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The Single Woman'...

The Single Woman's Guide To Surviving Thanksgiving

Because the only thing being roasted should be the turkey.

Congrats! You're single. You're free. You can eat all the turkey and fixins' you like this Thanksgiving and nobody's watching. Plus, you don't have to endure any of the stresses that come along with spending the holidays with a partner's family. That said, as a single woman, I find that the holidays often exacerbate an unspoken, yet pervasive, negative stigma about what it means to be single. But I'm here to stomp out that stigma and help you get through any single obstacles that may pop up this year.

Isabel Thanksgiving

So, here are my top 10 tried and true strategies for surviving Turkey Day in one piece.

1. Proudly Answer Any Nagging Questions About Your Love Life

You haven't settled for that guy who wasn't good enough for you, and that's admirable! So, when family members start murmuring pesky questions about why you're still single, hold your head up high and own your singledom! Don't let that gossipy neighbor of your parents or ornery Aunt Ellen make you feel less than.

2. Don't Drown Your Single Sorrows in Apple Pie and Booze

We should have learned from Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf.

 

While it's totally easy to overeat and indulge in your inner lush on Turkey Day, I advise you against total decadence. First of all, you simply won't feel so great, and there are many healthy alternatives to dealing with stress around the holidays. Try cooking a new recipe and be a helping hand in the kitchen. Come up with fun Thanksgiving crafts to do with the family. Or just enjoy the holiday time alone by relatives.

3. Direct Conversations Toward Positivity

If someone is sending negative energy your way, getting too political (and you don't agree), or judging your awesome single status, just change the conversation! You can control the narrative of your own life. Don't react and stay grounded. I guarantee the other party will respond positively to your energy.

4. Plan Special Activities to Do With Your Family

If you're surrounded by couples and feeling the single person blues, lean toward games and activities. A staple Thanksgiving activity in my family is to play charades post turkey-wine coma. I suggest coming up with some fun games to play with your family and encourage some good ol' family bonding time! Also, I'm all for that pre-turkey day hike or post-dinner stroll.

Isabelle Thanksgiving Hike

5. Be Grateful

This should go without saying since it IS Thanksgiving after all... but sometimes we get so mired in stuffing recipes and cooking tasks that we forget that the sole purpose of this holiday is to give thanks! Every Thanksgiving, I make a gratitude list and focus on all the great things that have happened over the past year. I go around the table and share my gratitude and encourage everyone else to do the same. Or at least I force everyone to say one thing they're grateful for in that moment. It's fun, a great conversation starter, and a good get-to-know-you game too!

6. Volunteer

There's no better way to give back at Thanksgiving than by volunteering your time to those in need. Plus, it's a great excuse to escape the family if they're getting on your last nerve! So, check out local soup kitchens in your area and lend a helping hand this year. Fill your heart, not only your belly

7. Invite Friends Over, The More The Merrier!

The more people you have around, the less attention focused on your dating status. Enjoy the holiday by mingling and celebrating with friends too. Because good relationships start with great friendships anyway, and those annoying relatives will see that you don't need a romantic partner to have a fulfilling social and emotional life.

8. Exercise Before the Meal to Get Your Body and Mind Clear

Everyone knows endorphins are the best natural upper. I recommend going for a run or hike before the feast begins. Getting fresh air and getting physical will help your body and mind when dealing with any unwanted holiday or family-induced stress. Just get out, breathe in, and let go!

9. Stress All Your Career Successes Instead of Stressing Out

This is possibly my favorite weapon in my singles arsenal. There's nothing better than sharing your career successes with your family at the dinner table. Not only will you totally change the direction of the singles dialogue, but you'll also show that you're progressing in other areas of your life. And no one can argue with that.

10. Strut Your "Yassss Queen!"

You're beautiful. You're smart. You're talented. Believe in yourself and no one can challenge you or break you down. Exude confidence. The right one hasn't come along yet. And you know what? That's A-OK. Keep the faith and don't settle for anyone that doesn't deserve you. Because you deserve the best.

 

Now, go have fun! Happy almost Turkey Day, y'all!

Isabelle Dungan

Isabelle is an NYC-based writer, editor, and actress. She aims to inform, entertain, and create discussion.

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