Although the holiday season is behind us and
most of us have settled back into "normal"
routines, chaos can often seem a constant.
In Changing Your Edge, I
discuss ways to address the
challenges we face when we think about risks,
often unexpectedly, at different times in our
With busy schedules for every family member,
parents often wonder how to remain calm when
facing seemingly inevitable stress and
impatience. Finding a way to regain your
balance so that you can have positive
interactions with your children is critical
to parenting. In this month's
tips, Mindful Parenting, I suggest
strategies for coping with the chaos and
finding peace in the ebb and flow of each
Once again thank you for helping to get the
word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women
to Live a Balanced Life.
Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com
for updates on my appearances related to my
newest book, Sanity
Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced
Life. For those of you with wedding related
questions, please see my column on
WeddingChannel.com at: www.weddingchannel.com/ui/buildArticle.action?assetUID=90252&s=84&t=71&p=106184112&c=90252&l=137006.
And if you
me to speak to your group or organization,
please contact me directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the
Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.
I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with
friends, loved ones and colleagues by
to a Friend button below.
Wishing you health, peace and balance.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is in bookstores and
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
Changing Your Edge
A wonderful hiking guide in New Zealand
recently told me "If you are not
living on the edge you are taking up too
much room." I have thought about this a lot
lately. At first blush we may dismiss it
because the thought of living on the edge
doesn't suit many of us. We are comfortable
away from the edge and relax into the
familiar and the predictable. We may
associate living on the edge with "extreme"
sports, daredevil or thoughtless risk taking.
We may ascribe character traits to those who
live on the edge as people who have a death
wish, who avoid taking care of themselves
and those around them.
But what if we were to look at the concept of
living on the edge differently? We
consider where is "our personal edge" and
assess what it would mean to venture a bit
closer to it. Each of us could take a risk
that challenges our personal status quo.
Every day we face opportunities where we can
stretch ourselves in some way. We are in
situations where we can make more of an
effort, select a more challenging route, do
something different, look from another point
of view, learn a new fact and then
investigate it in depth, or read about someone
we admire. In sum, push ourselves.
The phrase "on the edge" often conjures a
negative image. "Don't bother her, she's
close to the edge." What we feel when we are
close to the edge is that we have no reserve.
When there, we (and those around us) fear we
will snap or lash out, losing it in ways that
make us become people we don't like or
Try to think of approaching your personal
edge in a different way. Yes, it is a place
of temporary discomfort but that discomfort
In addition, remember being near the edge is
temporary. Once familiar, it is no longer
the edge so being there is not permanent. What
you say to yourself while there is important.
"I am in a place that is unfamiliar,
uncomfortable and new. That is not bad; it
is just different. I can get through it. I
can come out the other side and be enriched
because of this experience."
In the end, you will expand and extend your
comfort zone. You will take a risk, do
something you think you could not do, learn
something new and, hopefully, enjoy the
wonder of the world.
TODAY Show (NBC)
Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com,
Sixth Annual Women's Health Conference
March 9th: 12pm: Keynote Speaker:
Mystic Marriott, Groton, CT
Please go to www.womenandfamilylifecenter.org
for registration details.
House of the Redeemer
March 13th: 6pm: Topic: Sanity Savers:
Tips for Women to Live a Balance Life
7 East 95th Street, New York, NY.
Sanity Savers Salon
March 17th: 7:30PM: Issues in Aging
Private Home, 9 Duck Pond Road, Wesport, CT
Women's Alliance Group
March 19th: 12:30pm: Topic: Sanity
Savers for a Balanced Life...No Matter What
You Are Facing
All Soul's Church, at 80th and Lexington, NY, NY
A Good Daily Habit
Exercising Your Memory
Are you finding that you are more forgetful
these days, and can't recall things like you
used to? Before you jump to conclusions and
diagnose yourself with dementia or early
(which may run in your family) fit in a daily
Play mentally challenging games like
scrabble, bridge, crossword puzzles or Sudoku
to exercise your mind. Practice name
recognition techniques like pairing someone's
name with a physical characteristic, mentally
review your shopping list even though you
have written it down, mentally "scan" the
area of your table at a restaurant while
silently noting where you placed your
handbag, attache' case, eye glasses,
umbrella, jacket, etc., and when you are
about to leave, slowly review the "mental
scan" and gather up your things.
Whether or not you are predisposed to memory
loss, you cannot lose by developing
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Going With The Flow
For many parents, the resolve to be mindful
in parenting often flags once the day gets
going. Schedules can't stop, but you can flow
with them. Remind yourself that the key to
mindfulness is balance. Reserve and reinstate
your energy. When you get close to the edge,
breathe. When you feel yourself losing it,
excuse yourself if you can and move your
arms, shake your body, say a loud "HA" from
the depths of your belly and the soul of your
being. Regain your center and then return to
"the mission." Instead of racing from one
thing to the next, remind yourself to slow
down and breathe.
Think about the following tips to help you
during the day after school through bedtime
- Change the Routine - Being in a
routine can help stay on schedule but it can
also become boring so spice it up a bit. If
you pick your children up at school, come
home via a different route from time to time.
Pack some surprise healthy snacks and stop at
a park, playground, or hop over to the beach
and spend ½ hour running in the sand, playing
on the swings or watching the shorebirds.
Children love when their parents plan
something special, so enjoy it with them.
- Establish a Daily Transition Ritual -
In the "olden days" children would come home
and change from their "school clothes" to
their "play clothes". Today, many mindful
parents take their shoes off when they walk
into the house. Consider buying a shoe rack
to keep at the door where you can place a
variety of different colored slippers or
"house shoes." You can create a ritual of
having everyone remove their outside shoes
and put on their inside shoes. Leave the
dirt and the craziness of the outside world
at the door. Act as if your home is a
- Stay in the Moment - When you are
talking with your child, even if he or she is
taking a long time to recount a story, stay
present. Sit with them, at their level. Don't
text message on your PDA at the same time. In
fact, if the phone rings, let it go to voice
mail if you can. The message you are giving
to your child is that I am here for you at
this time. This moment is ours and it will
never come again. Let's not think about
dinner as we talk about school. One thing at
a time. Children generally need parents to
talk with them slower than most people talk
to them. When you slow down you encourage
listening. You give the message that you
respect them and are
interested in what they have to say.
- Have Parent and Child Playtime -
Offer some options for helping with dinner
and bath and selecting a game or a book to
read for pleasure during the after school,
pre-bedtime ritual. Hide little toys or games
and see the joy on your kids' faces when they
discover them. Take a moment or two and play
the game or a round of JAX. Tell a quick
parable, enact a 3 minute puppet theatre,
dress up in costume, anything to help you
remember that being a parent can be fun and
that you can laugh at yourself, with your
kids, and at most situations.
Throughout the day, be kind to
yourself and to
your children - Understand that it is never
too late to begin again. If you feel like
you are losing the flow, don't talk; hum.
Gather yourself so that what comes out of
your mouth is a reflection of your heart and
your head; be mindful that you will not
want to "take back" what you say (which, of
course, is impossible). Remember
to tell yourself that you are doing a good
job and that you are a good parent.
your balance in the daily flow of schedules
is daily act of mindfulness.
People grow through experience if they meet
life honestly and courageously. This is how
character is built.
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
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
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!