Historically, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family in gratitude for all we have. And whether we sip a Pinot Noir with the turkey, grab a few beers during the game or savor a fine whiskey while reminiscing about the past year, alcohol is often an active participant in the holiday celebration.
On average, people consume fewer alcoholic beverages on Thanksgiving than on other holidays. However, 15% of men and 11% of women binge drink, causing their blood alcohol concentration to rise. And more than 2% of women and 3% of men drink to the point where they black out. But what is it about holidays that leads to this increase in alcohol?
The stress of holidays can cause people to drink more
While some alcohol can be an accompaniment to a special occasion, there are many reasons why you might get drunk this Thanksgiving – whether intentionally or not.
No matter how thankful you are for the blessings in your life or how much you appreciate the opportunity to get away for the weekend, you may be stressed out by:
- An overwhelming feeling of loneliness
- Sadness of a loved one’s absence
- Everything you need to prepare for hosting
- Disagreements between family members
- Concerns about unmet financial demands
Unfortunately, stressors can lead to seasonal depression. And while alcohol may temporarily soothe your soul, it can lead to more serious problems down the road.
Three ways to drink less on Thanksgiving
Alcohol can exacerbate various health problems. And getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks could jeopardize your safety while risking the lives of those around you. Additionally, the police could pull you over and arrest you for drunk driving.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can drink less this Thanksgiving. To increase your chances of staying safe and well, as well as out of trouble:
- Find resolve in your ability to set your limits, saying “no” when necessary
- Think about why you are reaching for another drink, and consider alternatives
- Take time to reduce your stress level in ways that will benefit your body
If you drink too much, consider whether you have an addiction problem you should address. And if you face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, you can explore your options for maintaining your driving privileges.