Holiday Survival Chat (for people not into the holidays)
If the holidays get you down, stress you out, or simply annoy you with schedule changes and event requests, we hope you'll find some tips and tricks in this video to help you survive the holidays when you're not a holiday person.
Voiceover: Welcome to the Options Save Lives weekly live stream, where we spend an hour each week exploring life improving topics through the lens of alcohol recovery, and the Sinclair Method. Every week we take on a new question, topic or common challenge to empower people to either build a better relationship with alcohol, or to eliminate it completely. Episodes are filmed live on twitch at twitch.tv/cthreefoundation, and the audience is encouraged to ask questions and engage with the host and guests. The Options Save Lives weekly stream is hosted by Executive Director Jenny Williamson, and is produced by the C Three Foundation with the support of R Street Institute and other generous sponsors. For more information about the C Three Foundation, or the Sinclair Method, visit our website at cthreefoundation.org.
Jenny: Hello everybody. How is the sound? I have a little bit of a different setup today because I don't have any guests except for all of you, and you're not on camera. So hopefully you can hear me and I don't sound like I'm stuck in a tin can, and thank you everybody for joining in today. Wow, what a great crowd already. We've got a lot of the usuals out there, a couple of people who I don't recognize even, so wonderful, it's good to have you here. As always, I am Jenny Williamson, Executive Director of the C Three Foundation and your host for the next hour.
How is everybody today? It's Christmas Eve. Depending on where you're at in the world, I think some of you may already be into Christmas Day, if you're one of our Australian listeners, but if you're part of our live Twitch audience, go ahead, tell us where you're watching from today and say “Hello.” Those of you who are subscribers, you'll find we have a brand new emote in our little cache of subscriber emotes now, so I'm gonna pop that in for our tier one subscribers. So we are broadcasting live here from the C Three office in chilly Fort Myers, Florida today. We seem to have a yo yo effect, one week we've got extreme heat and the next week I’m back in a sweater, so I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying the weather, however it may be.
So this week, we are going to have a holiday survival chat for people who really just aren't into the holidays. So while we're here today for the next hour, what I would really love to see is what are your tips. Put those in the chat area. Tips that I can share with other people who may be watching, or watching on a recorded version, and help people to get through, the holidays are just so tough for a lot of people. So let's help people get through this. Let's help each other get through this.
So I'm going to start you with three questions for you to think about. You don't have to answer them right now, but as you come up with an answer, go ahead and pop that into the chat area. How many of you out there find yourselves just longing for the end of the holiday season to come? And what is it about the holidays that either makes it really enjoyable for you or keeps it from being enjoyable? And what's your number one go to tactic for surviving the holidays? So before we jump too far in I do just want to say hello to everyone again. I see those happy Christmases, and again our UK contingent of watchers is out there strong. We've got London and South Wales and let’s see Netherlands. So yeah, we've got a great crowd. So it's probably already dark for you guys, so more of the evening Christmas Eve. So are you guys holiday people? You know, would you guys consider yourselves holiday people? Oh, we've got a Pennsylvania, that's awesome. So I'm gonna give you guys a couple moments to let me know if you're holiday people.
Now, we got some not holiday. Me personally, I haven't been a holiday person since I was about 18 years old. And I won't tell you how many decades ago that was, because some things should remain a secret. When I was a child, you know, the holiday season meant more visits to one side of the family to see aunts, uncles, time to play with my cousins and stuff, and of course gifts, and the annual running grudge match of guys versus girls Trivial Pursuit. But it also meant squeezing in family gatherings with the other half of the family who it seemed we only saw on holidays. So of course neither side lived close to the other. So it meant traipsing all across Northeast Ohio, often in the snow, to make sure that everyone was visited, so we could check that obligatory annual get together off of our list. You know, and sure the holidays had a fun side, but it was, even as a kid, it was never decoupled from the stress and that feeling of expectation, which is probably why for as long as I can remember, the Grinch was always my holiday hero.
