The most wonderful time of year also can be the most stressful. Avoid holiday stress with some planning and a positive attitude.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services offered these strategies to beat the holiday blues:

Stick to a budget.

  • Before you shop, figure out what you can afford to spend and stick to it. Consider free holiday activities such as looking at light displays, hosting a movie night or checking out holiday books from the library.

Manage expectations.

  • Be aware of unrealistic expectations and worrying about how things “should” be. As families change and grow, traditions may change, too.

Say no to excessive commitments.

  • No one can do it all. Saying yes when you want to say no can lead to resentment.

Reach out for support

  • Connect with family and friends if you feel lonely. Bring up happy memories from past holiday celebrations.

Volunteer.

  • Help a neighbor or friend in need, work a shift at a local shelter or complete random acts of kindness.

Celebrate responsibly.

  • Drink alcohol in moderation and don’t mix it with medications. Avoid making alcohol the main focus of social events.

Be kind to yourself.

  • Say no to negative self-talk. Recognize that you’re doing the best you can with holiday noise and stress.

Build in time for yourself.

  • Do at least one thing you enjoy every day, no matter how hectic your schedule. Get plenty of sleep. Take a walk, listen to music or read a new book.

Take the season one day at a time.

  • Focus on what you can control and take help when it’s offered.

Eat healthy and drink water.

  • Smart meals and staying hydrated will help keep energy levels up. Have a healthy snack before holiday gatherings so you don’t overindulge. Eat holiday treats in moderation.

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