6 Therapist-Approved New Year’s Eve Ideas For Introverts

An introvert celebrates New Year’s Eve with friends

For introverts, ringing in the new year does not have to mean attending some huge party — and that’s okay.

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. For some, it’s a favorite time of year. Part of the excitement is figuring out how to celebrate and ring in the New Year. 

But, at the same time, it can feel a bit overwhelming — especially for those of us who are introverts. There tends to be a lot of pressure, expectations, and a flurry of social activity around this holiday, which can quickly drain us before the party has even begun!

Some introverts may look forward to celebrating in a bigger way, surrounded by some close friends who “get” them. Yet other introverts may want a more quiet and simple night in, something more introvert-friendly

Sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly how to celebrate in a way that feels good to you — you want to celebrate with your friends, but you also just want to hole up home (alone). As an introvert, I get it! I’m also a therapist, so below, we’ll look at some various ways you can ring in the New Year so you can make the choice that most suits you. (You can even combine some of the below — do some self-reflecting, then see a friend.)

6 Therapist-Approved New Year’s Eve Ideas For Introverts

1. Get out your journal and spend some time reflecting on the past year.

Many introverts love spending time turning within and reflecting — it’s a superpower for us. New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity for reflection, as the year comes to a close and a new one is getting ready to begin! It can be symbolic of letting go of the past and stepping into something new. 

So, for this activity, it’s important to pull out your journal (or a notebook or Word document) and reflect on the past year. Below are some questions to get you started, but feel free to add in any additional questions that come to mind:

  • What was a memorable event or experience that happened in your life this year?
  • What did not go as planned that you still have some feelings around?
  • How did you move out of your comfort zone and experience growth in the last 12 months?
  • Are there areas you would like to continue to grow in where you still feel a bit stuck?
  • How did this year feel for you? (Name an emotion here.)
  • What were some of the biggest life lessons you moved through?
  • This year, were there any themes you noticed occurring in your life?

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2. Set specific intentions for the year ahead. 

I often use the word “intentions” with my therapy clients, as it feels more flexible to me than how the word “goals” can feel. And I have found a lot of people have strong mixed feelings about the terms “goals” and “resolutions.” Some find these terms to feel too rigid for their purposes.

I have also seen many people who either have fears of failing to meet these goals — and don’t want to experience disappointment — or experience a feeling of exhaustion or obligation around them. The word “resolutions” tends to have this reputation, for instance, especially around health and fitness goals. Not everyone, but I think many, generalize this to mean they will start a goal for themselves in January… and then discontinue it by February. So they wonder: Why even start in the first place? Can you relate to this experience?

So, instead, we want to identify something that will work for you, as working toward something can help give direction and build momentum — it’s like creating a life plan, and we introverts are great at planning

As you reflect on the year, what comes to mind for you that you would like to work toward this next year? Why do you want to work toward this thing? What are your intentions for this upcoming year?

I find asking yourself “why” can help reframe things and give more meaning to this practice. If we use exercise as an example, and you tell yourself, “I need to exercise because I should,” that might not feel great. Whereas if you tell yourself, “I want to exercise more next year to  have more energy, and because it’s a self-love practice,” then it moves into setting a feel-good intention.

Setting intentions is another great area to do some journaling around. You can journal by writing, sketching, coloring — however you would like to express yourself. Here are some more self-reflective prompts:

  • Are there any changes you would like to make in your life next year?
  • Are there any new habits you would like to develop?
  • How can you overcome any barriers you may anticipate?  
  • What new outcomes would you like to create for yourself in some different areas of your life, and why?

Speaking of which, consider different areas of your life when you are considering intentions for yourself, such as:

  • Physical health and wellness
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Spiritual health
  • Financial health
  • Work and career
  • Relationships
  • Socializing and friendships
  • Hobbies and passions
  • Family
  • Other (What other areas of your life would you like to change?)

3. Create a “Jar of Memorable Things.”

This activity is a bit “arts and crafty,” but I know many introverts enjoy being creative. This is something you can do on your own or with others.

