As much as we love to spend Thanksgiving with our families, sometimes life just gets in the way. You may be on a tight budget, living too far away, or your work schedule is just being mean. Whatever the case, it can feel really isolating if you can’t make it home for the holidays. Although nothing can ever replace family, there are ways to make the holidays feel less sad.
Friendsgiving was made great by Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, and Joey, and sustained by many people in their shoes that learned to create memorable traditions with lifelong friends. If you’re feeling a lil’ lonely, consider hosting a Friendsgiving.
Throw a potluck… everyone brings their fav Thanksgiving dish!
Play a game of flag football.
Go around the table and say what you’re thankful for.
Hold a pie contest.
Make delicious Thanksgiving drinks.
Enjoy yourself and be thankful for the people you have in your life.
2. Think about ways to help other people
Being away from home during the holidays is tough. It’s easy to even be depressed or feel hopeless over the holidays when you know families are getting together and enjoying themselves. One way to handle a lonely holiday season is to look for ways to help other people.
Soup kitchen: whenever you are feeling sad or lonely, it’s always good to keep things in perspective— you could always have it worse. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and create new relationships with other struggling people. Call your local Salvation Army or search on VolunteerMatch to get involved… these places are often in need of enough food & volunteers.
Turkey Trot 5k: Turkey Trots are also often charity races. Get outside, and enjoy being around other people while raising money for a good cause. Staying active can also help prevent you from dwelling on things you wish you had. To find a Turkey Trot in your area, click here.
Care packages to troops: The holidays can be a lonely time for members in our military, too. They are usually far from home and far from people who love them. Make care packages for our soldiers and click here for information on what they need!
3. Reach out to people in your area
Try and build connections with people that you are already around. You would be surprised by how quickly you’ll find people who are away from friends & family, too!
Neighbors or coworkers: Utilize the people you are around and invite them into your home. It’s easy to give your neighbors a wave every day and still not know their name. It’s normal to small talk with your coworkers but never spend time with them in any other context. Invite the people you are already spending time with for drinks, dinner, or games.
Nursing home: serving other people is a great way to stop thinking so much about yourself and how bad you have it. It’s not uncommon for residents at nursing homes to be alone themselves on the holidays. You will make their day to eat a turkey meal and play a few card games with the residents!
If you have a friend who is feelin’ a little lonely, spread the love and share this with them!