Thanksgiving is a holiday that screams family, food, fun, and NOT being or feeling alone. But the reality is, some people won’t have that kind of day. Some people will be alone on Thanksgiving.
Maybe your family lives out of town, maybe you just got separated and your kids are with your ex this year on Thanksgiving, or maybe you are going to a friend’s house but inside you couldn’t feel more alone.
Feeling alone, especially on a holiday can be terrible. Being alone on Thanksgiving can make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, like no one cares about you, like you are all alone in the world, and like you are a loser.
What I want to say is: none of these things are true!
If you are alone on Thanksgiving this year, here are some things to think about:
1. Forget the pressure of Thanksgiving and just enjoy your day.
Think of it this way: you don’t have to work! You are free to do whatever you want! Do something you love. Take a hot bath, cook for yourself, watch a movie you love. Clean out a closet. Read a book by the fireplace with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. Work out. Bake cookies. Write poetry. Look at old photo albums. Every day is and should be treated like a gift. Take advantage of it.
2. Keep things in perspective.
Think about the life you have. Don’t focus on what happened, things you wish you had and what you wish could be. Concentrate on your health, your kids, and the life you want moving forward. Remember that next year on Thanksgiving, your life could be totally different. (If you want it to be.)
3. Ask yourself why you feel alone.
Do you need support? Do you need to get help? The best thing you can do for yourself if you feel constantly lonely is to do something about it. You owe it to yourself to get help if you think you need it. You deserve to be happy. Take care of yourself emotionally, the same way you would if you had a horrible cold.
4. Love yourself.
Perhaps this is most important in getting through being alone on Thanksgiving. When you have self-love, you love yourself enough to spend the day with yourself. Does that make sense? Self-love gives you confidence and strength and grace to spend a day completely alone, or to spend it with a group of people and without a spouse, and find enjoyment and gratitude from it.
In closing, remember this about being alone on Thanksgiving…
There is nothing nothing nothing wrong with spending time alone. Whether it’s just a Sunday or a major holiday that comes with external pressure to be with family and have fun.
I have spent a couple Thanksgivings alone, making vegetable soup and watching TV. It wasn’t ideal, but I did enjoy it because I took a deep breath and appreciated the present. Also, remember that if you have family and friends who love and care for you (and you love and care for them), no matter if you are physically with them or not, you are never alone.