If there’s one thing that I’m gonna do, it’s look up some stats. And when it comes to New Year’s Eve and how folks choose to celebrate it, I recently read that around 92 percent of Americans celebrate it, 70 percent at least make plans to stay up well past midnight, 54 percent drink (alcohol) and surprisingly, only 1 in 5 people actually go out to someplace like a bar or club. The reason why I’m sharing all of this (especially that last part) is if there’s a part of you that’s on the fence about staying at home and ringing in the new year by yourself because you secretly wonder if that’s wack or not…it’s not.
Aside from the fact that COVID is still lurking around, there is something about making the decision to stay in to pause, ponder, reflect as you welcome in a new season solo that is surprisingly…refreshing. Just make sure that you take things up a notch from sitting in some ratty old sleepwear, ordering a pizza and watching the rom-com that you’ve already seen a billion times before. Nah, if you’re gonna do New Year’s Eve right, try incorporating at least a handful of these 15 recommendations below.
1. Buy a Blank 2022 Calendar
I’ve shared before that something a husband I know did that I thought was super romantic was he gifted his wife with a calendar that already had dates planned, for the entire year, throughout it (ain’t nothin’ like a man who loves with proactiveness and intention, y’all!). I’ve actually adapted that and “remixed” it a bit. Something that I try and do is plan out things for me to do, for/with myself, on a calendar.
For you, it could be a class that you want to take, a road trip that you want to go on, a concert that you want to see — the list is endless. The point here is to not go into a new year with a “ho-hum” attitude; instead, approach it with excitement about all of the things that you want to do with yourself…for yourself. Things that are already scheduled out on your own 2022 calendar.
2. Get Some Comfy PJs
I’m assuming that a big part of the reason why you are opting to stay in this New Year’s Eve is because you want to take the low-key approach. So, why not get as comfortable as possible? At the same time, a new year should bring new things, so treat yourself to a pair of new pajamas or a really cute onesie. Just because you’re gonna be home, that doesn’t mean that you have to be looking a hot ass mess or that you shouldn’t want to embrace the evening as being special and significant — in your own special way.
3. Update Your Bedding
Personally, I think one of the best things about being home on New Year’s Eve when you’re single (with no kids) is you can go to bed as early as you want and then turn around and sleep in for as long as you want the following day. For me, my bed is already like Six Flags the remix; the only thing that makes it even better is when I change my bedding or when I get some new sheets.
No time like the present to ring in the new year with some flannel ones that will keep you extra toasty or bedding in a color that represents the energy that you want to vibe on for the next several months (check out “Understanding Color Psychology Will Sharpen Your Lens On Life”). What are you waiting for?
4. Partake in Some Patchouli Aromatherapy
I don’t know too many people who don’t strive to be centered and grounded individuals. Well, guess what essential oil actually taps into those very things? Yep, patchouli. It’s also great at soothing dry skin, relieving headaches, decreasing depression and anxiety, reducing cold-related symptoms, and relaxing you. So, whether you decide to mix it with a carrier oil and apply it to your body, sprinkle some on those new sheets that you’re about to buy, or put it into an infuser, the sweetly musky scent of this particular oil can help your health and well-being on a myriad of levels.
5. Write Yourself a “Year in Review” Letter. For the Future.
When you get a chance, also check out “Every Woman Should Write A Love Letter To Themselves”. Something that I think all of us should do, married or not, at least once in our lifetime, is handwrite a love letter — yes, to our own selves. The main reason why is because a lot of us keep feeling slighted by others not giving us the love that we think we deserve when we’re actually being pretty hypocritical for not doing it our damn selves.
Well, along these same lines, a year in review is something that I came up with once upon a time. It’s basically like writing a letter of intent when it comes to how you want the upcoming year to go. In other words, write the letter with the plan of reading it on New Year’s Eve 2022. In it, share all of the great things that you’ve accomplished and how you’ve learned to treat yourself better. This is helpful because one, it will hold you accountable throughout the year when it comes to what you wrote, and two, it can be a lot of fun to see the differences that 12 months can make as it relates to who the person of 2021 was when she wrote it vs. who the person of 2022 is who is actually reading it. Just make sure to put it somewhere you’ll remember to get it from when the time comes.
6. Design a Memories Jar
Along these same lines, go to someplace like Walmart, Target, or a local arts and crafts store and get yourself a mason jar along with some colored construction paper. Then cut the paper into thin strips for the purpose of writing different favorite moments and memories in 2022 that you can put into the jar. The cool thing about this kind of project is it can remind you to get excited about what’s to come. Plus, you can put the pieces into a balloon, come next NYE, pop it at midnight, and read about how great your year actually was!
7. Burn, Baby, BURN
Listen, something that I am all about, a billion times over, is a burning ceremony. Several years ago, someone and I held one in the parking lot of their apartment complex and it was absolutely bomb. We wrote down mistakes that we wanted to stop feeling bad about, relationships we wanted to let go of, habits that we wanted to break, and people we needed to forgive and/or release, then we set them on fire and let the pieces of paper turn into ashes.
