Dr Dale Atkins:Sanity Savers Newsletter
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Sanity SaversTM and More...
December 2006

Greetings!

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: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life and pass along this newsletter to your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance. Happy Holidays!

Dale

In this issue
  • The Holiday Survival Guide:
    Relax and "Enjoy" The Holidays

    With Excerpts from my new Sanity Savers book!
  • Sanity SaversTM
    How Much is that Doggie in Your Memory?
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS
    All I Want for Christmas is to Grit my Teeth
  • A Thought

  • 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 Survival Guide.

    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 stress.

    Pre-order Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life before its release date of February 20th!


    Sanity SaversTM
    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.

    1. 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 daily 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 friends.
    2. 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- therapy program.
    3. 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 profound loss.

    In tribute to and in memory of my Tibetan Terrier, Miles Davis, whose undying spirit and loving companionship remains with me forever. . .


    Happenings

    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Dates and times of upcoming segments will be posted on Dr. Dale's website.

    The Lisa Birnbach Radio Show
    Every other Wed., 9:20-10:00am
    Dec 13: Support vs Enabling
    Dec 27: To be announced

    The Lisa Birnbach Show airs LIVE Mon-Fri 9am- Noon EST

    Kaboose.com
    Long Distance Family Bonding
    5 Ways for Your Kids to Keep in Touch with the Ones They Love
    Dr. Dale quoted. >Read Article


    Sanity SaversTM
    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 can cherish.

    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 family.


    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 their guests.

    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 what 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.


    A Thought

    What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

    Helen Keller


    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 new book . . .

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • .

    Find out more....
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    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works

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