Single in the City? How the Holidays Leave the Fabulous Feeling More Like Failures

Saturday, December 6, 2008 General News
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SEYMOUR, Tenn., Dec. 5 For many, city living is at itsfinest during the holiday season. The usual hustle and bustle is furtherglamorized by the festive parties, larger than life decorations and crowdseager to soak in the joyful atmosphere. However, for many single citydwellers, especially women, the season can be an emotionally trying timefilled with expectations of romantic companionship. Idealized notions ofromance during the holidays have developed a negative stigma for single womenthat may result in negative consequences, such as depression, anxiety andsubstance dependence.

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"During the holidays we start to see more single women looking fortreatment," said Jacqueline Dawes, founder and owner of Brookhaven Retreat, apremier holistic women-only treatment facility for emotional trauma andaddiction. "The thought of going to a trendy holiday party minus one, spendingNew Year's Eve alone or balancing the season's plans, or lack thereof, isenough to create a need to find an escape in many single women. They are oftenso exhausted from the pressure of the season that all areas of their health,both physical and mental, begin to breakdown."

The three main triggers of holiday depression include relationships,finances and physical demands, according to the Mayo Clinic. A survey by theNational Women's Health Resource Center states that two-thirds of women reportdepression during the holidays. Women in urban areas often feel like theirlives and careers are running exactly as planned throughout most of the year,but when the holidays arrive and many gatherings revolve around families,couples and children, feelings of loneliness can become overwhelming.

Here are a few suggestions to help combat the holiday depression that manywill experience this season.

-- Always have a clear plan that doesn't rely on others. Don't just waitfor things to happen. Get out your calendar and fill it with things you haveneglected to do but have felt positive about in the past.

-- Have a goal each day of doing 3 small things in the evening. One foryou, one for your home and one for others.

-- Create rituals and traditions that are important to you. Holidayrituals do not mean you have to be the host. Be humble and courageous and letpeople know that you would love to be their guest. If you are the host, don'tbe above assigning your guests duties.

-- Don't be tempted by alcohol. If you feel lonely and sad, alcohol isnever the solution. It doesn't minimize stress; it just numbs it for a while.Many harmful and dangerous things can happen when alcohol is involved, andsometimes people lose sight of moderation during the holidays.

-- Plan a trip! If you feel staying at home may be overwhelming, talk toyour closest friends and plan a trip. This can be an excellent way to balanceyour life.

"All women, especially those who are single, need to manage theirunrealistic romantic expectations during the holiday season," said Dawes. "Theholidays are a wonderful time, but it is important to be sensitive to thesocietal, and personal, pressures the season can bring. Ultimately, it shouldbe a happy and memorable time of the year for everyone."

About Brookhaven Retreat

Brookhaven Retreat is a unique, voluntary residential treatment facilityspecially designed to help women overcome emotional trauma or addictionchallenges. The fully accredited and certified dual-diagnosis center isAmerica's premier treatment center for emotional trauma and addiction andoffers female-specific treatment. Located on 48 beautiful acres in thefoothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, it offers modern, holistic care withcompassion and respect from a highly trained expert staff of licensedtherapists, physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensedpractical nurses. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Brookhaven Retreat

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