Look for a container, such as a Mason jar, or even a tissue box. Take some time to decorate this container in a way that elicits some good feelings in you! You may be connecting with your inner child with this project, so have fun with it. You can use paint pens, construction paper, or even pictures and quotes from magazines as decorations. This is a jar that you will have out for the year ahead, so decorate it in a way that feels positive, comforting, and inspiring for you.

Throughout the year, every time you have something good that happens, I’d like you to write down what happened on a small piece of paper, fold it up, and put it in your “Jar of Memorable Things.”

Something “good” can be whatever you would like it to be! Some possibilities may be:

  • Working out when it’s been hard to get motivated to do so
  • Receiving a compliment
  • Having an enjoyable time with a friend
  • Going on a fun date
  • Working through a conflict with your partner in a way that feels good
  • Cooking a meal that tasted delicious
  • Hearing a new song that you loved

This is anything that happened in your life that feels good to you. You get to define this, no one else.

As you practice this exercise throughout the year, it’s important that it doesn’t feel like an obligation for you, but something you look forward to doing. So if you want to reflect on a good moment that happens each day, you certainly can. But if that feels like too much, then see if you can add a new moment to the jar once a week instead (the same day of the week, so it becomes routine).

The beauty of doing this exercise over the next year is that you will be on the lookout for positive and memorable things that occur in your life. It can be all too easy to overlook these things. Plus, you’ll also start to attract even more positivity into your life.

And, the idea is, next year on New Year’s Eve, you will pull out everything you wrote down and use it to reflect on the good things that happened over the past year. So it’s a win-win. 

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

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4. Design a vision board where you can see your intentions in words and pictures.

A vision board is another fun activity that you can do alone or with others, and is another way to tap into your creative side as an introvert. If you do this with others, it can be fun to share your intentions with one another — and you may find you inspire each other, too! If you’ve taken time to think about your intentions for the year, the idea is to bring them to life through a vision board. It’s a variation on manifestation, turning dreams into reality.

You can use poster board or even create a board electronically through a program such as Canva. Look for images and quotes that represent what you would like to accomplish the next year. 

For instance, maybe you’ve been saving up money for a house, so you’d cut out a picture of your ideal house and put it on the board. Or maybe you want to move to California, so you cut out a scenic picture of the beach and palm trees. Or maybe you want to learn to play the guitar, so you cut out a photo of the guitar you want to get… You get the idea. Just remember — the more specific, the better. (So instead of adding a photo of any kind of musical instrument, you’d be specific and choose the exact instrument, even the exact model of guitar if you can.)

Cutting out inspirational phrases helps, too, like, “You’ve got this!” or “You can do it!” or “Don’t give up!”

After you have completed the vision board, put it in a place where you will see it every day. It may be a spot in your home or office, or as a wallpaper on your computer or cell phone. It will remind you of what you are working toward and also gives a cue to your subconscious mind to help you take some steps toward making your “visions” happen. 

You can also modify the vision board throughout the year if you’d like.

5. Host an introvert-friendly game night.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good ol’ board game night? Introverts who prefer a quiet night in with others may find this to be a lot of fun! (I’m not suggesting an attention-centric game, like Charades, but a more introvert-friendly one, like Scrabble!) 

Gather a few friends, or even just your partner, and identify a board or card game that everyone is up for playing together. You can have some lively music in the background, enjoy some tasty snacks and your favorite drinks, and have fun.

6. Have a small dinner party.

Introverts value connecting with others, so you can also consider inviting over some close friends. This way, you can enjoy some quality time at home with good, meaningful conversations.

You can be creative and make it a theme-based dinner party, have the dinner party more potluck-style, or even spend time preparing the food (and desserts!) with your friends. 

You can all dress up (and watch TV specials counting down to midnight) — or be more casual (and even wear pajamas!). You can watch your favorite ‘80s movies or no movies at all. You can also make it a sleepover and have everyone bring a sleeping bag to camp out on your living room floor.

There are several different ways to help make this a festive, yet quiet, night, so put on your introvert thinking cap and do what makes you most comfortable!

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