Coping with New Year’s Eve

As this New Year’s Eve approaches, the coronavirus is surging; new cases and hospitalizations are rising every day. Again.

December 31st and January 1st are thought of as days to be spent with husbands and wives, significant others, various loved ones, and friends.  It’s a secular holiday associated with parties and celebrations. It’s a holiday that carries with it a lot of pressure because of all the expectations that go along with it.

If you’re feeling that pressure, take a deep breath and remind yourself that if you think about it objectively, New Year’s Eve really is just another night. You absolutely can choose to do your typical activities and be content.  You can do your usual activities with just a little flair, like a special meal or a beverage you wouldn’t usually have.

Maybe you’re spending New Year’s Eve alone or very differently from how you’d like to spend it. The change could be:

  • by choice
  • because of COVID-19
  • because you’re geographically far from friends and family
  • because you can’t afford anything else
  • because of a natural disaster
  • or for any other reason at all

Whatever the reason, there’s no reason it can’t be a good experience – or at least not a bad experience. I’ve had plenty of rough New Year’s Eve experiences. On one, I was being transferred from a local hospital to an acute physical rehabilitation facility an hour away, in a snowstorm. I’ll just sum it up by saying it was an ugly night right through to the morning. The bright spot was that I was able to see out over the beautiful snow-covered grounds. It was a view worthy of being on a postcard, or being captured on canvas and displayed in a museum.


This is not the first New Year’s Eve that we’ve had COVID and other huge problems to deal with.  It certainly doesn’t make it any easier if your first preference would not be to celebrate alone or only with your most immediate household members. Try to remember that many others are in your situation, for one reason or another. You’re not alone in feeling alone.


The last day of the year is an opportunity for some self-reflection, self-assessment, and goal setting. You have to be kind to yourself, though. Don’t unfairly criticize every little thing.  Congratulate yourself for your successes and achievements over the past year, whether they were big or small. Consider even rewarding yourself! You can reward yourself with small things or big ones. Here are a couple of ideas for inspiration:

  • Try a new haircut or style. There are some good apps that let you see how you would look in different ways, so you can even try it before you commit.
  • Buy a book or e-book
  • Download some new music.
  • Go out for a special dinner or treat yourself to take-out from a new place.
  • Try an indulgence like an essential oil diffuser, a neck or foot massager, a manicure/pedicure, special bath or shower oils, or a special pillow to help you relax.

In your opinion, if the year hasn’t gone well, think about what you can do to improve next year. Accept the fact that some things are beyond your control. Remember that everyone and every life has setbacks. Learn from mistakes and negative experiences whenever you can. Make a toast to yourself for all that you’ve done, all that you do, and all that you will do in the future.


You don’t have to be in the room with someone to connect with them.  Have people call you or plan on calling someone just before midnight to share the countdown. You don’t have to stay on the phone for long. You can just ring in the New Year together, wish each other well, and then say goodbye.


If there isn’t anyone who you want to call on New Year’s Eve, remember that another way to connect with other people is on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can watch as people around the world post New Year’s updates and ring in the New Year across different time zones. You could never be in all those places at the same time anyway, so watching is the only way you can have that experience; you’re not missing out on anything by not being somewhere in particular.


If you enjoy quiet nights at home, why can’t you treat this as one of those nights? Choose what’s likely to be a good book, grab a favorite beverage and snack, and get lost in a story. You can check out my website for reviews of hundreds of books that got at least a four- or five-star rating. If you want something from different genres, just email me.

If you want to get a head start on making improvements for next year, you can consider self-help, motivational, inspirational, or other books that inspire you.


New Year’s Eve is always associated with making resolutions. These can be about anything including general life improvements, health improvements, appearance improvements, enhanced relationship skills, improved financial standing, improved work performance, and so forth.

If you choose to make resolutions, first remember to be appreciative of what you have and appreciate your many talents and skills. You’re not making resolutions because you’re a deeply flawed person. You’re simply setting goals for yourself because everybody has something they’d like to improve.


If you’re staying in, consider ordering your favorite take-out meal, enjoying a movie, making popcorn, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. These can be fun activities you can enjoy by yourself, but that gives you the feeling of the holiday. It’s a way you can feel like you’re participating right from your own space.


Holidays such as New Year’s Eve can lead you to feel sadness more than happiness. High expectations for a holiday can make you believe that things should be better than they are. Maybe you expected this current year to be better than it was, and now you’re so disappointed. To avoid this type of pitfall, try to not have unrealistic expectations about New Year’s Eve (or any holiday).

There are little perfect moments sprinkled through every life. Moments. Not hours or days or weeks or years. No matter your expectations there will likely be at least a moment or two of perfection on your New Year’s Eve. They just might not be where you’d expect to find them. And if the night is really as terrible as you fear it will be, remember that it will end soon enough, and you can embrace January 1st instead.

The fragility of life makes the good times more precious and the bad times more tolerable.

I’ve shared some of my thoughts about New Year’s Eve with you, and I’d love for you to share some with me. Email me at!

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