Brookhaven Retreat Offers Tips for Self-Care to Manage Stress During This Hectic Season

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Brookhaven Retreat LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, offers tips for self-care to manage stress during this hectic season.

As late-fall and winter tend to be busy to the point of hectic, Brookhaven Retreat offers tips for self-care to manage stress.

“Creating a life worth living is something that happens slowly, one step at a time,” says Jacqueline Dawes, founder and owner of Brookhaven Retreat. “It’s about being realistic, setting goals with limits and honoring boundaries. Let yourself be human. It’s OK to be tired, but not OK to pretend you’re not. There’s no need to turn what should be joyful into drudgery, but that’s exactly what happens when we don’t honor ourselves and follow some simple rules.”

1. Make realistic goals. Don’t allow your obligations to get stacked too high and out of balance. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be all things to all people, especially during this time of year. However, it’s just not realistic and can lead to an array of issues with negative outcomes, such as depression and anxiety, which can eventually lead to melt-downs or complete break-downs. Get organized and make lists rather than relying on your memory, which can be stressful. Maybe you’ll notice things you can cross off the list before you even get to them. If you only set out to do what’s most important, you’ll be happier and less stressed in the long run.

2. Put yourself in the equation. While much emphasis is placed on giving, don’t forget about taking time to do what you need to do to keep yourself happily engaged, including your basic needs being met. Do as much of what brings you joy as possible. Approach your work in an organized, orderly way without disregarding your true feelings, beliefs and needs. Easier said than done, but necessary. For instance, don’t eliminate healthy eating, exercise and sleep from your to-do list. Resist the urge to forego your basic needs, especially solid sleep, in order to get things done. If you do, no one will ever suffer for it more than you.

3. Ask for help. If you don’t expect to do everything yourself, no one else will expect you to. While it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, there’s something to be said for delegating. Some of us may decide it’s easier to do everything ourselves, even though we don’t necessarily want to. Those who chip in may even take pleasure in doing so, and appreciate you making them feel useful and putting your trust in them. This leads to positive feelings like deeper friendship and camaraderie. Taking on too much only leads to resentment and other negative feelings that can ruin everyone’s fun.

4. Seek professional help. If the kind of help you need is professional, based on emotional needs or attention for your mental health, it’s time to get it. It’s possible that you’ve been hiding your feelings and needs for so long that no one else around you knows you are suffering. There is no reward in suffering alone. You must know there is help available. The real possibility of changing your life for the better exists and is there for you when you make the decision. Stop thinking you’re not worthy or can’t afford it or can’t have it. You only get one life. Why not make it the best it can possibly be? Time spent at Brookhaven Retreat is a chance at a new beginning and a happier, more fulfilled version of your best self. This year, give yourself the gift of the help you need.

Dawes adds, “Run when it’s appropriate to run and reward yourself with much deserved rest, both mental and physical.”

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Lisa Breeden
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