So, it sounds like there are some mixed results out there in our audience today. “Not really a holiday person at the moment.” Yeah, it can be difficult to have Christmas alone, and that's another reason why we decided that we would go ahead and have this stream today. Because not everybody, first of all, not everybody celebrates the holidays to begin with. Some people celebrate different holidays. And there's so much expectation that on Christmas you can't be alone. And I'm not necessarily sure that is always a great expectation to have. You know, we’ve got, Ooh, we've got “Christmas, Birthday and New Year all in the same week”, so I can see where that would definitely keep things exciting. But again, “another holiday alone” out there, and oh, and “holidays can be great fun, but it depends on the people you spend them with.” That is absolutely in my mind, that's critical. It's not how you spend the holidays so much, as who you spend them with, who you choose. And whether or not a lot of times you even have a choice in the matter, because, let's face it, some of us, we pull ourselves together to go do things with people we don't want to see, because we feel like we have to, and then it's the whole lead up, stresses us out. And then the whole time we're there, it stresses us out and then all we just need to do is relax and decompress afterwards. And let's face it, we don't always choose the right way to decompress. So hopefully we can all come up with some tips to help each other just really make it through the end of the year, and things that we can proactively put into really any holiday not just the end of the year holidays.
Oh, one of the other things that definitely leads to the holidays not always being joyful, is loss. You know, the audience member out there who buried their mother this month, and that's, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose a loved one. But I think because of the expectations of family being the central part of the holidays, I think at this time of year it does make it that much more difficult. And, you know, I know someone who just recently this week had a parent pass, and so it has been a tough year and the last two years have been epically difficult where that's concerned, because we've got the regular day to day of life, but so many people have been sick and have lost their lives in the last two years because of the pandemic, and I think that that makes things even that much more difficult. We chose a holiday theme this year of Make it Memorable, and we came up with this months and months ago. We could have never imagined that, well everything was looking better, and it looked like people were going to finally be able to gather all over the world with their family members again this year. Wow, it's just not looking that way everywhere. It can be really difficult, and, you know, acknowledging that it's difficult is actually, it's okay. It's okay to acknowledge that it's difficult. It's okay to say “Listen, I'm ready for this to be over.” You know, everything.
So, here's a little bit about how I turned from somebody who just loved the holidays as a kid, to not liking them at all. As I say I, at one point I actually, I don't think abhor is really too strong of a word. I abhorred the holidays for many years, and then I managed to find a set of coping mechanisms that I personally embraced. And while I don't celebrate the holidays in the traditional expectation way, I've found ways to really just enjoy and make the most out of my Christmas Day for instance, and the holiday season. And I see in the comments, yeah, that a lot of the advertising this year is about getting together with family again. Yeah, and that's not widespread, you can't do that everywhere again, unfortunately. And hopefully this is going to be the last year that that is the case, but at this point, I don't know anymore. I just don't even know.
But my first Christmas after I moved out of my parents’ house, happened when I, it was about six months after I turned 18. I had moved in with my grandmother while I was home from my first year of college on Christmas break, and so I was a little bit out of the loop with the annual activities. So when I called my parents on Christmas Eve to find out when everybody was getting together and where the next day for dinner, an argument broke out, you know, because families, arguments, holidays. I think a lot of people can relate to that. Plus, I was 18 and, you know, 18 year olds, 18 year olds know everything. So I know I sure thought I did back then. But I was told that since I had moved out of the house, I had chosen that I was no longer a part of the family, and so I was not invited to Christmas dinner. And that, as you can imagine, did not go over well. It really, it became a pivot point for Christmas. Within 15 minutes of getting off the phone, my grandmother and I were both so angry that we had taken down the tree, took all the decorations up, put it away, and I was left in the moment with the feeling that Christmas was nothing more than a shallow, superficial way of pretending to care about others, while treating them poorly the rest of the year. And thankfully, I have grown since then. And I mean, I still don't embrace the holidays, as you can see there's no little Santa hat. I don't have the red and green holiday cheer going on. But, you know, I've found a way to make them kind of fade into the background like any other day.
So let's talk about some of the reasons that people just do not enjoy holidays. A lot of times it's because of the expectations. A lot of the expectations that are out there for the holidays just seems so unmanageable. You've got to have the right gift, and see all the people and all of the, you know, it's the spending, the giving, the parties, and feeling like you have to do everything with everyone all season long, even when you don't want to, and that can be incredibly stressful for people. And a lot of those expectations come with the time involved, the finances involved. A lot of people just really get into their set schedule, and the schedule changes alone are disruptive. For many, many people, stores are closed early, some are open late and people have to work late in order to cover those shifts. And there are people who are dealing with trauma and loss and, you know. So what other reasons do you have out there in the audience that can make the holidays unenjoyable? So I'll give you guys a couple of moments to think about that. Some reasons that people don't enjoy the holidays.
