How Do I Cope When Alone on New Year's Eve?

10 Tips to Beat Loneliness During the Holiday

Celebrate the New Year even if you are alone.
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New Year's Eve can be a difficult holiday to spend alone. It is a day that most people spend with significant others, loved ones, or friends. If you are spending New Year's Eve alone either due to social anxiety or for other reasons, you can take steps to prevent yourself from feeling down.

1. Remember: Being Alone Is Temporary

Although you are alone this New Year's Eve, that doesn't mean that you will be alone again next year.

If you are alone because of social anxiety, vow to make a change. Get help for your symptoms from a professional and connect with others through support groups and forums (e.g., Social Anxiety Support). You might even consider using a self-help book to overcome anxiety.

2. Reflect on the Year

The last day of the year is a superb time to think back, particularly if you are alone. Objectively examine the year and any progress that you made with respect to your social anxiety. Congratulate yourself for successes and achievements whether they were big or small.

If you feel you've done well, reward yourself in a big or small way:

  • purchase a wellness product such as an essential oil diffuser
  • go out for a special dinner
  • order a book you've been meaning to read online
  • book an adventurous trip for the new year

If the year has not gone that well, consider what went wrong and how you can improve next year.

Remember that everyone has setbacks along the path to their goals. As long as you start each day with the possibility of success and never give up, you will eventually get to where you want to be.

3. Watch Fireworks

If there are fireworks at a public venue in your area, consider going alone to watch them.

Spending time with a crowd of people may help to alleviate feelings of loneliness, and watching fireworks could lift your spirits. If you have a fear of crowds, this type of exposure exercise could also be good for working on your anxiety.

4. Read a Book

If you enjoy quiet nights at home, why not treat this as just another one of those nights? Choose a good book that you can't put down and then spend the night reading. If you really want to get a jump start on making improvements for the following year, select an interpersonal skills self-help book.

5. Make Resolutions

New Year's Eve is a terrific time to craft your list of resolutions. These can be about anything from general life improvements to specific concerns related to social anxiety.

Some resolutions to help your social anxiety might include:

  • Develop healthy lifestyle habits like eating well, getting lots of sleep, and exercising regularly.
  • Work on improving your social skills: Start with how to be better at making small talk.
  • Face challenging situations rather than avoid them. Say yes instead of no.
  • Tell others how you are feeling. You might be surprised at the support that you receive.
  • Develop assertiveness. This will help to improve your confidence.
  • Be grateful for what you have. Appreciate the talents and skills you possess.

6. Accept an Invitation You Turned Down

Perhaps you received an invitation to a party that you turned down. Maybe you would have been a single among couples, or the thought of spending the evening with a group felt like too much.

It isn't too late to go back and say: "Yes!"

Consider it a chance to work on your social skills and usher in the new year with a resolution to attend more social functions.

7. Do Something Mundane

New Year's Eve really is just another night. Cope with being alone by doing mundane things and ignoring the hype surrounding the holiday.

Clean your house, organize your office, or catch up on your sleep. Don't let tradition dictate your choices if you just don't feel up to celebrating.

8. Rent Movies and Watch the Ball Drop

If you are staying in, consider ordering pizza, renting a good movie, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. These are solitary activities that give you the flavor of the holiday and help you to feel like you are participating from afar.

Some movie picks about New Year's Eve:

  • "200 Cigarettes"
  • "Ocean's Eleven"
  • "When Harry Met Sally"

9. Plan Some Phone Calls for Midnight

Have people call you or plan on calling others right before midnight so that you have someone with whom to share the countdown. You don't have to stay on the phone for long; just ring in the New Year and then get back to your solitary celebration.

10. Connect in Real Time on Social Media

If there is no one that you can call on New Year's Eve, connect with others in real-time on social media, such as

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Watch as people around the world post New Year's updates and ring in the New Year through each of the different time zones.

A Word From Verywell

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you may find that holidays such as New Year's Eve cause you to feel more despair than happiness. This can be a result of something known as the "Broken Promises Effect," in which high expectations for a holiday or a particular time of year can cause you to feel as though things should be better than they are. You expected this new year to bring about changes and yet, you still feel just as anxious as before.

To avoid falling into this trap, try not to have unrealistic expectations about New Year's Eve, or any holiday for that matter. And, if you find that your anxiety is hindering your ability to function, make a plan to reach out for help in the coming days.

Sources:

Carrier Clinic. The Broken Promises Effect and Suicide.

Hadlaczky G, Hökby S. Increased suicides during new year, but not during Christmas in Sweden: analysis of cause of death data 2006-2015. Nord J Psychiatry. September 2017:1-3.

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