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Spending Thanksgiving alone this year? Stuff(ing) your schedule with these festive solo activities

Just because every seat at your Thanksgiving table isn't filled doesn't mean you can't have a happy, fulfilling holiday. – Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while much of the student body is getting ready to pack their bags and head home for the weekend, some of us don’t have that choice for many different reasons.

Now, holidays can get lonely when you don’t have the option to spend it with your family and friends, but there are still ways you can celebrate this beautiful holiday by yourself.

Watch your favorite Thanksgiving-themed TV episodes

I think this advice applies to any holiday that you have to spend alone — there's nothing more relaxing than getting into your comfy pajamas, getting a big bowl of popcorn or your favorite snack and watching the best episodes that have been produced for that holiday.

My absolute favorites for Thanksgiving have to be the different episodes from "Gilmore Girls," "Friends" and "How I Met Your Mother." I promise they won’t let you down.

Cook your favorite meal 

Bring out the inner chef in you, and whip up a meal that makes you feel all warm and like you’re back at home. It’s hard to make time to cook when you’re busy with classes and exams, so use this opportunity to make that dish you've been craving to eat. You can even just bake something sweet! How good would some cookies taste in this weather?

Call your loved ones

Holidays are always hard without family and friends. It’s very easy to feel lonely when you can’t spend it with them, but there are still ways to connect with them thanks to this very technological world we live in. Call your loved ones, or have a Zoom celebration if you can!

You can even use this day as an opportunity to reconnect with your friends who you haven’t been able to talk to in a while. Just seeing your loved ones, even if it's through a screen, can already make the day so much better.

Pamper yourself

You've been working hard this semester, and you deserve a day to simply pamper yourself. This is your chance to spend the day in your pajamas or sleep in if you want. Maybe order your favorite takeout and have a party by yourself. And of course, you deserve to treat yourself to some early Black Friday shopping too, don't you?

Read that book you’ve been wanting to 

Anyone else have that book just lying on their desk that you've been promising yourself you’ll read soon, but then this thing called life just gets in the way? Yeah, me too. While pampering yourself, you can also finally pick up that book and enjoy a lovely day of reading. This goes without saying, but hot chocolate goes great with a book.

Step outside 

I have found that the best cure to stop feeling low is just stepping out of my house. As someone who lives far away from their family, I tend to get homesick often. But a nice walk even just around the block always lifts up my mood. Step outside, get some fresh air and maybe get your favorite beverage to make that walk even better!  

Volunteer somewhere local

If you have the opportunity and the means to do it, call up a soup kitchen or a shelter near you to see if you can volunteer. You can even donate to a charity of your choice. Whether you're alone or with company, you can always give back to your community during the holiday season!

Enjoy your own company

Most of all, enjoy your own company. It can be easy to neglect yourself when you're a college student with a million things that are happening all at once. It gets lonely to spend the holidays without your loved ones, but use this day to connect with yourself as well. Be present in the moment and spend time with yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret it — you're pretty awesome. 

No matter what you do, it's important to remember that even if you're spending Thanksgiving far away from loved ones this year, there are things you can do to make sure you still enjoy the spirit of the holiday and enjoy yourself.

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