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Sanity SaversTM and More...
November 2011

Greetings!

In Speaking Responsibly About Others I discuss the importance of choosing our words carefully and respectfully.

In Volunteering I offer tips to help you find a mutually beneficial and enriching opportunity to make a difference.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs well-trained, caring adults with underserved preschoolers who live in poverty in year long mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels; Playdate With A Purpose; and Read for the Record.

I was honored to be Jumpstart's Read for the Record's National Spokesperson on NBC's Today Show on October 6, 2011. Thank you for continuing to be involved since Jumpstart's work continues in low income neighborhoods every day. We need your help, so please, if you can, contribute by clicking on 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!

Please see Marlo Thomas' website, www.marlothomas.com, where I discuss psychology and relationship issues. Marlo Thomas and I talk about families and the holidays (and we surely have a lot of holidays!). Tune in for some sanity saving ideas for YOUR family gatherings.

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

Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for updates on my appearances and use the Quick Links sidebar to access ongoing articles. I am available to speak to your group or organization. Please contact me directly at dale@drdaleatkins.com or contact the Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with 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: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Speaking Responsibly About Others
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Volunteering
  • A Thought

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    SS Book Cover

    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!


    Sanity SaversTM
    Speaking Responsibly About Others
    diversity

    We are all human beings. Let's remember that and speak responsibly.

    Too often in history we have witnessed what happens when a group of people is devalued by others. Attitudes are reflected in words. The words people choose when referring to an individual or a group play an essential part in the elevation or diminishment of that person or group. When you witness speech that is hateful, speak up. When someone does not speak out against another person's use of diminishing language, it continues.

    When you meet someone who is a member of a group that is different from your group, (what sociologists refer to as an "out-group,") you are less likely to pay attention to their individual characteristics than when you meet members of your "in-group." The reason is that stereotyping characteristics concerning "out-group" members are stronger than those regarding "in-group" members. People are therefore more willing to ignore individual information for members of "out-groups" and will likely lump them into a single "disliked" category. This "confirms" the stereotype and gives people permission to 1) keep distance 2) behave badly toward people in the "out-group" and 3) feel they are better than the people they target.

    This type of thinking can lead to intolerance, fear mongering, abuse, and ultimately, in the extreme, hate crimes.

    By inserting fear-based language into public rhetoric, people begin to believe lies about the "out-group" and lose a desire to come together to listen, learn, share, and air differences as a way to address problems. Divisiveness replaces collaboration.

    When this happens, people feel entitled to spew hate against "the other." Each of us has a responsibility to stand up for (and not just for your "in-group") those targeted by insulting language.

    And leaders need to stand up for what is right. When leaders say "Enough is enough; we are better than this" people pay attention and will likely follow. When leaders use dehumanizing language in reference to people, whether based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or immigration status, people will likely also pay attention and follow.

    We all need to be aware, conscious, and critical of the language that our leaders, elected officials, and those who would like to be elected to public office, weave into their speech. Covert or overt biased, hate-filled, fear-based oratory damages all of us. Challenge those who believe it is right, good, and acceptable to refer to people in this country with language that removes their humanity.

    This is not about political correctness. Watch your own language and research the "facts" that are tossed around to fuel the fire of separating rather than uniting. Contest those who feel it is acceptable to use denigrating speech and language when referring to another human being or "out-group." A good example is people who are referred to as "aliens."

    Whatever your position on the immigration policies in the United States, remember that this country was built by immigrants. Our immigration history is far from stellar and, frankly, not always something we can be proud of. But we can come together to include rather than incite - which is what happens when we accept lies and perpetuate the use of offensive, dehumanizing language.

    There are countless communities where people are polarized by fear and lack of understanding. Let us work toward having countless communities were people are united by a desire to listen to and learn from and about each other.

    Get involved. Have conversations. Be mindful of all of our humanity. You can be heated in a discussion while still remembering each person's basic humanity. No one has the right to discuss another person or group in a manner that denigrates, dehumanizes, or devalues them. This type of speech and language encourages people to think of others as objects and it is a short distance from thinking of someone as an object to making them a target. And we all know where that can lead.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller said it best: "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."


