In After the Family Vacation,
I discuss ideas for easing back into your Fall routines and suggest ways for staying connected as a family.
In Gratitude in the Face of Illness, I focus on how we can be appreciative when our bodies weaken.
WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY
CRISIS IN THIS
COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national
early education nonprofit organization that
pairs caring adults with underserved
preschoolers in year long one-to-one
mentoring relationships. Visit www.jstart.org
to learn more about Jumpstart,
initiatives - such as Playdate With A
Purpose, Read for the Record, and
events like Scribbles to
Novels. If you would like to make a
you may do so at
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Women to Live a Balanced Life.
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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!
After the Family Vacation, and Back to the Routine
Many parents who work outside of their homes share a sort of ambivalent feeling about returning to work when they return from a family vacation. They like and value the challenges, joys, stimulation, and routine of their work lives yet simultaneously appreciate (and miss) the relaxed, easy going pace of a family vacation (even when the kids are not getting along as well as they would like).
Parents who are reluctant to get back into the routine when Fall begins are not alone. More and more children (young ones, in particular) return from a family vacation, especially when they had their parents' total attention, feeling a bit bereft. Yes, they want to see their school friends and yes, they like their Fall routine, but they are concerned about no longer having the accessibility of a less distracted parent.
When you are fortunate enough to have children who want to be with you, much of the lovely experience of parent-child connection occurs "in the in between" moments of life. When we are ultra busy with our work and school lives, there is little "in between" time. Schedules are tight, often people are late or stressed trying to make appointments, work life carries over to home and BlackBerries vibrate on the dinner table. Many conversations are interrupted by phone calls, text messages, pagers, and e-mails that MUST be immediately addressed. Even watching a movie together can be negatively affected when a family member texts or communicates with someone who is not there.
If you happen to be the "preferred parent" and you are not as much available as you were during vacation, your child may act out, sulk, try to get your attention in any way they can. However, kids are resilient, and they do need to know that the "routine" is what much of life is about. This is why those precious morning reading experiences that you fit in before work and the other "catch as catch can" times are so valuable.
Focused moments with children who "don't want you to go" or who have a tough time adjusting to the Fall routine, are invaluable touchstones for both parents and children. Those touchstones are the building blocks for a strong foundation that teaches everyone in the family that transitions from vacation to "work" are not easy but can be made without falling apart. Allow yourself to reflect on the wonderful moments of the vacation, encouraging and sharing discussion with your children so they also learn that "re-experiencing" a wonderful vacation keeps the spirit happy as well as encourages the continuation of the connection that you all felt when you were all together on vacation.
Encourage your family to have "no tech" time where PDAs, phones, computers, etc. are turned off so you can all experience one another in a meaningful way. Consider your home a sanctuary where you can recharge yourself and establish a healthy balance. On weekends, plan something special for all of you to do together (stopping in the park while doing errands, sans BlackBerry, taking a hike, enjoying an ice cream, visiting friends, a gallery, or a neighborhood art fair). This can be your YOUR MINI VACATION. Solicit ideas from your children for weekend mini vacations anywhere from an hour to a whole day. That way you can all look forward to the quality of family time together that you experienced when "on vacation."
TODAY Show (NBC)
Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.
The M Word
October 2nd: 5PM: The Coming Home: The New Challenge of the Boomers.
WGTH.com, Darby and Friends
August 19th: 5PM: The Value, Training, and Work of "Therapy Dogs," with Margarita Alban.
WKTU-FM Radio Interview on KTU Cares
May 16th: 9-9:30AM: Jumpstart's Playdate
with a Purpose and the Issue of Early
KTU airs on Sunday mornings and focuses
specifically on issues impacting the NY
community. Available on http://www.ktu.com/pages/events/community.html
Read Dr. Atkins' And Edythe Mencher's article in Reform
Fall 2010 Issue: Living With Secrets.
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
See Making the Case for Family
Dinners, at iVillage.com: http://www.ivillage.com/making-case-
See Dr. Atkins on http://www.workherway.com/02-stayinthegame/bullying-adults/#comments.
Also see Googling Patients: Should
Psychiatrists Research Cases Online? at http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/18/googling-patients-should-psychiatrists-research-cases-online/
A Good Daily Habit
You can be out of your thoughts without being out of your mind.
Give yourself a mental break to restore equanimity. When the craziness of life (or other people's lives) get the better of you, take some breaths, relax your mind and give yourself a moment or two of deep breathing and "turn off" your thoughts.
With so many opportunities to lose attention (as opposed to pay attention) we can, with determination, switch our focus to restoring our energy and caring for ourselves.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Gratitude in the Face of Illness
It may sound like it's too much effort, but being appreciative during health crises seems to help in healing and in maintaining a positive attitude.
One thing you can do, if you are physically able, is a daily gratitude walk, paying attention to your body and being grateful for it. Here are some tips that have been offered to me from people whose major life challenges emanated from physical illness:
Give Thanks to Your Body - Treat it well. Walk every day (slowly is fine.) If you cannot walk, do a personal "body scan," paying attention to each part of your body. Acknowledge that you have a body that functions, even though some areas are diminished.
Be Grateful for Your Mind - Take a moment to acknowledge that despite your illness, your mind is able to imagine, dream, and conceptualize.
Appreciate the Healthy Parts - Be grateful for your eyes and that you can see or that you can hear. Revel in the fact that you have a natural voice and that your arms function.
Visualize Your Body's Functioning Improving - Some days will be easier than other days. Physical or emotional pain will be more or less from time to time. "See" your body feeling and performing better and believe there will be improved days ahead.
Say Thank You That You Are Alive - If you had major surgery, be grateful that you survived. If your illness is affecting some of your body while other parts function, be grateful that good medication, alternative therapies, and medical services are available to you and that you still can live a joyful, albeit different, life.
Whatever shape your body is in, become aware and feel grateful for it.
"It is easier to build a boy then to mend a man ."
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!