Sometimes, as sad as it seems, you find yourself completely alone for the holidays. The reasons may be beyond your control, or something you decided on. Yet, to be alone on the holidays, a time of the year that emphasizes togetherness, the loneliness can be overwhelming – even for loners.
If you are afraid that you will not be able to enjoy solo Thanksgiving, then here are some tips for spending the holidays by yourself to help.
1. Adjust your expectations
A lot of people have this idea in their head of what the holidays should be like. The norm of being surrounded by family, friends, and merriment can really bring you down if you are suddenly without it.
Thus, you might accidentally turn to things that you shouldn’t, like drugs, alcohol, overeating, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, abandon the idea of the perfect Thanksgiving. Do not try to create a “traditional household” feeling when this is anything but traditional. Remake your Thanksgiving to your own standards.
2. Plan out your Thanksgiving
Obviously, you know you are going to be alone, so it is not like you can’t make plans to keep yourself busy. These plans can be anything from seeking out events where you will be with others, such as community dinners or pub crawls.
If you are alone because you have to work, why not make plans with coworkers stuck in the same situation? Though it might not be as great as spending the evening with the family, you can still share some pizza and watch a Thanksgiving football game or movie.
3. Make the day your own
If you have been forgetting to treat yourself, then make this solo Thanksgiving all about you. Think about what you need. Do you want to spend the day alone? Do you want to travel? Buy new clothes? Get a haircut? Eat something tantalizing or new? Go to the gym? Then just do it. Plan out a day that revolves around you catching up with all the things you have been too busy to indulge in. Give thanks to your body and to life.
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4. Reach out across the distance
Just because you are physically alone does not mean you have to emotionally isolate yourself, too. Pick up the phone or click the call button on Skype. Send pictures, memories, and cards to those you love and care about. There is nothing wrong with contacting your friends and family to hear their voice or see their pixelated face.
5. Give back
It might sound a little backward or cliché, but sometimes giving back when you are alone on the holidays is one of the most fulfilling things you could do. There are thousands of people just like you who need a compassionate smile to keep them going.
No time is better during the holidays. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen, food pantry, charity, or animal shelter. Not only will you be making a positive impact on someone who is worse off, you can immerse yourself in the true meaning of “Thanksgiving.”
Yes, I said it. Travel. Go places. Get out of where you are to see something new. If you are going it alone, then go big and far. It does not have to be a super indulgent jet-setting trip either. You can go to the next town over. Go to the beach. Go skiing. Take a camping adventure in the mountains. Stay in a hotel in the big city and order room service. While everyone is home, overeating, you can be blowing off steam and having the time of your life.
7. Dinner for one
If you live for the Thanksgiving dinner your family cooks every year, going without it can be hard. That is why you should not deny yourself dinner for one. Make small portions of everything you love.
Be sure to get the recipes from your family members so you can recreate the flavors exactly. Of course, this also calls for wine to help you wash down the nostalgia… but hey, there is another thing to be thankful for!
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Spending Thanksgiving alone can be a depressing thought, especially when you are used to being surrounded by others. Do not let being single for this holiday get you down and keep you barricaded indoors.
Enjoy the chance to pamper yourself, meet up with new friends or coworkers, or do something unexpected and adventurous. Just because you are alone does not mean you have to be lonely.