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How To Make The Best Of A Solo Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to get together with family and gorge on copious amounts of food, sometimes life gets in the way of reuniting with loved ones for the holidays.

Fortunately for those going solo this year, life counselor Dr. Joyce Marter chatted with HuffPost Live on Monday to give some tips for making the most out of a lonely Turkey Day.

"You have to get up and showered and out and active and add some structure to your day," Marter said. "If you stay in your jammies all day, you're going to end up feeling depressed."

Dr. Marter's full tips are as follows:

  • Practice self-care
  • Create structure to your day
  • Avoid social media
  • Be of service to others
  • Pay attention to your self talk
  • Honor your feelings
  • Practice gratitude

Watch the video above for further details, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here. Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Add a little baking powder for fluffier mashed potatoes.
    <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5860498/make-extra-fluffy-mashed-potatoes-by-adding-a-pinch-of-baking-powder" target="_blank">
    Cal Crary via Getty Images
  • 2 Keep the mashed potatoes warmed in a slow cooker.
    You'll have a whole extra burner for making gravy.
    HealthKickChick/Flickr
    You'll have a whole extra burner for making gravy.
  • 3 Don't waste time washing and peeling potatoes.
    Let your <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/surprising-dishwasher-uses_n_1690523" target="_blank">dishwasher wash the po
    Adam Gault via Getty Images
    Let your dishwasher wash the potatoes for you -- and peel them when they come out clean. OR, boil them with the skin on and give them a dunk in cold water once cooked. This will shock the skins loose and make peeling a breeze.
  • 4 Slowcook the turkey overnight.
    Yes, you can. And yes, this will make your Thanksgiving feel infinitely easier. Pop the bird in the oven the evening before a
    Tetra Images via Getty Images
    Yes, you can. And yes, this will make your Thanksgiving feel infinitely easier. Pop the bird in the oven the evening before and wake up to a nearly completed Thanksgiving feast. Here's the recipe.
  • 5 Use chicken broth to save a dried out turkey.
    If you've overcooked your bird -- and this is more common than you think -- pour a little warm chicken broth on top of the sl
    Foodcollection via Getty Images
    If you've overcooked your bird -- and this is more common than you think -- pour a little warm chicken broth on top of the slices to add flavor and warmth.
  • 6 Make your pie dough way in advance and freeze it.
    It's one less thing you have to do around the big day. Or, you could just buy one already made. We won't tell.
    DNY59 via Getty Images
    It's one less thing you have to do around the big day. Or, you could just buy one already made. We won't tell.
  • 7 Use beans for pie weights.
    Not many of us bake pies on the regular, so we don't have things like pie weights and shields on hand. Luckily, there's no ne
    Laura Knox via Getty Images
    Not many of us bake pies on the regular, so we don't have things like pie weights and shields on hand. Luckily, there's no need. Use dried beans or rice in place of pie weights and fashion yourself a pie shield out of aluminum foil.
  • 8 Prepare your gravy ahead of time.
    Yes, it's possible. <a href="https://editorial.huffingtonpost.com/entry/?referrer_url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/2
    Rob Melnychuk via Getty Images
    Yes, it's possible. This recipe will show you how. That way you don't have to stress about the gravy when all you and everyone else wants to do is sit down and eat.
  • 9 Keep your gravy warm with a thermos.
    Another way to take the last-minute work out of gravy.
    davebarger/Flickr
    Another way to take the last-minute work out of gravy.
  • 10 Chop your veggies ahead of time.
    Store the chopped onions, celery and carrots -- already portioned for each recipe -- in clearly labeled containers in the fri
    minako yoshida via Getty Images
    Store the chopped onions, celery and carrots -- already portioned for each recipe -- in clearly labeled containers in the fridge or freezer.
  • 11 Use the garlic-peeling shortcut.
    Saveur showed us how to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d3oc24fD-c" target="_blank">peel a whole head of garlic in
    Matthew Leete via Getty Images
    Saveur showed us how to peel a whole head of garlic in just 10 seconds. This is an essential trick to know on Thanksgiving.
  • 12 Use your cooler.
    It works as a second fridge. Everything that doesn't fit in the refrigerator -- which is a lot on Thanksgiving --  goes in th
    Jeffrey Coolidge via Getty Images
    It works as a second fridge. Everything that doesn't fit in the refrigerator -- which is a lot on Thanksgiving -- goes in the cooler. It's so simple, yet so genius.
  • 13 Put the cookbooks away.
    If you're following recipes this Thanksgiving, print them out and tape them to your cabinets. It'll free up the much-needed c
    Mrs Magic/Flickr
    If you're following recipes this Thanksgiving, print them out and tape them to your cabinets. It'll free up the much-needed counter space that cookbooks or computers take up. We suggest filling that space with snacks for the cook: you. Happy Thanksgiving!
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