Alone On Thanksgiving? Tips To Making It A Great Day

alone on Thanksgiving

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

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. This article is about why that is totally fine!

Maybe your family lives out of town, maybe you going through a divorce 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.


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Feeling alone, especially on a holiday can feel stressful. 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 in your journal. Look at old photo albums. Every day is and should be treated like a gift. Take advantage of it. Your kids will be back before you know it and you will have enjoyed your peace and quiet. I promise. I have lived this.


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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 children, and the life you want moving forward. Remember that next year on Thanksgiving, your life will most likely be very different, especially if you want it to be.


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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. If that means seeing a therapist, getting on medication (there is no shame in that by the way), or hiring a divorce coach, love yourself enough to help yourself.



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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 and quite a few Christmas’s alone, making vegetable soup and watching TV. Surprisingly,  I ended up enjoying it because I had a good attitude about it. Yes, it’s hard and I don’t blame you for feeling sad, angry, bitter, hurt or other emotions. It’s understandable and normal. But, try to take a deep breath and appreciate the day–whatever it turns out to be.  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.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Like this article? Check out, “Being Alone after Divorce: Why it’s OK and Tips on How to Enjoy It”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    One Response to “Alone On Thanksgiving? Tips To Making It A Great Day”

    1. Deborah Kirby

      Thank you for this. My 9-year-old daughter is about to go to another continent for Christmas with her dad. I live on a different continent again from my family. So this Christmas will be far from all my family. Anticipating the departure of my daughter is dreadful, and I feel like a tense ball of wire is in my heart. Your blog helped.


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