As we get ready for the holidays we have to protect
our energy, time and resources. And, very often we
experience or are reminded of losses in our lives. The
task is knowing that we can rise to all of these
challenges. Even in the midst of sadness, we must
always remember the many gifts in our lives.
Please look for my latest book coming out in February
2007. Sanity Savers:
for Women to Live a
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Wishing you health, peace and
balance. Happy Holidays!
|The Holiday Survival Guide:
Relax and "Enjoy" The Holidays
With Excerpts from my new Sanity Savers book!
Excerpts of my new
book SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A
Balanced Life are featured on a downloadable
audio 5-week program Holiday
Helpful advice and weekly tips from myself as well
as other expert HarperCollins authors covers yoga,
health, family and more to help you combat holiday
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
before its release date of February 20th!
How Much is that Doggie in Your Memory?
Photo: Lisa Osta
As most pets have a shorter life span than their
owners (save a parrot or two), it is inevitable that
you may experience pet loss and the grieving and
mourning that accompany it.
For those people who donít feel a close connection
to animals, it is difficult for them to understand the
attachment and companionship that you have
enjoyed. They simply donít get that pets have unique
personalities and insinuate themselves into a
household--and a heart. Because pets love
unconditionally, they are always present for us and
we can often feel comforted by their presence. They
understand us often in ways that people do not.
Consequently, the passing of such a companion is an
enormous emotional experience. Everyone grieves
differently, even within the same household as the
family pet serves different functions for each person
who feels its loss.
- Itís OK to Grieve - Despite what
others tell you, you must allow yourself to grieve and
give yourself time and space to mourn. Be patient.
Understand that there will be times of intense
sadness that may overcome you when you are home
alone or when you see someone with their pet. It
may also be difficult when you go through a routine
you once shared with your pet. Walking in the door
without that warm greeting makes you more
conscious of your loss but at the same time
appreciative that you had such a wonderful
companion in your life. Such rituals as taking your
walk together will be difficult so venture along that
path again when you feel ready and maybe take
along someone for company. Remember your grief will
lighten and life will be pleasant again with the
memories you have intact. Donít be afraid to lean on
- Memorialize Your Pet - Pay close
attention to what your pet meant to you and
recognize his or her place in your life. You may want
to put an album of pictures together or frame a
special photo that captures the personality of your
pet. Dedicate a bench in a garden in honor of your
pet or donate to an animal shelter or an animal-
- Ready for a New Pet? If you are
considering getting another pet but you arenít quite
ready, consider volunteering at an animal shelter so
you can get your animal fix, while at the same time
giving much needed care and attention to the
animals who arenít lucky enough to have a loving
home. It takes time to transition, so give yourself
the time you need.
If you have opened your heart to the unconditional
love of a pet, give yourself the time heal from this
In tribute to and in memory of my Tibetan Terrier,
whose undying spirit and loving companionship
remains with me forever. . .
A Good Daily Habit
Remember gifts of loved ones that have passed on.
Be grateful for any little "gem" that someone gave to
you during their lifetime. Whether it was a great
recipe passed on from your grandmother or words of
wisdom from your dad about marriage, think of
friends and family who left something behind that you
This holiday season, why not dedicate a prayer
before a special meal in remembrance of someone
who is no longer alive or go around the table and
think of fond memories of that person. This is how
you can keep their spirit living among you and your
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
All I Want for Christmas is to Grit my Teeth
Some people like to prepare EVERYTHING for the
holidays (donít you love them?). The most
successful of these wizards get an early start while
the rest of us only think that we prepare in
advance. The fact of the matter is that the holidays
often catch us with lots of work still to do and
lots of stress to deal with.
There is also a great deal of fatigue and resentment
that follow the holidays because people are on edge,
overworked, under-appreciated. (THIS is a holiday?)
The most common complaint at holiday time is that
people donít have enough help. The other one is that
they donít usually have enough time to mingle with
Something to remember, A fresh
turkey is better than a frozen one, but a calm,
relaxed hostess is worth a wilderness of fowl.
- Forget Perfect - There is no such
thing. If you want to enjoy your time with guests
and be a ďpresentĒ hostess, know that there are
going to be things that just donít work out the way
you had hoped. Count on at least one at each event.
Repeat after me; ďThis is okay.Ē
- Prepare What You Can - Make sure that
there are enough napkins BEFORE the big event. Print
directions to your house for everyone who is coming
for the first time, and make sure they get them well
ahead of the party.
- Know your Guests - When people ask
they can bring, ask what they had in mind. In other
words, donít ask your nice aunt who hoped to buy
cookies at a local bakery to bring a roasted turkey. If
another relative is notoriously late, ask someone else
to bring appetizers (the latecomer is a natural for a
dessert or after-dinner wine). If a cousin makes a
great casserole, suggest that she prepare one. (You
get a great dish and you get to compliment someone
you love, leaving one less angry and unappreciated
relative to deal with later.) If you donít like surprises,
be sure you know what people are bringing so you
feel comfortable with the menu in advance.
Even Santa has helpers.
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All
that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
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-
years of experience and focuses on living a balanced
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress, life &
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
SistersFrom the Heart:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works
Now in Paperback!