I see you guys out there. I couldn't have come up with an exhaustive list. Yeah, “too much drinking.” Yes, too much, too much drinking is one of those double edged swords, because, and it's funny, because just earlier this week I shared an article that talked about the fact that women in particular, stress alone can lead women to over drink, and this is whether you have an addiction or not. Whereas men, stress doesn't generally lead them to over drink unless they've already been drinking prior to the stress. We've got “being single.” Yeah, I think the expectation of family and togetherness and having to compare that “Oh well. What did your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife get you for Christmas?” Being single can definitely just, it can be isolating this time of year, because everybody really just puts that expectation out there. And again, I feel like I'm probably going to say the word expectation a lot during this stream, because, I mean, I feel like that's where a lot of the stress comes from. We feel like we have to live up to some ideal, and that it's all on display so that we can have that perfect Christmas card life to put out there with everyone else's Christmas card life, you know. And “family drama.” It's crazy, because family drama is so intertwined with the holiday for so many people. And I don't know if it's the combination of that everybody gets, families get together during the most stressful time of the year when everybody's nerves are frayed. And then you add in the too much drinking, and then someone says something that can't be taken back and somebody else gets mad. And three months later, the argument and the drama from Christmas is still lingering, trying to be healed, and when you see that over and over, then even leading up to those family gatherings, the stress is already there before there's even a chance for the drama.
And then yes, “the current situation of not being able to be with your loved ones.” It really does cause stress, and that's both because of the pandemic and travel restrictions or even just general distance and logistics. Not everybody can be with their family. But when you've lost a loved one, there aren't many more potent reminders than at Christmas when, again, the focus from the outside is all about family, and you feel that loss a lot more poignantly. And it's not just a moment, because the Christmas season seems to start before Halloween half the time. You don't just have a day of “Wow, I really miss my loved one.” It lingers on, and those reminders are bombarded at you for several months. And, you know, leading up to if you just simply logistically can't go be with your family, it's the same thing. It's the stress of knowing that you can't, you can't make those plans. You're not going to be there. You're not going to get that special one dish from your family meal together that you love every year. And we've got someone whose grandfather always wound her up at the Christmas table deliberately. Yeah, I think every family has that one relative that likes to push people's buttons on purpose just to watch it all kind of spiral into chaos. So yeah, and you know, all of these things, not only do they affect your mental health. Obviously, you know, they come with a layer of sadness. For people who struggle with depression, it can then compound the already existing depression, and let's face it, stress takes its toll on your body physically as well. You know, and the holidays, you are constantly surrounded by rich caloric food. No one's making sugar free cookies unless you've got a diabetic attending, you know. It's the cookies and the cakes and the pies and the fully loaded, you know, butter and everything. Let's just, you know, go all out and enjoy food this time of year too. So you've got the stress. A lot of people deal with unwanted weight gain. And then that Christmas stress for a lot of people can last until those final credit card bills are paid off. And all of that can really be harmful to your health.
Have you guys heard of Holiday Heart Syndrome? Because this is a real thing. Anybody out there in the audience? Have you guys heard of that before? All right, sound like you guys haven't heard of Holiday Heart Syndrome. It's when you have too much salty food and drink too much alcohol. And I don't mean like one particular night. It's you know, this is something that happens, I mean, it can happen any time of year, but because so many people over the holidays, with all of the parties, all of the food. They drink too much. They eat way too much food that’s salty. You've got the chips, the pretzels, the nuts, and you're constantly grazing on these things while you're drinking. And it can actually lead to an irregular heartbeat, otherwise known as AFIB, which is atrial fibrillation. I probably just slaughtered the pronunciation of that. But, all of that, Holiday Heart Syndrome can actually lead you to heart failure or stroke. And doctors, the medical community has seen this continuing to rise over the holidays, and it's because we, you know, we stress eat, we stress drink, we sit there and what we're doing is we're coping with all of these overwhelming feelings, with all of the things that we feel are negative about the holidays, and we're doing what we can, but our survival techniques are not working for us.
