Woman holding small pumkin and smiling
iStock

Thanksgiving brings up visions of huge family meals enjoyed around a table. It's no wonder that if for whatever reason we find ourselves alone on that day, we can really end up feeling just awful. But, being away from family on Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to spend the day feeling sad about what you are missing out on.

More from MamásLatinas: 20 Top spots in the US to experience the beauty of fall foliage

With a bit of forethought and planning, you can create a Thanksgiving experience for yourself that is beautiful and keeps you in a grateful state of mind. Begin by flipping your perspective. Instead of focusing on who you can't be with, you can focus on who you can be with and yes, even if you are going to be alone, you can still have a good time. Not only can you have a good time, you absolutely deserve to have a good time.

Just like planning a Thanksgiving with family takes effort, so does planning Thanksgiving for yourself. Don't expect things to come together on their own because they won't. Get creative, start your own traditions, and be good to yourself.

We've put together just a few ideas of how you can create a special Thanksgiving for yourself when you can't be with family. Check them out and let them inspire you to have a very, very happy Thanksgiving.

Make sure you plan ahead. 1

Make sure you plan ahead.

Pixabay

If you're feeling some kind of way about having to spend Thanksgiving without family, make sure that you plan ahead. Don't wait until the day of to figure out what you are going to do, that will just make you feel worse. Sit down a couple of weeks before and come up with a plan.

Advertisement

Let go of expectations. 2

Let go of expectations.

iStock

Do yourself a HUGE favor and let go of any expectations you have related to the holiday. All you are doing when you hold on to the idea that Thanksgiving should be spent a certain way is setting yourself up for disappointment. You can spend the day any way you like.

Advertisement

Spend some time writing love letters. 3

Spend some time writing love letters.

iStock

If you are missing family members, that's OK. It just means you are blessed to have a family that you love. Channel that love into writing letters to the people you are missing. Imagine how touched they will be when they receive your heartfelt message.

Take yourself outdoors. 4

Take yourself outdoors.

iStock

If the weather permits, spend time outside. Go for a hike, a stroll on the beach, or a bike ride. The fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D from the sun will do wonders for you.

Advertisement

Binge-watch an entire series. 5

Binge-watch an entire series.

iStock

We live in the golden era of binge-watching. A solo Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to watch an entire series from beginning to end in one day.

Advertisement

Spend time with a friend. 6

Spend time with a friend.

iStock

Chances are you probably know someone else who is spending Thanksgiving alone. Why not spend it together? You don't even have to do the whole big meal thing. You could just hang out together, go for a walk, or catch a movie together.

Advertisement

Host a friendsgiving. 7

Host a friendsgiving.

iStock

Friends are like the family you get to choose. Invite some of your chosen family over and enjoy the holiday together.

Go to a parade. 8

Go to a parade.

iStock

Check out where the nearest parade is and go. Who says you can't go to a parade alone? It's actually a great thing to do on your own. It's easier to find a good viewing spot when it's just you and you can stay as long or as little as you like.

Advertisement

Spend the night at a local hotel. 9

Spend the night at a local hotel.

iStock

If you can afford it, consider booking yourself a room at a local hotel. It will feel like a mini-vacation. Plus you can hang out wearing a plus robe, order room service, and you won't even have to clean up after yourself.

Say yes to an invitation. 10

Say yes to an invitation.

iStock

If someone is kind enough to invite you over for Thanksgiving, say, "Yes!" Even if you think you'll feel awkward because you won't know everyone there, put on your big girl pants, slap a smile on your face, and go.

Advertisement

Remember what this holiday is really about. 11

Remember what this holiday is really about.

iStock

Be thankful. Take time to actually think about all the blessings in your life and let yourself feel grateful. Make a gratitude list of all things big and small that you are happy to have.

 

Buy yourself a dinner for one. 12

Buy yourself a dinner for one.

iStock

Just because you're not sitting down to a big family dinner doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a nice meal for one. If you're not big on cooking, head to a local store with a deli or prepared foods section and buy yourself a Thanksgiving dinner for one. When you get home, plate it up beautifully, and then enjoy every last bite of it.

Advertisement

If you like to cook, then cook. 13

If you like to cook, then cook.

iStock

If cooking is your thing, by all means, cook up a storm. Make yourself dinner or spend the day baking. How often do you get to spend an entire day trying out recipes?

Have a pajama party for one. 14

Have a pajama party for one.

iStock

There are those of us who truly enjoy spending an entire day in pajamas, but rarely get a chance to do so. This is the perfect time to throw yourself a pajama party. Buy yourself a fun new pajama set, get cozy, and spend the day in pj heaven.

Advertisement

Spend the day volunteering. 15

Spend the day volunteering.

iStock

Feeding and helping others has a way of feeding and helping your soul. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available during the holidays. Just make sure that you sign up in advance because volunteer slots do fill up ahead of time.

Schedule a virtual family get-together. 16

Schedule a virtual family get-together.

iStock

Technology is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family. Schedule some virtual face-to-face time with your loved ones. In this case, scheduling a video call guarantees that you won't miss out on seeing those you love just because you can't be in the same place at the same time.

Advertisement

Treat yo' self! 17

Treat yo' self!

iStock

We're not suggesting that you go shopping on Thanksgiving, unless you want to. What we are suggesting is that before Thanksgiving, you treat yourself to a few items that will make Thanksgiving special for you. May we suggest cozy socks, new pajamas, gourmet popcorn, a nice bubble bath, a fancy candle, and something nice to drink?

Know that help is just a phone call away. 18

Know that help is just a phone call away.

iStock

If you find yourself feeling depressed or in crisis, please reach out for help. You can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and support when you need it.

 

Advertisement

Enjoy your own company. 19

Enjoy your own company.

iStock

How often do you schedule dates with yourself? Probably not often enough. Spending dedicated time with yourself doing things that you love to do is a blessing and a gift. There are so many things you can do when you are alone that you would never do in the company of others. Sing off key, eat all the onions and garlic that you want, watch that movie you are too embarrassed to admit you want to see, and the list goes on. 

Get it done! 20

Get it done!

istock

"It" could be putting together IKEA furniture, going Marie Kondo on your closet, or any number of projects that have been on your to-do list. Spend the day getting "it" done.