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Sanity Savers and More...
July 2005

Greetings!

As we get more into summer I hope you are enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere. Some of you have children going away, others of you are going away yourself and for many you are taking the summer to reevaluate where you are and where you want to be.

With this 7th newsletter, I thank you for your valuable feedback and I continue to incorporate the ideas that you have asked me to comment about. Please pass on this newsletter to your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.

Dale

In this issue
  • Sanity Savers
    Letting Go of Your Kids this Summer
  • Happenings in July

  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    A Great Engagement Gift!
  • TIPS: Women in Midlife
    Beginning the Process of Change
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    Now in Paperback

  • Sanity Savers
    Letting Go of Your Kids this Summer

    Your children probably have plans this summer which may involve being away from home for an extended period of time. Depending on their age, they're either visiting relatives away from home, backpacking on their own or going off to sleep-away camp. Essentially, they'll be on their own in some capacity.

    While they're having fun away from the nest, it's normal for parents to worry about their safety but still want to give them the freedom to explore. Do your best to let your children know you have confidence in them and their choices.

    Here are some Sanity Savers to help you put your mind at ease as you let go of your child so he or she can enjoy summer fun:

    • Role Play - Kids might not know what to expect. You can help them combat loneliness, react appropriately in emergencies, learn to make new friends and deal with different personalities if you prepare them before they set out on their journeys.
    • Anticipate Homesick Feelings - Pack familiar pictures and keepsakes and an address book so your child can call and write friends and loved ones. A journal to combat lonely times is a good friend.
    • Discuss Ways to Relax - They may encounter peer pressure, competitiveness and anxiety from unfamiliar people and settings and will need to unwind. Breathing exercises, stretching, visualization, journaling and writing letters home can all help.
    • Visualize Safety - Surround yourself in your own mind's eye with a picture that your children are protected and safe. Unneccessary worry is stressful and unhelpful.
    • Communicate Often - If you can, make contact by phone at regularly scheduled times so your child knows when he or she will talk to you and feels connected. Pack pre- stamped, pre-addressed post cards and envelopes. Also, check in with adults who are supervising your children to get another view of how they are doing.
    • Have an Emergency Plan - Especially for international travel, know your child's itinerary and make sure he or she has the phone number and location of the nearest US Embassy. If travel plans change, your child should contact you immediately with the new schedule. An international cell phone or service is a good idea as well as prepaid credit cards and calling cards.
    Plan on ways you can ease your worry. Write in your own journal on what you're feeling and how you can plan your summer and avoid being stressed out from thinking about your kids. Take time for yourself and your other relationships. Use your time wisely.


    Happenings in July

    July 12th (9 o'clock hour)
    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Topic: Marriage

    July Issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine
    Dr. Dale quoted on Marriage

    *Appearances subject to change.


    Wedding Sanity Savers
    A Great Engagement Gift!

    My new book, co-authored with Annie Gilbar, Wedding Sanity Savers: How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes, and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day is the handbook every bride needs.

    Addressing the psychological pitfalls that go with getting married, Wedding Sanity Savers shares questions and answers from my advice column on WeddingChannel.com and offers brides, grooms and their families a helpful guide during the wedding process.


    TIPS: Women in Midlife
    Beginning the Process of Change

    There seems to be a common trend today for women at midlife. More and more women in their 40's and 50's and 60's (notice how the parameters of midlife are expanding) are reexamining their lives and making lifestyle and career changes while exploring new possibilities.

    Some have been thrust into self discovery by a specific event in their life (divorce, illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job, empty nesting) while others intuitively know they need to embrace change and grow. Whatever the reason for their new focus, women are finding satisfaction at midlife by following their passions, joys and dreams.

    Here are a few TIPS for beginning the process of change:

    1. DeClutter Your Life - To allow for growth, women especially have to feel their home is in order. Take care of the "externals" (home, finances, loved ones, and other relationships) so you're not overwhelmed with sundry concerns while you're starting the "internal" process of change. This is the time to clean those closets, simplify your daily routine, let go of weighing relationships and make sure those that you're responsible for (children, spouses, parents) are taken care of so you can make room and space for the new.
    2. Listen to Your Internal Voice and Face Your Fears - Self confidence and self esteem build as you listen for your true calling. Focus on what YOU know you are meant to do rather than what other people think you should do. But, listen to others because they may have some good insights. This is a process and does not happen overnight. Visualize being the person you truly know yourself to be.
    3. Give Yourself Time to Transition - Learn what is motivating your change and what you need to move forward. This may be the time to take a class or study with a mentor to develop your abilities in a new or dormant area. Find the path that works for you to accomplish your goal.
    4. Discover What Gives You Meaning and Purpose - Ignite old passions or explore new ones. What have you always wanted to do or gave up doing that you're still longing for? Find your passions by examining your talents, skills, interests and unique gifts which will undoubtedly lead you to your life's purpose.
    5. Allow for Spiritual Growth - Opening up to your true essence and authentic self connects us to our spirituality. Try and take time to quietly reflect and "let go" by meditating, praying, journaling and inviting nature into your life. Find the time for solitude to really inquire of yourself what is next for you in your life.

    Remember as you change, so may your relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues. You may welcome new people in your life who share a similar focus as old relationships wane or improve. Embrace the change and spend time with people who support you and have walked this path.

    By welcoming change into our lives, we have the opportunity to dream and make those dreams come true!


    I'm OK, You're My Parents
    Now in Paperback

    I'm Ok, You're My Parents: How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works is now in paperback!


    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and media commentator who appears regularly on the Today show.

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience as a relationship expert, focusing on families, couples, parenting, aging well and stress management.

    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 and the soon to be released Wedding Sanity Savers.

    Find out more....
    Quick Links...

    DrDaleAtkins.com

    Dale's Advice on Weddings at WeddingChannel.com

    Dale's Advice on Healthy Eating & Lifestyle at KathleenDaelemans.com

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