So how do we survive the holidays with our physical and mental health intact? Almost all of it comes down to self-care. And those of you who have been on our streams for any amount of time will know, will probably not be surprised at what I'm about to say. Self-care is really freaking hard. It's not that easy, and it takes effort that can feel overwhelming. But self-care is your, it is going to be your salvation through the holidays and through these stressful times. So some of the things that you can do is, you know, first of all, know what your holiday triggers are. Disconnect from them if you can. Create your own traditions. Set clear boundaries. And find other people to share your day with, but only if that's what you prefer. So I'm going to break some of these down, and go ahead and continue to contribute in the chat area along the way.
So let's start first with understanding your triggers. Now for me, originally, after that first, horrible Christmas, literally, everything about the entire holiday season became a trigger for me. Whether it was the focus on commercialism, Christmas invading the stores and radio stations and advertisements long before Thanksgiving even happen, and the once a year religious messages that rang hollow to me. I mean, honestly you name it and I could find something wrong with anything related to Christmas back then.
Oh, we have a great reminder here for, and that's, you know, make sure that you're taking all your meds this holiday season. You know, whether it's, if you're on the Sinclair Method, your naltrexone before you drink, or your antidepressants or whatever other medications you take, don't let the holidays take you off your meds schedule. That is so important to self-care, because when you are better balanced to begin with, when you're doing all of the things to be as balanced in your life as you can, it is easier to deal with stressful situations. If you're letting aspects of your physical or mental health decline, and let's face it, if you're regularly taking medication, you need those for your mental or physical health. So keeping yourself at your best, at your healthiest, is definitely going to allow you to deal with those triggers a lot more effectively, because you're going to be able to have the strength within you to do it. Whereas if if you're exhausted, if you're not sleeping well, if you're missing your medications, your body and your mental health reacts to that, and it makes it easier to let those triggers really get to you.
And you know, and that's, again, that's so important, because the holiday stress, addicted to alcohol or not, can drastically increase the desire to drink alcohol. And, you know, sustained periods of weeks for the holiday season where you have heavier than normal holiday drinking, obviously, if you're struggling with an addiction, that can make it worse. That's not going to surprise anybody, but just because you're not addicted to alcohol doesn't mean that you can't put yourself further at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder due to stress drinking through the holidays. So whether you're addicted or not, whether you struggle, whether you can put down and stop after one drink or not, it really doesn't matter. Excess holiday drinking can increase your risks of either developing or worsening an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol can impair your memory. For many people, honestly, that's the point of drinking during the holidays? A lot of people, whether through loneliness or depression or stress or hurt or trauma, a lot of people will over drink during the holidays to forget. But that's, I mean, first of all, I'm not surprising anybody when I say that's not healthy. Nobody thinks that's healthy, so, you know, that's pretty self-evident. But that can also come with that further risk of damaging already strenuous relationships. You increase your risk for accidents, for injury, and honestly, most people will say that it ends up reinforcing the negative feelings of stress instead of alleviating them. And, you know, what's the saying? I can't forget the things that I drank to forget, or something like that. I can't stop remembering the things I drank to forget. I forget how that goes. If any of you in the chat knows what that quote actually is, what that saying is, go ahead and clarify that for me.
So next, we're gonna move on to disconnecting. If you're able to do it in a healthy way, disconnecting can help. I'd love to say I always chose a healthy way to disconnect over the holidays, but that would just not be true or sincere. While I'm grateful that it never led to alcohol use disorder personally, for many years the holiday meant heavily spiked eggnog, staying home with free flowing Captain and Diet Cokes. And basically, just sitting there shouldering the feeling of isolation and sadness, because I was still holding on to this expectations of others. The expectation that there was something wrong with me if I was sitting at home alone on Christmas. That if I was home alone, if I wasn't with family, that I was broken, that I was unworthy, that I was unloved or unlovable, and that was definitely not healthy. The thing is, when you can step back from that, you can also say, “Yeah, that wasn't true either.” But in those years, in those moments, it felt like it was true. It felt like it was my reality. And yes, as a comment just came through, so many family traditions also involve alcohol. So if alcohol is one of your triggers, disconnecting from some of those events can also be very beneficial for you. So somewhere along the line, I found various ways that worked for me personally when it came to disconnecting from the holidays. I decided that it was absolutely okay that if the Christmas music came on when it was on the radio, I could turn the station. It didn't make me a bad person to turn off Christmas music. I lived alone for a lot of those years, so I just, I stopped putting up a tree. Why should I put up a tree because it's someone else's expectation that in order for a calendar day to happen, I had to have a decorated tree in my living room? I didn't want one. So I decided and I made it, okay, I'm just not going. Why should I put that kind of effort and energy into something that I'm going to stare at? That's going to make me sad. That's going to make me feel more isolated, when I have the power to just not put a tree up. And I started calling my family on the holidays instead of visiting them. This was really important for me, because I could placate them knowing that I'm calling them to wish them Merry Christmas, to see how their day is going, talk with them. But being able to hang up the phone, being able to not feel like I was stuck or trapped in a situation for several hours or half the day, made it a lot easier to deal with those family drama stressors, because picking and choosing my times to call eliminated them, and it ended up working out really, really well. And as I began to disconnect from other people's expectations of the holidays I started creating my own new traditions.
