How to ‘Thanksgiving’ alone: an exclusive guide for introverts and independents


Angel Harper

Sleep recharges your brain to cycle out mental clutter and relieve tired bones. Resetting your sleep schedule to fall asleep and wake up at healthier intervals regenerates cells and restores energy.

The social culture of Thanksgiving rings loud and clear in its celebratory practices.

Welcoming close and distant relatives under one roof parallels layer upon layer of cheese gluing the infamous family casserole together so everyone can get a bite.

But sometimes the family dynamic doesn’t melt into cheesy layers of compatible goodness.

Leaves of the family tree remain stuck to their own branches, either celebrating in tight social circles or alone.

In spite of whatever circumstance(s) wound you without a crowd this November, no need to skip the fall festivities.

Here lays a guide for introverts, independents or loners on how to successfully “Thanksgiving” alone:


4 a.m. – 5 a.m.

This time interval may precede your intended wake-up time during the break but look at it as cutting your sleep schedule to carve more time for yourself.

Rising early improves sleep quality. Setting up your alarm in the wee hours of the morning forces you to doze sooner, so waking up early feels like a reasonable feat.

To increase endorphins, try lowering your water temperature in the shower. Cold morning showers rejuvenate skin and arouse the senses.

Standing under a cool drizzle motivates you to hop out faster.

You can stick to warm water when brushing your teeth, though. Heat breaks down bacteria and germs, exceeding cold water’s realm of possibilities.

Follow up with your standard hygiene habits, such as hair maintenance and skincare.

Next, spread three outfits on your (readily-made) bed. Ensure each outfit doesn’t resemble the preceding one.

This self-care guide spans until midnight, so time outfit changes at 9 a.m. from PJs to a casual fit, 1 p.m. for kitchen-style attire and 8 p.m., rounding back to a PJ set.

This practice mimics a superhero changing costumes throughout their mission-packed days. Instead, in this case, you’re rescuing your sense of self and brain from boredom.

This Thanksgiving, you’re divorcing your pajamas in the daytime to avoid your bed and wilting away this holiday.

Waking up when it’s still dark feels like a fever dream. It creates the illusion that you ditched sleep, so you trick your brain into thinking you didn’t dip into your mattress at all.

This is not so unusual for high schoolers that pull all-nighters but still strange, given school breaks involve retiring fatigue for the week.

Nonetheless, applying this self-care guide for one day ensures the rest of your break days to embrace late mornings.


5:01 a.m – 7 a.m.

With not one minute to waste, your bedroom should now be a memory.

Hibernating in your room tempts you to take “just a nap.” This Thanksgiving, all rooms in your house are subject to use.

Head to the kitchen and cook a festive breakfast. Don’t stick to your every day, infant-sized pick-me-up. Attempt to assemble a nutritious, filling morning meal from scratch.

Dig into your Pinterest board with hidden recipes saved from months ago, or your bookmarked tabs of homemade eats.

If you need a wake-me-up, fall-inspired coffee flavors spice creativity. Stop by a bustling coffee chain or local coffee shop to indulge in a swirl of pumpkin, cookies, caramel and more to spike your creative juices.

Don’t forget water for balance. There will be plenty of rewarding desserts at the end.


7:01 a.m. – 9 a.m.

It’s time for some pen-and-paper planning.

Make this Thanksgiving revolve around self-nourishment and self-care. Eat what you love, but establish a routine to make you feel and look your best. (Angel Harper)

While fueling your brain with food, have a phone or computer handy to research recipes because Thanksgiving dinner falls on you.

Don’t worry, lunch isn’t forgotten.

Even though you’re running solo, it doesn’t mean dinner should be minimized to takeout from your favorite restaurant that’ll probably close by the time you order, due to holiday-affected hours.

Refer to photos of your past Thanksgiving plates so you have an inkling of what you wish to stuff yourself with.

Compile an array of recipe names, paired with their ingredient lists. To avoid cooking a debilitating load of food, research an appetizer, a main dish, side dishes scattered throughout the table for the presentation effect and several desserts.


9:01 a.m.-12 p.m.

Grocery shopping time.

This is where the effects of your cold shower kick in.

You’re energized and feel ready to conquer any impediment, including lodging bags full of ingredients that will design a personalized Thanksgiving feast.


12:01 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Take a breather. Shopping is a sport and should be followed with a quick rest. I still don’t understand why it isn’t considered in the conversation of being included in the Olympics.

Take advantage of your first break. Take a hot shower to wash away the exhaustion and flick on the news.

Change to chef-inspired attire.


1:01 p.m.- 7 p.m.

Prep, cook, bake.

Meal difficulty ranges from person to person. This time interval accommodates all prep/cook times and personal skill levels, whether beginner, intermediate or advanced.

There are slow and fast work ethics. Enjoy this time to incorporate lunch to avoid burnout and miniature breaks to maintain stamina.


7 p.m. -7:59 p.m.

Clean the kitchen, toss the dishes into the dishwasher and set the table with fine china, a centerpiece and your fancy utensil set saved for special occasions.


8 p.m. -11 p.m.

Grab a blanket. Hop into comfy clothes and crank your heater for a toasty den experience.

Except you’re seated at your table, admiring the 5-star catering package you assembled.

Now, feast.


11:59:10 p.m.- midnight


Happy [Early] New Years!

Wait, that’s not until Jan. 1, but you feel polished, and it looks as if a new year has unfolded a month early.

To sustain this feeling of refinement, apply this self-care guide or think of your usual routine and supplement it with productive practices to sift out harmful elements to unveil a healthier, filtered version of yourself.

But back to the topic — have a splendid Thanksgiving!