happened, we can muster our inner resources, think about what needs to be addressed, consider options, make decisions, and take action. Healthy worry is important to our survival. Too much worry, however, as when we going over and over the same scenario as a perpetual loop that we cannot get out of, reinforces the worry and contributes to increased stress, which blocks opportunities to be objective and create alternative ways of viewing the situation.

    Many of us are uncomfortable with uncertainty. But Life IS uncertain. Understanding what is and is not in our control is the key first step to managing worry. Letting go, and accepting there is no ONE perfect outcome, is the second critical step in the process.

    We can also help to manage worry by learning to observe what is going on, without trying to or needing to control the situation. We can focus on taking care of ourselves and simply observing the world around us. Neuropsychologist, Dr. Amishi Jha, emphasizes the importance of staying in the present by imagining a remote control: when we worry, we tend to move our remote to either fast forward or rewind. We "woulda coulda shoulda" in rewind (or lament the road not taken) and we imagine all sorts of "what if's" (often creating complicated scenarios complete with catastrophic side effects) in fast forward. But when we press play, and stay in the present, we can observe, focus, and deal with where we are at this moment. This minimizes our living in regret or fear or becoming involved with, and attached to, an imaginary outcome for the future.

    We have the ability to put off worry. Putting off worrying is not the same as not worrying. When we put off worry, we can control it and be disciplined about how we use it. If we are consumed with worry and it interferes with our functioning, we can consider delegating one 20-minute window a day for worry. If our "worry time" is at 1PM, when a worrisome idea pops up at 10 AM, we can write it down with a note, "worry about it at 1:00 PM." If we can get ourselves into this disciplined routine, soon we can remove the word "worry" and replace it with "focus." This helps to break the loop of chronic worrying.

    Chronic worrying is much like an addiction, and can lead to stress, which leads to anxiety, which can lead to depression. Another way to deal with it is if we don't feel calm, ACT AS IF you are calm. PRETEND. Soon enough, we may find that if we "fake" it long enough, we may eventually begin to view our life from a different perspective. Our attitude changes.

    We can also work on relaxing our brain. As we quiet our minds with deep inhalations and exhalations, focusing on our breath as we release tension, we can reduce the negative toll of worry.

    When we can be in a calm place in our minds, we can make a plan. We can decide to seek professional help. We can find our cheerleaders who encourage us. We can take a close look at who we surround ourselves with and assess if we are spending too much time with people who encourage our worrying. This can be friends, family, or co-workers. If we can try sharing less with fellow worriers and surround ourselves more with positive people, we can increase our ability to relax.

    Worry is an action. Fear is an emotion. There is an important difference. While there is no perfect outcome, we can make changes that will enhance the quality of our lives.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Avoiding Snap Decisions

    Unless you are jumping out of the way of a car or something similar, it is highly unlikely that reacting to something impulsively, will be of benefit. There are so many situations when immediate responses are just not necessary, yet we make a "snap decision" because we may fear others require it of us, or, perhaps, we fear we will be perceived as inadequate, slow, indecisive, or ill-informed.

    It is usually better to consider from a distance which we can do when we pause, breathe, and think through our reaction so we can choose the most appropriate response for the occasion.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Cutting the Financial Cord Between Parents and Adult Children
    cutting cord used

    Most parents hope and expect their children to get jobs that are high paying enough to manage their bills and payments. In today's economy, however, unemployment and underemployment have led to record numbers of adult children living with their parents or seeking help with housing, living expenses, transportation costs, insurance coverage, spending money, medical bills, and grandchild-related expenses.

    As challenging as this situation can be, there are opportunities for thoughtfully managing financial arrangements with adult children. Parents can help them learn to budget and establish good credit histories, while at the same time, preserving positive family relationships. If the goal is to have each adult child be financially independent, expectations need to be realistic AND agreed upon by both parents and children.

    Here are some tips to guide you:

    Have On-Going Discussions Early On. - This is not a one-time conversation. It is helpful to develop an expectation that the adult children need to be able to support themselves. Discuss money, budgeting, spending, and saving early in a child's life and keep that conversation on going. It can be helpful to open the conversation to include HOW they will spend money - some for what they need, some for what they want, some for saving, and some for charity.

    Look for Opportunities to Teach Them How to Contribute. - If they can contribute financially to household expenses such as groceries, utilities and gas for he car, that is great. Non-monetary ways to contribute include helping out with chores, errands, cooking, child, elder, and pet care.

    Make a Plan. - Setting clear expectations and a time frame is important for avoiding prolonged dependency. Agree on specifics and touch base at particular times. For example, if you give an adult child six months to help them financially, talk about how they are doing on the first of every month. This can help make the arrangement a cooperative effort.

    Distinguish Between Loans and Gifts. - Simple. If it is a loan, make that clear. If it is a gift, make that clear.


    TODAY Show (NBC).
    Dr. Atkins is a frequent contributor.

    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updated appearances.

    TC Today Magazine
    Dr. Atkins is the focus of Work - Life Balance, written by James Reisler. Access PDF of the article at www.drdaleatkins.com.

    Topics by Dr. Dale Atkins:
    Tips for Getting Along with In-Laws: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Getting-Along-With-In-Laws.htm;
    Warning Signs of a Troubled Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-a-Troubled-Marriage.htm;
    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

    Additional Articles linked to Dr. Atkins:

    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.

    My sincere thanks to website developer, Barry Brothers, who, along with Carina Ramirez Cahan, brought vision and positive, creative energy to the site. Do take a look at Barry's work here: http://www.thelimulusgroup.com/bb and consider him for your business, development, design and communication needs.

    Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life

    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!

    Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.


    WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods in year-long mentoring relationships. Jumpstart also partners with families, preschool centers, institutions of higher education, community groups and a variety of other groups and individuals to make certain that every stakeholder in a child's life is working to provide them with a high quality early education.

    Jumpstart's proven curriculum helps children develop the language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.

    Please help to spread the word about the mission of Jumpstart and the remarkable strides being made in low income neighborhoods every day. If you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate 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!

    Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels, We Give Books, and Read for the Record.

    A Thought

    "I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death."

    Nelson Mandela

    coral sweater 1

    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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