While it’s merely a symbolic gesture, there’s something about watching those things go up in flames that is super freeing. (If it’s too cold to go outside to do this, you can always burn the pieces in your kitchen sink.)
8. Watch Teleparty with a Couple of Friends
If you want to spend most of your time alone but you know that you’ve got a couple of other friends who are celebrating NYE by themselves as well, it could be fun to take out a couple of hours to watch a movie with them virtually. One way to do that is to download the Teleparty app (go here). It makes it so much easier for everyone to watch the same programs and movies on Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO from the comfort and convenience of their own home.
9. Order Yourself a “2022” Gift
Yes, you need to be financially responsible. At the same time, you also need to celebrate yourself. So, with the extra coins that you saved by opting out of turning up this NYE, hop on one of your favorite sites and order something online. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just make sure that, whatever it is, if there is an option to get it as a gift with a note attached, make sure to say “Happy 2022” with your name on it. It’s a token that will remind you to remain in the spirit of appreciating and honoring yourself all year long.
10. Have Your Favorite Meal Delivered to You
You’re probably gonna be hard-pressed to find a ton of eating options after 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Still, who wants to cook (or do any clean-up from cooking) on that night? That said, this is just a gentle nudge to make sure to order something on 12/30 and warm it up the next day or to order food for NYE early in the day so that you can have it before the world shuts down. Me? I’m good for some lamb chops and nothing makes me happier than having them delivered to me from one of my favorite restaurants and then eating them at home while binging A Different World for the billionth time — New Year’s Eve or not.
11. Eat Something Green
Personally, I’m a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) observer which means that “my” new year has long come and gone. For those who are all about 12/31, though, a tradition from that culture that you can easily apply to your own is to eat foods that are green. The intent is, since green symbolizes things like fertility, prosperity, health, harmony, nature, growth, and wealth, why not “take in” that kind of energy via foods that are that very hue?
The lead pic is fried zucchini (recipe here). Some other green foods that fit the criteria include dark leafy greens, avocados, asparagus, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, Granny Smith apples, and Thompson seedless grapes (frozen grapes that come with a fruit dip are absolutely delicious!).
12. Consider a Going on a Virtual Tour (or to a Virtual Party)
Technology is a trip, ain’t it? If you’re not in the mood to watch a movie or listen to some music, something else that you can do is take a virtual tour. These days, there are sites that will help you to gain access to famous museums, zoos, and aquariums, international spots — you name it. As far as virtual NYE parties go, Time Out featured an article last year with some. Perhaps check back there the week of 12/31 to see if they’ve updated their list.
13. Soak in the Tub
Soaking in the tub can do everything from soothing aching muscles and reducing anxiety to balancing your hormones and improving your quality of sleep. And if ever there was a night that had “tub soak” written all over it, it’s New Year’s Eve. In fact, it’s one night when you can stay in there for literally as long as you want. Although National Bathtub Party Day happened at the top of this month, if you check out “Make 'National Bathtub Party Day' Your Favorite Day Of The Year”, you can get some tips on how to enjoy yourself so much that you might not even notice (or care) when the clock actually strikes midnight.
14. Toast Yourself
Lawd. How many times have I recommended toasting yourself within the copy for this site? That’s because it’s something that I do on a regular basis as a way to remind myself that I am truly worth celebrating! Listen, there are going to be champagne flutes clanking all over this planet at the stroke of midnight. Just because you’re at home, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get in on the fun.
Whether it’s champagne or you decide to go a little off-script and have something like a chocolate martini; Boulevardier, Cider Sidecar; Vanilla Plum Shrub; Champagne Shirley Temple; New Year’s Sparkler; or something else that’s equally as festive, definitely make yourself a drink and verbally declare what needs to be affirmed about yourself. After surviving a year like 2021…chile, you’ve most definitely earned it.
15. Stay Off of Social Media and Your Phone
If a part of the reason why you’re staying home is to enjoy some peace and quiet, what sense does it make to be online all night looking at other people partying, kissing their boo, and getting engaged, only to get your emotions all stirred up? Sometimes, we send ourselves through stress (or triggers) that can easily be avoided by unplugging from mediums of communication with other people. Shoot, even when it comes to the phone if you know that your mom is going to call you to talk about how sad she thinks it is that you are going to be alone for NYE or a friend is going to do nothing but want you to be their impromptu therapist for the evening — it really is OK to let folks know beforehand that for NYE and New Year’s Day, you are going to go totally off of the grid, that you are fine and that things will resume on 12/2.
It’s OK to really want to devote NYE totally to yourself — as a way to release the past and prepare, in your own way, for the present. Happy (Almost) New Year, sis!
Featured image on Getty Images
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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Get To Know 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story' Star India Amarteifio
Actress India Amarteifio has enchanted audiences with her captivating performance of a young Queen Charlotte in Netflix's latest hit Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
The limited series, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen as her marriage to King George of England causes a societal shift. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month to rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
The show had left many in awe of the stars' portrayal of each character and its riveting storylines, so much so that it excelled in the streaming platform's top ten charts landing at number one when it premiered.