So if you're on the Sinclair Method, a lot of this might sound similar to you because of how much Claudia and I talk about replacing habits that no longer serve you with new, healthier ones. So that's basically what I did. I started looking at pieces of the holiday that really didn't serve me or my mental and emotional health. And then I tried to do things that would just replace them. So for a long time if I worked a job that was open on the holidays, I would volunteer to take shifts from people who had kids, or who had a huge joy for the holidays and really wanted to be with their families. And it was really a win-win. And it was a great excuse to help me disconnect, you know, being able to say sorry, I can't come over for Christmas dinner because I have to work. You know, people accept that. And so they might say, “Oh, well that's too bad you have to work.” But for me, it was actually a little survival mechanism, plus, you know, I got to make a little extra cash by picking up extra shifts on a holiday. The win win was that it also allowed my coworkers to really be able to take that time that they wanted and needed with their family. And so while it benefited me, it benefited my coworkers as well and so it was definitely a win. But after I moved to Florida, well that's when things really started to change. I mean, first of all, when I moved away from where my parents lived, there was no longer an expectation that I was going to get on a plane every year and fly home for Christmas. So that helped a bit. And then I decided that I just wanted to spend the day doing something that was going to make me happy. Because if I wasn't working, and I had the day off, it's my day, it's my time. Why not do something that makes me happy? So I started my new tradition, which I call Beachmas. Well, thankfully, I introduce Beachmas to the woman who would eventually become my wife, when we had only known each other for about a month and a half. We drove to one of the more secluded beaches in the area, and we made little sand people in the white sand, having our warm white Christmas on the beach. We watched the sunset and for even that first year, we saw some dolphins that were traveling back into the Back Bay along the coast around sunset. And then we followed it up with some sushi and got some peppermint ice cream and went for a walk on the pier before we ended our day, and that was a truly enjoyable, new tradition that was born. Let me tell you, tomorrow the weather's supposed to be perfect, so I might not be a Christmas person, but for me, Beachmas is where it's at. It's gonna be beautiful, beautiful weather. We've only failed to see dolphins once over the last 16 years. So it's just really become our cool little thing and it's also allowed us to set boundaries.
Boundary setting can be hard. People want you to come over. People want to throw their expectations for the holidays on you, and setting your own boundaries and keeping them and not letting people drag you into doing things and going places that you don't want to experience, can be so helpful to navigating through the holidays. I mean, how freeing is it to just say “I don't want to go to that Christmas party” when you really don't want to go to that Christmas party? But too many people feel obligated. Well, I was invited. I have to show up. Well, now that I've had, you know, I think this is our 16th year doing Beachmas, no one, no one asks us to show up anywhere on Christmas Day. We'll get together for dinner on another night or for, you know, a little bit of mingling during another afternoon. But now, Christmas Day, no one bothers us unless they want to come on Beachmas with us. And we've had stragglers over the years and that has been absolutely wonderful. Volunteering to work on the holidays was another great way of setting a boundary, because again, it made it so much easier for people to simply accept that I wasn't going to be there. It was kind of a cop out, especially since I would arrange to work, but at the time, you know, I was young. I didn't know how to truly just stand up for myself and say, you know, “I don't want to be there. Maybe not this year.” And, you know, so how do you guys set clear boundaries so that you don't get over extended on the holidays? Or do you set boundaries? I mean, again, boundaries are hard. They're not easy to set, or they're easy to set, they're hard to enforce, I should say. Anybody can set a boundary. It's about whether or not you can get others to respect the boundaries that you're setting that really matters. But I found that before being able to set clear boundaries, I just couldn't get through a Christmas Day without wanting to curl up in a corner and bawl my eyes out. So boundaries have been incredibly powerful for me.
