Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 16, 2012
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or
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Happy Turkey Tips
Keep the Holiday Blues Away
Lincoln—Shopping for groceries, cleaning house for company, baking and cooking—these are the things we do to get ready for Thanksgiving. Then there may be the stress of family get-togethers that can sometimes be overwhelming or don’t always go so smoothly or family members are unable to get together.
Because of these things, some people may feel sadness, loneliness and anxiety, according to Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
“These feeling may be the result of stress, fatigue, and unrealistic expectations,” Adams said. “Those who can’t be with family and friends may be lonely,” he said.  “We can’t control everything, but there are some simple things we can do to influence the way we feel.”
Holiday tips to beat the blues:
Manage stress.  If you feel stressed, take a break.  Give yourself time to regroup.  Don’t let the pressure build until steam comes out of your ears.
Have realistic expectations for the holiday season.  Don’t expect everything to be perfect. The brother-in-law that you didn’t like last year you probably won’t like this year either.
Set realistic goals for yourself.  Just try to have a pleasant time, if possible.  Don’t expect euphoria.  You’ll get through it.
Make a list and prioritize activities.  If you prioritize, you can probably at least get to the most important things.  If you don’t get everything done, you don’t get everything done.  That’s the way it goes.
Don’t take on more than you can handle. Let others help you with your holiday duties.  There’s no reason you have to do it all when there are others willing to help you.  Give your young kids tasks they can do, like setting the table, or vacuuming, or keeping their siblings occupied.  Give adult kids responsibilities, like bringing a dessert or other dish, seeing after granny or cleaning up after dinner.
Volunteer some of your time to help others, or spend time with supportive and caring people.  This will make you feel less lonely.  You might even have fun.
Limit your consumption of alcohol.  Excessive drinking can increase feelings of depression.  Holidays can be celebrated without spirits.
Spread some holiday cheer.  Reach out to a friend or family member you haven’t talked to recently.  It might make their day (and yours, too).
Live in the moment and enjoy the present.  This is good advice all year long.