6 Ways to Make This New Year's Eve a Cheerful One

It's hard to believe a new year is right around the corner. Although many people enjoy New Year's Eve parties and festivities, if you find them a bit depressing, you're not alone. New Year's doesn't have to be a dreary occasion, however. Here are a few ideas to tip the scales and make this New Year's Eve a cheerful one.

Review the past year's accomplishment and joys. Focus on the good things that happened during the past year and let go of the bad times and disappointments. Did you learn any important lessons you can take with you into the New Year?

Avoid crowds if they create stress. This sounds obvious, but how many times have you begged off an event only to have your friends insist you'll have a good time? If large, noisy gatherings make you unhappy, skip them. You know what's best for you.

Incorporate a few new traditions into your celebration or quiet evening at home. For example, many New Year's traditions involve eating certain foods. Some cultures believe eating items shaped like a ring (to signify coming full circle) or black-eyed peas brings good luck. Cabbage and ham both signify prosperity.

Indulge in a few New Year's superstitions. Legend has it that if you don't kiss your loved one at midnight on New Year's Eve, you will have cold relationships with that person for the year. So, pucker up. Want to ward off bad luck? Make loud noises; it scares away evil spirits.

Volunteer. Heed the advice of the Dalai Lama: if you want to be happy, think of others.

Make the right kind of resolutions. No article about New Year's Eve would be complete without mentioning New Year's resolutions, a tradition that dates back to the ancient Romans. The top five resolutions in the present are to lose weight, exercise, stop smoking, changing your spending habits, and be nicer to someone in your family.

Dr. John Norcross, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Scranton, reported in an NPR interview that more than 40 percent of those who make resolutions actually keep them. He says the key to making the right kind of resolutions is setting realistic goals that are attainable and measurable (for example, lose five pounds in the next two months). Also, he says, the more conviction you have about your resolution, the more likely you are to succeed.

Happy New Year!


University of Maryland Medical Center. "Mental Health: Holiday Blues." Web. 5 February 2008.


American Geriatrics Society's Foundation for Health in Aging. "Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues." Web. 20 October 2006. www.healthinaging.org/public_education/​holiday_blues.pdf

2020Site.org. "New Year's Eve Fun Facts." Web. http://www.2020site.org/fun-facts/New-Years-Eve-Fun-Facts.html

National Public Radio. "How to make New Year's Resolutions Stick." Web.26 December 2008.