Spending New Year's Eve Alone: Must-Have Advice For Seniors Over 60
New Year's Eve is an important holiday. It is a time of reflection and celebration, a reflection of the past year's accomplishments and misgivings, and a celebration of what lies ahead.
For many seniors, it can be a time that only exaggerates the loneliness already being experienced. New Year's Eve, a day spent with family and friends, is now just another day filled with isolation.
According to the American Psychological Association, of the older adults who were living outside nursing homes or hospitals in 2014, nearly one-fourth lived alone.
If you are one of these over-60 Americans living alone, or you know someone who is, it is crucial to understand that New Year's Eve doesn't have to be a dreaded holiday. There are several things you can do to bring in the new year like watching movies, reading books, volunteering, or even doing nothing special.
Coping with the day, the evening, and the turning of the clock to midnight is not as hard as it might appear. Here’s some advice to help you not feel alone on New Year's Eve.
Use it as a time of reflection.
Just because you are in your senior years and are alone doesn't mean life no longer has meaning. Take the time on New Year's Eve to reflect on your past.
What have you accomplished throughout your lifetime? Make a list and look at your worth. I bet you'll find that a lot of people have benefited from the things you have done.
Spend the evening celebrating your accomplishments. Have a drink or indulge in a hot fudge sundae. Treat yourself to something special. As you just discovered, you are worth it.
Make resolutions for the new year.
As this year comes to a close, think about things you would like to make happen in the new year.
Write down everything you’d like to do, places you’d like to go to, or people you’d like to see. The key here is to understand that nothing is too small or too large for this list; write it all down.
Once you have a complete list of all your hopes and dreams for the coming year, go back and prioritize the list. What's the most important thing on there? What's the least important?
Take a good look at the top items. What needs to take place to make those things happen? Do you need time, money, friends to help, transportation?
As January rolls around, revisit this list and begin taking action. One day at a time, one step at a time, keep whittling away at your list. Next December, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished.
Just think, it all started with focusing on not feeling alone on New Year's Eve.
Further Reading: 8 Easy Health and Finance Resolutions for Seniors in the New Year
Have a movie marathon.
Start early in the day – no need to wait until evening! You can use movie channels like Netflix or Hulu, (both free for the first 30 days, and then just $8.99 and $5.99 respectively, a month), the oldies channel, or a movie channel you already have.
Choose your favorite snacks and beverages, put on those lounging clothes, and get comfy for an all-day affair.
When was the last time you permitted yourself to do something like this without feeling guilty? We’re sure it has been a while.
New Year's Eve is the perfect time to binge on food, movies, and comfort. Enjoy!
Read a book.
Surely there's a book that you've wanted to read but haven't taken the time to do so. Maybe there’s a self-help book you bought over the summer still sitting on the coffee table. Well, New Year's Eve is the perfect occasion.
Cuddle up on the couch or in your favorite lounger and start at the very beginning. Take a journey, lose yourself, forget about everything else, and read.
Reading is a marvelous way to enjoy some time alone.
Order-in your favorite food.
Staying in never tasted so good! Food delivery apps like DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats can deliver dinner right to your door. These companies charge a minimal fee for their service, but it's so worth it, especially for such a special occasion.
Since you're staying home alone, and it’s a holiday, indulge in food from your favorite restaurant — no need to get dressed up and face the crowds to sit at a table by yourself.
You can dress up (or not), eat at the dining room table, or eat on the couch. It is totally up to you – it's your evening. Do it your way.
You may also enjoy reading: Staying Healthy After 60: How to Nourish Your Mind, Body, and Soul
Volunteer your time to help others.
Many places need volunteers for New Year's Eve. If you don't want to spend the evening alone, spend it helping out in your community.
Many churches and organizations are looking for volunteers during the holidays, so the possibilities are endless.
Contact your local ministerial alliance, YMCA, churches, daycares, and hospitals to see if you can help someone else have an enjoyable holiday. You never know – it might turn out to be the best New Year's Eve ever.
Spend it just like any other day.
Yes, New Year's Eve is a celebrated holiday, but it is just another day. Permit yourself to treat it like that if you want.
Nothing says you have to do anything special or have a celebration just because it’s the last day of the year. January 1 will still arrive if you go about your regular schedule – honest!
Spending New Year's Eve Alone
Whatever you decide to do on New Year's Eve is up to you. The essential thing to remember about the holiday is to spend it doing something that makes you happy.
Remembering old traditions is important, but so is allowing yourself to move on with new ones.
Look at your options, prepare for the day (even if you aren't doing anything special), and embrace your choice. Being alone doesn't have to be bad; after all, you are a pretty incredible person to spend time with!
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