How to Spend Thanksgiving Alone (and Enjoy It!)
Why Solo Thanksgiving is Actually Awesome
By Chelsea Vincent
Spending Thanksgiving alone this year? Here are the best ways to enjoy some time with number one!
Holidays are a funny business. When we’re traveling to see friends and family for Thanksgiving, or even hosting Friendsgiving potlucks at home, there’s a lot of work to be done. We get sucked into a vacuum of frenzied festive energy, and then, before we know it, it’s December.
On the flip side, if anyone finds out you’re spending Thanksgiving on your own, sad frowns and furrowed brows appear almost immediately, betraying feelings of “you poor thing, your family must not love you or you must be poor.” What nonsense!
In fact, having spent several Thanksgivings alone in LA, I can attest to the fact that there are several ways to actually get the most out of a turkey day spent in solitude. Here are some great ways to own your solo day this year:
Make Your Morning a Personal Retreat
Even if you don’t go anywhere or make plans, the weeks leading up to turkey day can be filled to the brim with meetings, end-of-year pushes, and tight deadlines since many people take extra time off between now and December. Thanksgiving morning may be the first time in a while you haven’t had to jump out of bed and plug into your coffee IV drip.
As such, enjoy the morning as a personal retreat of sorts by focusing on self-care. Attend a local yoga class, listen to your favorite relaxing music, or even try spending a few hours in total silence without plugging in to social media or your cell phone (crazy, we know). Taking a retreat doesn’t have to mean jetting off to Costa Rica for five days, and you might be surprised by how restorative an easygoing morning on your own can be. Hooray for social detoxing — it’s a thing.
Go for a Drive, Sans Traffic
After your morning of soulful relaxation, take a drive — or heck, even a bike ride — to a local place you’ve been wanting to explore, like a forest or the beach. Traffic is usually surprisingly light on Thanksgiving, and with stunning weather and fall colors, now is a great time to soak in the crisp air with the windows down.
Feeling motivated to be of service without being tied to formal dinner plans? Drive over to a local food pantry or other organization and volunteer for a few hours. There’s nothing like serving up a plate of warm food to a veteran, or other human being in need, to remind us of all we have to be grateful for.
Eat What Sounds Good to You (or Skip It)
On the topic of food, since you don’t have to pretend to like that funky greenbean casserole today, feel free to grab snacks and other items you actually want to eat. If you’re craving homemade Pad Thai, do it. If PB&J is where it’s at for you, awesome. If you want to snuggle up with some curried carrot soup, more power to ya. You don’t have the constraints of a traditional dinner holding you back, so why not indulge in your own way?
On the flip side, and with all the hype around the benefits of intermittent fasting, perhaps consider using today as a fast. You’ll give your digestive system a much-needed break, and fasting is always a good reminder of those who don’t have the luxury of feasting or even regular food. Be bold.
Score Some Sweet Shopping Bargains
Last but not least, if holiday deals are your thing, take advantage of spending Thanksgiving on your own to get some great bargains. Particularly if you have been eyeing some big-ticket items, many larger retailers start rolling out their online shopping deals later in the day on Thanksgiving. If you do want a little retail therapy, stick to shopping online — you won’t have to worry about crazy stampedes, and you’ll know that your shopping didn’t pull anyone away from gatherings of their own.
Wherever you’re hunkering down for Thanksgiving this year, be sure to actually consider all of the things that have gone right for you lately. And be sure to let us in on the goodness! What are you most grateful for this November?