Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest days of the year for drinking. Alcohol is consumed in excess, which is why the night is often referred to as “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving.”
Some of the reasons why people drink heavily on the night before Thanksgiving are:
Most people have the following day off
It’s a four-day weekend, giving people time to recover
College students return home for break
It’s the official start to the holiday season
People are anticipating Black Friday
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Thanksgiving Eve rivals New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July for drunk driving incidents. The CDC reports that there will be approximately 730 people injured or killed each day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in drunk driving accidents. Even bars agree that Blackout Wednesday is their busiest day of the year.
Tips for Managing Temptation on Thanksgiving Eve
If you are a recovering alcoholic, it’s important to protect yourself this holiday season. A lot of the attention is given toward Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when really, it’s holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving Eve that can be most concerning. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a safe, sober Thanksgiving that keeps you on track with your goals.
Practice self-care. Knowing that there will be more temptation, increase your self-care. Get adequate rest each night, avoid eating high-sugar foods and let people know if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Aside from eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated, also make time for daily meditation.
Have an exit strategy. Ideally, you want to spend the holiday with the people who care about you and your recovery. But, this is the time of the year when extended family and friends visit. You can’t predict every situation, but you can have an exit plan in place in case you do feel uncomfortable.
Start a new tradition. If you used to go out with friends and get drunk on Blackout Wednesday, it’s time to ditch that tradition and start something new. Re-focus your energy on a new tradition such as baking cookies/pies, cutting down a Christmas tree or seeing a holiday movie.
Practice gratitude. Look forward to making a difference this holiday season. There are many people who are spending their Thanksgiving in shelters or on the streets. Find a way to volunteer your time to help others. This will put a new perspective on what you’re going through. As hard as it is to be in recovery, you have a new beginning.
One of the biggest drinking nights of the year is here. Rather than letting it fill your head with resentment, find ways to create new traditions that will bring you happiness and fulfillment. Best of all, you won’t wake up with a hangover on Thanksgiving. You can enjoy spending time with friends and family and celebrating a sober holiday season!