Online Program Offers Tips for Managing Holiday Stress During a Pandemic

November 9, 2020, 12:54 pm | David Brown

Stressed woman by Rido/, Iowa – The holidays can be stressful in any year. With the added stress from the pandemic and isolation, what will the holidays be like in the year of COVID-19?

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, will begin offering the online program, “How to Manage Holiday Stress During a Pandemic,” to provide education about how to manage and process these feelings.

“Because of factors like travel complications and susceptible family members, there will be plenty of rethinking plans and, possibly, canceling them altogether, adding more anguish to a period already filled with immense stress,” said Diane Eischeid, a crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach.

“Whether it’s how to plan for gatherings, what to do if you can’t see family or even if you and your family disagree about the best course of action, there could be tough choices ahead. We will discuss how to approach a holiday season like no other,” Eischeid said.

ISU Extension and Outreach will offer “Loneliness and Isolation in a Pandemic” during lunch hours. Each program will last for approximately one hour. Those dates and times are as follows:

Eischeid is leading the program along with crisis/outreach counselor Andrea Gustafson. This program is being offered at no cost to all those in the community interested in learning about this topic. To register for any of the programs, go to and scroll to the program you are interested in. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program.

For more information, contact Andrea Gustafson at or Diane Eischeid at

Other resources

Iowa Concern, from ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website,, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or, email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.

COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual counselors provide counseling, activities, referral information and help finding resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via all social media to help Iowans build coping skills, resilience and emotional support. To request support, go to

Andrea Gustafson, crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach,
Diane Eischeid, crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach,

Photo credit: Rido/


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