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Spending Thanksgiving alone may not be easy, but there are ways to remain joyful

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 10:55 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Like many Americans, you may be spending Thanksgiving this year alone for the first time, but there are ways to remain grateful and positive for the holiday.

“I know I’m thankful for sunny days that you’re able to get outside and potentially have a safe-distance gathering with someone else,” Region Ten Director of Adult Outpatient Services Jennifer Myers said.

Thanksgiving is usually a time to gather with friends and family from all over, but that’s not happening for many due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that it’s a tough time for everyone with the holidays coming up. It’s getting colder and darker, and a lot of traditions that people are used to participating in you might not be able to do this year,” Myers said.

But despite the change, Myers says there are small things you can do to stay connected: “If you can’t be with your family, but you are able to connect with them, I think it’s great to use the phone, FaceTime. You can even Zoom and have a virtual family gathering,” she said.

For Charlottesville resident, Barbara Marra, she’ll be with her family outdoors for Thanksgiving.

“I guess I’ll wear my snowsuit and I’ll be fine. Even when it’s beautiful out it is November,” Marra said.

Marra has been living alone during the pandemic and says it’s important to remember joyful moments during the holiday time.

“This too shall pass and you have to just do the very best you can. Don’t wallow in it, just be grateful for what you have,” Marra said.

Redefining what you’re grateful for can go a long way.

“It’s important to remember that this isn’t forever. This is temporary and we are in a pandemic now, but it’s going to get better,” Myers said.

Myers says this Thanksgiving being alone may not be so bad. This time for yourself may be what you need.

“I think it’s also a good time to be selfish. If people are able to do things for themselves that bring them joy, I think that’s OK. I want people to be able to feel like they can take care of themselves right now because it’s hard,” Myers said.

On December 1, Region Ten will transition back to same day access appointments where you’ll be able to speak with someone if you need help right away.

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