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Beat the Winter Blues

Now that the busy excitement of the holiday season and visiting friends and family has passed, you may be spending more time alone. This can trigger feelings of loneliness or dissatisfaction. Chaplain Keith Goheen M.Div., BCC, with Beebe’s Patient Experience Department, says this is common and occurs because humans are innately social creatures.

“We’re made from stories for stories, and loneliness can occur when we’re not able to share our stories with others—or hear theirs,” says Goheen, emphasizing human connection and encouraging you to remember the way you feel isn't permanent. To battle the winter blues, Chaplain Goheen recommends you:

>Approach Your Calendar with Intention. Planning ahead gives you something to look forward to. Schedule get-togethers with friends, sign up for local events, and make an effort to see other people. 

 

>Get Plugged In. From local initiatives to state and federal programs, there are many ways to get involved in organizations that support groups with common interests, like the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park.

 

>Make Your Own Meaning. Develop a personal, spiritual ritual to dive into how you're feeling and what matters to you, helping you regain an emotional balance. Create a group for discussing spiritual topics.

 

>Practice Your Curiosity. When interacting with others, remember to shift the focus to them. Ask questions, actively listen, and learn to be creative with how you share stories—build on positives.

 

>Adopt a Pet. A fuzzy, lovable companion can be beneficial for emotional and physical health, giving you someone to care for while feeling loved in return.

 

For those who remain busy all year long, Chaplain Goheen suggests paying attention to family members, friends, and neighbors who may lead more isolated lives. Find ways to keep in touch and check in, whether it’s setting a phone date or writing a letter once a month, to make loved ones feel connected.

This Article Appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue of The Beacon.