    Happenings

    TODAY Show (NBC)
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    Temple Israel Lunch and Learn
    November 1st, 12:00 - 1:30PM: Speaker, Topic: Adult Sibling Rivalry
    14 Coleytown Rd., Westport, CT.

    Inside Edition
    November 2nd and 3rd: Guest, Topic: Boot Camp Abuse of Children
    Please check www.insideedition.com for details.

    Jewish Women's Circle
    November 7th, 8:00PM: Speaker, Topic: Juggling All The Balls - The Many Roles of Women
    RSVP ChabadGreenwich.org, or 203-629-9059.

    Darby and Friends Radio Show
    November 18th, 5-5:30PM: Guest, Topic: Issues Related to Bias, Bigotry, and Prejudice.
    http://www.wgch.com.

    Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins

    The Wall Street Journal's The Juggle
    October 6th: interview with Dr. Atkins about making time (and why it is important) to read to young children in your VERY busy day.

    Read Dr. Atkins' article about charitable children, at www.jccgreenwich.org/index.php?option=com_myblog&Itemid=91.

    Read Dr. Atkins' And Edythe Mencher's article in Reform Judaism Magazine,
    Winter 2010 Issue, Cover Story: Behind Bullying, and When Jack Pushed Jill Down the Hill.
    Online at www.reformjudaismmag.com.

    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.


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    reaching out to someone

    Reach out to Someone

    Remember, all of us have pain in our lives. One of life's challenges is not avoiding the pain but dealing with the pain in a way that diminishes our suffering.

    Do we suffer or not? When you are going through a tough period, it can be extremely comforting to know that there are people in your life who care about you. Whether someone is dealing with illness, the loss of a job, leaving their home, adjusting to life without their partner, or just having a difficult time it can be very soothing to hear a friend at the other end of the phone line. Or if you don't want to call, send a card, a thoughtful e-mail, a funny you-tube video, an inspirational poem, or a breath-taking photograph.

    You may fear that you will say the wrong thing. At some point or another you will. Everyone does. Unintentionally, we offend. When we most want to offer support, we find out that what we said or how we said it flies back in our face. There are books written about "what to say" and "what not to say" in difficult situations but each of us is different and each of us deals with life's challenges differently. However, for most people, expressing your feelings from your heart often works. Having said that, unless asked, stay away from offering advice. Offering company or an open ear and an open heart is usually better. And sharing that someone is on your mind can lift their spirits.

    Whether or not you say the right thing in the right way, most people appreciate your intention. So why not try?


    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Volunteering
    volunteering heart

    Everyone everywhere can use a helping hand. Volunteering to help others, especially when you are older (a time of life when many people focus on what they either no longer have or can no longer do), can be an enriching experience that will give you an immeasurable sense of self-worth AND inject good will and inspiration in our world.

    Choose your volunteer activities wisely. Here are some tips to consider:

    Do What You Like To Do. - Do something or be in a setting that suits you and your personality. If you like to be around babies, there are plenty who need affectionate holding and cuddling. If animals are your thing, train to take shelter dogs for walks. If you have musical talents, play an instrument at the assisted living facility. If you are good at math (or science, or language, or anything) tutor a child at a club or youth organization.

    Don't Look for Anything in Return. - When you are older - and hopefully wiser and more mature - you understand that the returns are often not what you thought they would be. Be open to that experience.

    It's a Real Job. - Think of your volunteer job as "your job." Focus time and energy into your work and realize that you're helping other people in a profound way. Realize that you are spending time making a difference. What better way to "spend time?"

    Don't Get in Over Your Head. -Get to know the routine of the job and the environment. Find a schedule that works for you - when you are at your most energetic and alert. You can always do more; be careful about promising too much and then needing to cut back your commitment. The people you volunteer with will look forward to seeing you as you will look forward to seeing them, and solid relationships can develop from these connections. So do yourself and them a favor by getting off to a good start and being realistic and reasonable about what you can offer. If you don't you may begin to think of your volunteer "job" as a source of stress and that won't be good for anyone.

    What the world needs now is you. Share your gifts.


    A Thought

    "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap; If you want happiness for a day, go fishing; if you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody."

    Chinese Proverb


    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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    Dr. Dale's Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Advice

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