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Need a Break? Women’s Groups Contribute to a Happier Lifestyle

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Last Thursday night I witnessed a murder. Well, not a real murder, a pretend one—it was a murder mystery party my women’s group was putting on. It was a night titled “Death by Chocolate,” taking place in the fictitious Lady Godiva Spa.

Our hostess, one of our members, transformed her house into a spa for the night. We each brought chocolates to exchange that covered the dining room table our hostess had decorated with a table cloth, tea light candles, and books about chocolate decadence. She had manicure/pedicure items laid out on the bar in the basement, and recipes for mixing amber and vanilla scented salt scrub, and facial toner with disposable plasticware for taking home. Sumptuous treats of beef Carpaccio, and roasted garlic and tomato on crostini with carmelized onion dip were placed strategically around her house for snacking while discerning the who-dunnit.

Why We Do It
After a few weeks of unavoidable stress from being mommy and wife, working at my full-time job, and doing never-ending chores, my women’s group is my one night a month that is a welcome reward of relaxing with “my girls.” I have read articles that assert women who belong to women’s groups experience less overall stress and lead happier, more well-rounded lives. I have noticed that women are the first to discount their own needs. Many tend to martyr themselves and put everyone else in their family and their schedules first.

One member of Wo-Hoo! put it this way, “It is my way of branching out. I have a tendency to close myself into my little world and get into a rut with my routine. Wo-Hoo! gives me something to look forward to, and lots of new experiences I wouldn’t have had without the group.”

In June of 2002, I started a womens group called The Wo-Hoo! Society with some good friends. I was post-divorce, living in Phoenix far from my family back in the Chicago-area, and looking at being laid off from the third job in two years thanks to the dot-com bust. Since September 11th the previous year, I had been feeling especially disconnected and far from home. I longed for people I could count on.

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