Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 22, 2010

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

Happy Holiday Tips

Note: A sound bite on this topic is available at:

Lincoln—Holidays bring hustle and bustle to our lives. Shopping for presents, decorating, baking cookies and going to parties keep everyone busy.

In the midst of this busy-ness, 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 emotions can be the result of stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, financial stress, and not being with family and friends,” he said. “We don’t have control over everything, but we can influence the way we feel in some simple ways.”

To manage the holiday blues, it’s wise to remember some holiday tips:

Manage stress. Keep an eye out for over-spending and over-commitment. If you feel stressed, take a break, sit comfortably, close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes, being conscious of each breath. You can visualize a relaxing place, like the beach or someplace else that’s peaceful.

Make realistic expectations for the holiday season. Don’t expect everything to be perfect. Don’t expect Great Aunt Harriet to get along with Uncle George, if those two have never gotten along before.

Pace yourself. Don’t take on more than you can handle.

Make a list and prioritize the activities. This can make holiday tasks more manageable. You may not be able to get everything done, but if you prioritize, you can at least get to the most important things.

Volunteer some of your time to help others, or spend time with supportive and caring people. This will make you feel less lonely.

Limit your consumption of alcohol. Excessive drinking can increase feelings of depression. Especially, don’t drink and drive.

Spread some holiday cheer. Reach out to a friend or family member you haven’t talked to recently.

Make time for yourself. Take time off from your tasks. Don’t let the pressure build.

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.

Live in the moment and enjoy the present. This is good advice all year long.