And then another thing that you can do is find like-minded people, I mean friends giving anyone. You know, you're not the only Scrooge or Grinch out there, who would really rather see the holidays blink by instead of stretching on. There are plenty of people who find the holidays stressful. There are plenty of people who don't want to go to every single party, would rather sit back and relax, maybe chat or watch movies or do something a lot more low key than feeling like you must go out. You know, if you're stuck at home and you're by yourself, find somebody to chat with, you know, we've got plenty of video resources and options and just remember that you're not the only one feeling that way. And if you're sitting at home and you're by yourself, you've got a day off, look for something, look for those positive moments in it. Try to find your happy moments. What would you do if you had that day off and it wasn't Christmas? Find something that makes you happy, maybe something that you don't usually have time for. I mean, for instance, today as I was leaving my house heading to the office, I saw a bald eagle swooped down over the road as I was approaching an intersection. And I just took a moment to say “Wow, that was pretty awesome to see”, because in that area, I've never seen a bald eagle before. So just look for the tiny happy moments and see how many you can string together. I mean it made me incredibly happy today that since schools are closed and a lot of people aren't working, I had almost no traffic on my way to work. It was beautiful. It was something to just take a moment and savor, you know.
So whether sleeping in is that thing that you that makes you happy, or, you know, a lot of people, I know a lot of people in the chat area have pets. And so it's, you know, sometimes just being able to sit there and be present with your dog or cat or rat, I know there's a rat out there. So you know, take those little moments and just find the joy in them for what they are, and let go of the fact that it's a holiday. Instead of being inundated with Christmas carols and holiday themed TV shows, set yourself up a playlist and go watch something else that you truly enjoy. Someone mentioned doing a sci-fi marathon. You know, I've known people who have done Lord of the Rings marathons, because that'll last you the whole day. You know, setting up zoom chats. Yeah, it is nice to have physical company at some point, and unfortunately, a lot of situations, because of the pandemic that's just not possible yet. And the comfort, if there is any that can come with that, is just that again, you're not alone in that. And that, as much as it seems like this has been anything except temporary, I don't think anyone thought that, almost two full years later, we would still be talking about a pandemic and lock downs and all of that, and being separate. I know it never crossed my mind when all of this first started that two Christmases later, we would still be dealing with physical separation as the norm. But, you know, unfortunately, the only comfort that can really be taken in that, is that that's widespread, and that unfortunately you're not the only one.
Oh no, we've got a Scrooge of Halloween. Ah, I love Halloween. Personally, that is literally the only holiday that I truly, truly love. Except see, I have a caveat. I live in a neighborhood where I think we have seen one trick-or-treater at our door in the last six or seven years, so I don't even buy candy for Halloween, because I know I'm not giving it out. Any candy I buy for Halloween, I’m just eating, so I buy the good stuff, because I’m not giving it away. But I love the Halloween decorations and the vibe, but it is literally my only exception to holidays. I do love Halloween but the rest, the rest are just more days on a calendar as far as I'm concerned. Oh, well, so for those of you watching this on rewind, it says, the comment is, “I think it's because the US invention of trick or treat has overtaken the British stuff.” I can see where a colliding and overtaking of traditions can definitely cause additional stress and dislike over a holiday. One of the things that I will likely never come to grips with was the fact that when I was a kid, it was pretty strictly socially known that you do not put up any Christmas decorations, or put on any Christmas music or anything like that, until Santa's finished the Macy's Day Parade on TV. That was the start of the Christmas season. And so as long, anything that is even remotely Christmassy before Thanksgiving afternoon will never go over well with me.
And we also have the comment of this being one of the issues with the holidays because of celebrations like solstices and equinoxes. And yeah, I know so many people who have so many different, both pagan and religious backgrounds, who celebrate various holidays in various ways. And there can be so much dogma that it's Christmas, it's Christmas, it's Christmas, and that fails to recognize literally every single person that follows any other religion or background that does not necessarily celebrate Christmas. And that is something that I also do struggle with, is the fact that if Christmas is what you celebrate, then Merry Christmas and that's awesome. If I don't know what you celebrate, you know, I'm going to tell you Happy Holidays, because whichever holiday you personally celebrate, I want it to be happy, I want it to be good for you. And there's so much political and ideological divide on that, and it definitely adds stress for a lot of people, and it does make the holiday season less enjoyable, because instead of traditions coexisting alongside each other, there seems to be this struggle for dominance, and there's let's face it, that just stresses everybody out. So, what are your tips for dealing with that? Because that was one that I had forgot to add to my list even, was the encroachment of one holiday into another, and kind of that tug and push. So, you know what are your tips for dealing with that as someone who doesn't necessarily follow the specific Christmas holiday? So if anyone has tips on that, I'll definitely add those in.
