9 ways to spend New Year’s Eve alone in 2023

Ring in the New Year from the comfort of your home.
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December 31. New Year’s Eve. You either love it, hate it, or really couldn’t care less but feel the need to make an effort just because. Me? I fall into the latter. Yet the idea of staying in and avoiding the night completely had never really seemed like an option to me. Until 2020.

In 2020, I decided to spend the night solo thanks to a little thing called COVID. There were rising case numbers in Australia and last-minute restrictions about how many people could be together in one house, meaning plans finally tipped over into the “way too stressful” territory.

So, I decided to order my favourite pasta from my favourite restaurant, pop one of the “fancy” bottles of bubbly and watch The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show followed by About Time. It was glorious.

Since then, I’ve done a solo New Year’s Eve each year. And I haven’t always gotten it right (2022 was, to sum it up, pretty crap). But after some trial and error, I have a few ideas on how to make the most of your solo plans.

Whether by choice or circumstance, many people will find themselves in the same position and be spending New Year’s Eve alone in 2023. Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered with ways to make the night memorable for all the right reasons. Scroll through to read more!

new year's eve alone
Spending New Year’s Eve alone? Same! We’ve got you covered. (Credit: Instagram)

First things first: Let’s get physical

Okay, don’t exit the story abruptly based on that header – this is good, real advice. If you’re planning to spend the evening at home, you don’t want to find yourself feeling stuffy and bogged down by 7pm. Unless you do, but I made the mistake of staying in all afternoon/evening in 2022 and it wasn’t a vibe.

There was a reason we all loved our silly little walks in lockdown: they made us feel better. It’s a great idea to get outdoors for even just a light stroll before settling in for the evening. The fresh air will leave you feeling revitalised and a little exercise-induced endorphins will make you happy (we learnt that from Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. And she’s a lawyer, so it must be true).

If you’re not planning on leaving the house at all, try an at-home workout. Thanks to COVID there are actually plenty of free workouts to choose from, including the MadFit Dance Party Workouts which are sure to have you feeling jazzy, if not out of breath, while Yoga With Adriene will have you feeling Zen.

bridget jones
We’ll be channelling Bridget Jones this year. (Credit: Binge)

Treat yourself

Life is but a series of small treats. The holiday season is an overall feast for the senses (and a nightmare for our wallets) but this is not the night to skip out on the luxury, whatever that means for you.

Maybe it means buying the $50 bottle of wine instead of the $10 one, or buying the fancy candle and setting it ablaze, or maybe it’s taking a luxe bubble bath with some new products. Baths are not my thing because… ew. But the point is, think of something special and (presuming it’s not going to break the bank) just treat yourself to it. You can make “save money” one of your 2024 resolutions.

Enjoy your favourite foods

We mean it, enjoy all of them. Everyone has their own ideal night of eating. If you’re a dessert lover, try to find something special like the fanciest box of chocolates you can find or, screw it, a whole cake from some artisanal bakery.

If you’re more of a savoury foodie, try ordering one classic standby and one new dish from your favourite restaurant to add a bit of adventure to the evening (hey! who said eating at home wasn’t fun!) or make one of your classic comfort foods like mac ‘n cheese or potato bake.

new years eve
Treat yourself to your favourite food and drinks on New Year’s Eve. (Credit: Instagram)

Reflect on your accomplishments

Life has not been easy on many people in 2023, so I’ll just say this: you made it through the past year. And whether or not you think you did well, or ticked off everything you wanted to from this year’s bucket list, the reality is that you and every other person has accomplished something this year.

You can simply spend a few minutes reflecting, or use the opportunity to begin a gratitude journal for the New Year. Either way, taking a second to celebrate your achievements is important. 

Set goals for 2024

While some are fond of New Year’s Resolutions, we think it’s a bit more intriguing to set snazzy goals that you actually want to achieve. It seems like the same thing, but a ‘goal’ is encouraging you to start doing something while a ‘resolution’ tends to be about stopping something. And we’re not about that this year.

Your goals don’t have to be huge. Maybe you want to take a pottery class, read more books, or learn to make pasta from scratch. Think of the life you want to have in 2024 and write down goals that will help you achieve that life. Check out our guide to manifestation here.

We’ll be journaling just like Taylor Swift on December 31. (Credit: Netflix)

Watch a New Year’s Eve-worthy movie

You might have guessed from the fact that I watched About Time last year, but I’m a fan of top-tier romantic comedies.

So, my advice for a New Year’s Eve-appropriate film to watch would be the aforementioned About Time or something like Bridget Jones’s Diary or While You Were Sleeping.

See below for some more ideas of the best movies to watch on New Year’s Eve, but keep in mind that it comes down to personal preference. If you’re into horror movies do that instead… I just won’t be joining you.

  • You’ve Got Mail (Netflix)
  • The Age Of Adaline (Netflix)
  • Holidate (Netflix)
  • Dash & Lily (Netflix)
  • While You Were Sleeping (Disney+)
  • Waiting To Exhale (Disney+)
  • Last Holiday (Disney+)
  • High School Musical (Disney +)
  • Pretty Woman (Disney+)
  • Happiest Season (Amazon Prime Video)
  • When Harry Met Sally (Stan)
  • About Time (Stan)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary (Binge)
  • Sex and the City Movie (Binge)
  • New Year’s Eve (Apple TV)
  • Four Rooms (Apple TV)
  • An American In Paris (Apple TV) 
pretty woman
Ahh, to be in a bubble bath like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. (Credit: Disney+)

Pencil in a phone call with a loved one

Okay, so you don’t literally have to pencil it in. But if you know your mum will be around at 7pm or your mate who lives overseas will be waking up around 10pm, let them know you’d like to do a special NYE Face-Time to toast. 

You can catch up earlier in the evening or be on the phone at midnight. Either way, it will keep you feeling connected. 

Avoid social media

Unless you’ve got some serious super-powers that keep you from looking at it, chances are you regularly reach for your phone to mindlessly scroll through the apps when you’re doing nothing. Same. But New Year’s Eve is not the night to be checking in on Instagram or TikTok and comparing your evening to others – especially if you’re not doing it solo by choice.

Give your eyes and your mind a break for the evening unless you’re SURE that checking social media isn’t going to upset you.

Tune in for the fireworks

This may seem lame, but watching the fireworks on-screen, or out your window depending on your locale, is just another way to add some special sparkle to your evening. 

ABC will broadcast live from Sydney Harbour at 8.30pm AEDT – all the way until the fireworks end at midnight.

Broadcasting live from the Sydney Opera House’s Northern Broadwalk, hosts Charlie Pickering and Zan Rowe will be joined this year by triple j Breakfast host Concetta Caristo to help see in 2024.

You can tune in to watch them from around Australia, meaning if you’re in Perth you can watch the Sydney fireworks before preparing for your own midnight celebrations. Double the twinkly, sparkly joy.

sydney fireworks
Watching the fireworks is a nice way to wrap up the evening. (Credit: Getty Images)

However you celebrate your New Year’s Eve, we hope you enjoy it! Bring on 2024 (she says, cautiously).

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