Reduce Stress, Enjoy The Holiday Season

LINCOLN – Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services recently posted tips for reducing holiday stress and staying healthy for the Holidays.

According to a release from DHHS, you may think Christmas and other December holidays are identical with stress. But, with a little creativity and some self-care, that doesn’t have to be the case – mentally or physically.

While COVID-19 continues to be persistent globally, vaccines and boosters are making it feasible for many families to spend the holidays together this year. If you’re planning to spend the holidays with those outside your household, enjoy – but celebrate responsibly.

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Tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Staying Physically Safe During the Holidays:

  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
  • Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
  • Get a vaccine booster if you are eligible. People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings and you are not fully vaccinated.
  • Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission. Outdoors is safer than indoors. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Testing can give you information about your risk of spreading COVID-19. Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.
  • A positive self-test result means that you have an infection and should avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else. A negative self-test result means that you may not have an infection. Repeating the test with at least 24 hours between tests will increase the confidence that you are not infected.
  • Do not put masks on children younger than 2 years old.


Tips for Managing Emotions This Year:

  • Allow people to feel their feelings, rather than urging them to be in a celebratory mood. Don’t inadvertently fault them for how they feel.
  • Consider a virtual celebration via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime if you can’t physically be with your loved ones this year.
  • Be realistic. This year’s holidays, like last year’s, will be different than pre-pandemic celebrations. Avoid judgment or unrealistic expectations.
  • Set time aside for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, drugs and overeating.
  • Plan your holiday shopping budget in advance so that you don’t overspend.


Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 para Español
  • Your faith-based leader, your healthcare professional, or student health center on campus.
  • Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time. (888) 866-8660
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)