But I, you know, the holidays are stressful, they can be rough, they can take what you're feeling. If you're feeling lonely, if you're feeling depressed, if you're feeling, if you're triggered by past trauma, if you are feeling loss and isolation, the messaging from the holidays can really just double down on all of those feelings unfortunately. And again, just, your time is yours. Try to let go of other people's expectations of how you should handle and celebrate or not celebrate the holidays. If you love the holidays, then my goodness, go for it. Just dive in and do all the things that make you happy. Trim the trees, put up the lights, have the celebrations, do it all if that's what makes you happy. But if there are parts of that just stress you out to the point where it's not even enjoyable, find healthy ways to either disconnect or take a step back. Create your own fun, enjoyable, relaxing, healthy traditions that you can embrace, and find people that prefer the things that make you happy as well. And then you have somebody who can enjoy the holidays with you in your own way. And, you know, if you have any additional tips, you know, go ahead, go ahead and let us know. I mean social media, Discord, just, we're here.
But it looks like we are almost out of time, and audience, I love you guys. Thank you. Thank you for being here, for spending the last hour with me. I hope that you guys have found something that you can take from this that will help you get through the next week, with your mental health and physical health intact. If you came in late, if you want to watch it again, if you want to share the stream, we're going to have today's video up on our website relatively soon, hopefully by the end of the day. The transcript will follow when we can. Did you guys know that we also have this available on our YouTube and our Vimeo channels? And we have got approved for Spotify with video. You can find our videos for this entire season each week on Spotify. And if you're watching it on your TV, you can you can actually watch the video on Spotify, and it'll put it in your new video podcast list when a new episode appears. And then we've also on Anchor FM with just the audio.
Next week, I'm going to be back again, again without a guest, but I'm going to talk about strategies to set achievable goals in the New Year. So start thinking about your questions or tips that you use to set your goals, and are you setting any New Year's resolutions? Hopefully next week's broadcast will help you find ways to keep those promises that you make to yourself. If you’ve found value in the broadcast, we hope you'll hit the donate button in the profile or go to our website and make a donation at cthreefoundation.org/donate. We just got and cashed our third Twitch check, so thank you subscribers and people who have cheered and tuned in and supported our show so far. We love getting those little, we love getting those checks from Twitch. They certainly help offset some of the costs. You can follow our channel to get broadcast alerts. If you subscribe to our channel, you get to go ad free and get those bonus emoji to use. If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can subscribe for free, and you can send gift subscriptions to other viewers, cheer, drop bits or even host our channel. If you'd like to become an episode sponsor or suggest a topic or guest, you can find a link to that on our website on the main Schedule page. If you're on the Sinclair Method and you're looking for more peer support, or if you just want to join the C Three Foundation community, we've got you covered with groups on Facebook, Discord and our Options Save Lives forum.
Merry Holidays. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and then Happy Holidays to everyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas. I see that there – Oh, I'm getting hungry now. We’ve talk in the chat about pigs in blankets. That was a specialty that my grandmother used to make. Enjoy your weekend. Be gentle with yourself and with others. And just remember it's okay to do the things that are going to protect your mental health during the holidays. So stay safe, and I will see you again right here next week on Twitch, next Friday at noon, for the final stream of 2021.
Voiceover: You've been watching the Options Save Lives weekly live stream hosted by Executive Director Jenny Williamson, and produced by the C Three Foundation with the support of R Street Institute and other generous supporters. For more information about the C Three Foundation or the Sinclair Method, visit our website at cthreefoundation.org. If you have a question you want answered live on air, to make guest suggestions, or to support the show, let us know. You can reach us through our website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on Discord. Join us each week as we continue to discuss more ways to help you build a better relationship with alcohol, or to eliminate it completely. Because recovery from alcohol use disorder is not a one size fits all process. Options are available and Options Save Lives.