Women with mental health and substance abuse issues often lose sight of what brings them happiness. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other illnesses can overshadow a woman’s desire to meet basic mental health needs such as safety, responsibility, self-assurance and love. During treatment, women learn the importance of prioritizing these fundamental needs in an effort to find their happiness again.
August is Happiness Happens Month. This month-long celebration began in 2000 by The Secret Society of Happy People, and has grown into a nationally and internationally recognized movement. In August, the women at Brookhaven Retreat are encouraged to explore their happiness and support the happiness of others.
Women at Brookhaven Retreat participate in weekly therapy sessions with a primary therapist. Psychotherapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, give women the tools to cope with mental distress and the skills to successfully regulate emotions.
As part of a woman’s long-term journey to recovery, Brookhaven Retreat reconnects women with hobbies and pastimes they once neglected. Group activities such as painting, exercise, team sports and gardening can positively impact women’s mood, help cultivate new friendships and support social wellness.
Women are also encouraged to take control of their nutritional needs while in treatment. Insufficient intake of essential vitamin and minerals can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Brookhaven Retreat’s registered dietitian educates women on how medication, substance abuse and mood disorders can negatively impact nutrition, and works with them to create an individualized nutrition plan.
Throughout the month of August, Brookhaven Retreat continues to help women discover what makes them happy. By building a healthy whole, a woman is able to address any emotional, mental or physical aspect of wellness that may compromise her happiness and hinder her from fully enjoying and participating in life.