Tips on what to do on New Year’s Eve for feeling good whether solo, intimate, or at a party
If life is chipper, it’s easy to bring in the New Year joyously. But if your life is less than, well, bubbly, and especially if you’re psychologically frail to begin with, bringing in the New Year can be depressing or anxiety-provoking.
As usual, a how-to article can’t turn a pained person into a joyous one who will revel in 2016’s arrival but perhaps one or more of these salves might help.
If you’re alone on New Year’s. Rather than lamenting that you’re unlike most people who have company for New Year’s, might you actually prefer being solo? If so, celebrate your being special and enjoy New Year’s in your own way, no compromise.
Perhaps you’re happier in your favorite sweats than in some get-up? Or eating something politically incorrect that you don’t normally allow yourself, like a fat burger and fries? Or avoiding every single bowl game in favor of watching and crying at Sleepless in Seattle for the 10th time? Or dancing around the house naked to gospel music? Or going to bed at 10:00–the hell with seeing the ball drop? It’s unlikely you’d be able to do those things if you brought-in 2016 with company.
If you’re with one person. If it’s an intimate, should you forgo the expected; booze it up, mouthe platitudes, watch the ball drop, kiss, and have sex? What would the two of you do if you defied convention: Get Chinese takeout? Dress up but don’t go anywhere? Do something romantic like hold hands and simply look into each others’ eyes for 10 minutes. Play some sexy game like The Discovery Game? (link is external) Or how about thinking back to your happiest times together: Want to replicate one or more of those on New Year’s Eve or Day?
If your relationship is platonic, you have even more freedom. What’s something special or ordinary that you like doing together? Just because it’s New Year’s doesn’t mean you can’t decide that the most enjoyable thing would be to take a hike, play gin rummy, or giggle at some silly TV show that’s a guilty pleasure.
If you’re at a party. Parties are typically the most challenging option for the psychologically vulnerable. So I make these suggestions with particular humility:
Do you want to go to the shindig with someone you know will be supportive? If you don’t know of anyone, consider coming early, putting your antennae for someone you intuit is kind, and standing in his or her line of sight. Perhaps s/he’ll approach you. Or if you can muster the courage, say hi and make a comment about the environment there: the food, the room, the music, whatever. That’s something you know you share in common.
Many emotionally frail people get overwhelmed by all the stimulation at a party. An antidote is to shrink it to one-on-ones or even by standing in the corner and being the watchful observer. That’s fine .There’s no one way to enjoy a party. Or if you’re a dancer but not a connector, dance your buns off, even if you’re dancing by yourself.
The upshot. Even the frailest among us should be able to find a way to make New Year’s at least a bit better than it otherwise might be. And if not, it’ll soon be over, and there’s always next year.
Marty Nemko’s bio is in Wikipedia (link is external). His new book, his 8th, is The Best of Marty Nemko. (link is external)