Dr. Dale Atkins, PhD Psychology P.C.
Sanity SaversTM and More...
March 2014

Greetings for the upcoming holidays!

In this month's article, Live Your Priorities, I discuss how we can align the actual way we live with what we say are our priorities.

In Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Planning Your Wedding, I offer suggestions to couples to maintain a healthy perspective while planning their wedding.

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
    Live Your Priorities
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Planning Your Wedding
  • Happenings
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • A Thought

  • Sanity SaversTM
    Live Your Priorities

    Let's take a moment to think about how the lives we are living align with our priorities. Those priorities may revolve around our families, work, friends, issues of faith and health, the mood of our community, the solace provided by our pets -- all of which are important.

    A common wish is that we might be able to allocate the proper amount of time and attention to these priorities, often assigning them a slot or panel of time, and rating them as "first, second, or third" on a perpetual wish list. When we get to the end of a day or a week or a particular assignment, we look at our accomplishments---or lack of them--and feel proud, content, disappointed, or frustrated.

    We write lists, we create schedules, and we go to great lengths to insure that the "right" things are done at the "right" times; but life has a way of shifting things -- not to mention us -- around, and we often, with great resignation, remove an item on a list, or slight another.

    Because time is both capricious and precious, we continue to attempt to use it wisely, to exercise some control over it, and we recognize those things that deplete or fray this time, thus learning what our priorities truly are.

    Our priorities are reflected in the way we live our lives. Many of us fail to see that we often act in ways that send messages we never intended to send. We can also "waste" our energies and time resulting in our priorities moving further down the lists we created.

    We can ask ourselves about people whom we claim are priorities. Can we honestly say that we live our life in a way that reveals our affection, or that supports the position they hold in our lives? We hope the people we value feel valued and validated by the way we treat them. But sometimes our behavior masks or distorts our loving feelings and they feel confused and hurt.

    It is more important to manage our actions than our time and the lists that control them. We can ask ourselves, Do we stay in touch with those we love? Are we "present" when we talk with them? How do we show them? Have we put our mobile devices away during our time together? What do we do to show that we make an effort to pay attention and listen? How do we demonstrate through our actions that we are happy to have them in our presence and in our lives? What can we do to avoid sending messages -- no matter how subtle -- that we wish they would change?

    It is easy to say, "Family is my priority." It can be a daunting challenge to consistently behave in a manner that demonstrates this as our reality.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Daily Self-Renewal

    We must keep in mind the importance of renewing ourselves, as life stresses can take a toll. The opportunities for renewal are all around us - we just need to notice them.

    "Getting Away" helps enormously, especially if we resist bringing along in our mind that which we are trying to have respite from. We can LAUGH at something funny, LISTEN to a song we love, WALK along a nature path, SIT on a park bench, WATCH a bird, BREATHE and center our being; STRETCH and reach a bit further than before.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Planning Your Wedding

    Planning a wedding can be a time filled with stress or joy, or more likely, both. Your are managing your own hopes, feelings, desires, family (yours and your partner's), friends, vendors, and everyone's solicited and unsolicited opinions. And likely, you are planning this wedding while you (and your fiance) are working. The whole experience can be stressful. The goal is to recognize the best ways to prevent, and when necessary, manage feeling overwhelmed.

    Remember the engagement time is a time to get to know each other better. It is a time to have conversations about and explore topics such as: how you spend your free time together and apart, vacation preferences, incorporating friendships into your married life, your perspectives about managing time and obligations with in-laws and others, approaches to raising kids, religion and spirituality, celebrating holidays, and boundaries related to many aspects of your life such as work, family, privacy, finances (saving, spending, investing, charitable giving), among other matters. These conversations are about your life together.

    There are couples who spend every moment of their engagement planning for the wedding; this is only one day of their life together! Keep things in perspective. Understand that everyone has an opinion -- some voiced louder than others. Issues of control and preference are heard loud and sometimes not so clearly. Family and friend connections that you may or may not be sensitive to come at you from all angles. Ceremony, Venue, Dresses, Food, Music, Flowers, Linens, Photos, Transportation, Guest List, Seating, on and on -- a person can get crazy, or not!

    Try these tips:

    Have a realistic and reasonable vision. - Decide what type of wedding you and your partner want and can have.

    Take care of yourself daily. - Begin a practice of deep breathing, meditation, or quieting, as well as exercising, sleeping, and eating well.

    Have time with your partner to NOT talk about the wedding. - HAVE FUN -- This includes other people in your life, too.

    Take Responsibility. - Don't blame things on each other. Stand by your choices, even if they are not your "first choice" or preferences. Let go of the things you have conceded.

    Stay Present. - This moment is where you are now. In a while, the wind will shift!

    Be Flexible. - Things will be different from what you expect!


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

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

    Guest Blogger for Joan Lunden's Blog
    Stress Busting Ways to Protect Your Heart - (for February Heart month)

    Experience Life Magazine
    The Cares of Caregiving, by Jon Spayde. Interview.
    March, 2014 issue.

    I hope you enjoy my recently released chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation, Second Edition. 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. 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 - May 13, 2014, at Cipriani Wall Street. Laura Schroff, author of An Invisible Thread, will be our featured guest.

    A Thought

    "None of us can maintain the fertility of our beings without renewal."

    Deng Ming-Dao

    dale with samson

    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:
  • A Practical, Helpful Exploration of the Intimate and Complex Bond between Female Siblings
  • 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.
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Find out more....
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