Since then, Amarteifio and her castmates have been trending on social media for various reasons. The list includes many sharing their remarks regarding the love story between Queen Charlotte and King George and social media users wanting to know more about the actors and actresses.
Although few details have been released about Amarteifio and her life, many would be surprised to know some uncovered facts about the star, unveiled recently during her promotional tour of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
India Was a Trained Dancer
Prior to focusing on acting full-time, Amarteifio was a trained dancer.
Marie Claire magazine reports Amarteifio --who grew up in England-- attended the Richmond Academy of Dance when she was 11. The following year, Amarteifio received a scholarship for Sylvia Young Theatre School. But the star's dancing journey would ultimately be cut short when she was 12 after sustaining a hamstring tear.
Amarteifio told L'Officiel what made her fully transition into acting, in addition to her injury, was that she was "constantly" falling ill. Amarteifio shared that because she loved "the acting element through dance," becoming an actress was a "natural" switch.
"I always wanted to dance. I went to performing arts school when I was 11 to 16. Then I really badly injured myself, and it made me question the industry and the lifestyle of something so reliant on my body," she said. "I constantly was getting injured and ill, and it made me look at the reality of the life of a dancer. I always loved the acting element through dance, so I made the natural transition that way. But I always wanted to perform—acting is just more of a newish venture."
India Started Acting Really Young
Despite Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story being Amarteifio's breakout role, the star has been a part of the entertainment industry since she was a baby.
In an April interview with Vogue magazine, Amarteifio revealed that she landed her first acting opportunity alongside her mother in a commercial for Vodafone when she was eight months old. A few years later, Amarteifio would land theater jobs, including The Lion King, where she played the role of young Nala, Matilda, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
"I was in a Vodafone advert with my mum when I was eight months old. I only found out about it the other day – she told me they did an open call and she just rocked up with me," she said." Growing up, I loved theatre and dance, and when I was nine, I auditioned for The Lion King in the West End. I did that for about a year, then moved on to Matilda, then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Around that time, I got a scholarship to Sylvia Young Theatre School."
After Amarteifio's injury at 12 and fully deciding to pursue acting as a career choice, she would go on to get minor roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel, and Sex Education.
"We had a careers evening when I was 14, and I started thinking, 'If I keep doing this, I'll have a short career.' So, I started focusing on acting and ended up getting small roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel and Sex Education," she said.
India On Being Mixed Race And How She Related To Her Character
As the conversation shifted to how Amarteifio could relate to her Queen Charlotte character, the actress shared that because of her mixed background, she felt she could identify with the idea of not knowing where to "fit in."
Amarteifio's mother is white, while her father, who is Black. Further in the interview, Amarteifio recalled what it felt like being the "only person of color" to enter a room and compared those instances to Queen Charlotte's experiences early on in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
"I'm mixed race. I've got a white mum and my dad is Black – born in London, but with Ghanaian ancestry – so I can relate to her in terms of not really knowing where you fit in. I know what it's like to walk into a room and have everyone look at you because you're the only person of color. There are so many scenes, especially early on in the series where Charlotte does exactly that," she stated. "In those moments, you feel alone and awkward, and it can be uncomfortable to talk about it, but by writing those scenes, Shonda's starting that conversation and showing people that they aren't alone."
India Prepared For Queen Charlotte: A Briderton Story By Watching The Crown
Earlier this month, Amarteifio opened up about how she prepped for her starring role in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
In an interview with Bustle, the actress disclosed that she binged-watch Netflix's The Crown to get another perspective on being a royal. Amarteifio also shared that her co-star Corey Mylchreest suggested it after they were informed that they would be doing a coronation scene.
"Corey [Mylchreest] actually recommended [that I] watch The Crown because we were doing the coronation scene [in Queen Charlotte]. In Season 1 [of The Crown], the Queen is going through a coronation, and it was interesting to see how that was done—because it's a ritual, it's a very similar experience, and to see the behind-the-scenes elements that they showed in The Crown was actually helpful," she explained.
Amarteifio also mentioned that portraying Queen Charlotte and watching The Crown helped her understand the royal family more as people.
"I definitely understand the royal family more, in the sense of knowing who people are in relation to other people—that's because when I was filming, I binge-watched The Crown. So I feel like I know them all. I know their secrets," she said. "But [Queen Charlotte] didn't give me any further insight into them because we don't delve into that. We're taking from history, but we're retelling it."
India On How The Queen Charlotte Role Impacted Her
In the same interview, Amarteifio provided details about how portraying the role of Queen Charlotte positively impacted her life.
Amarteifio stated that before taking the role of Queen Charlotte, she was often nervous to ask questions out of fear that she would "rock the boat." Still, after playing the character, the star started opening up more because she realized that even if she didn't receive any answers, it made situations much easier to handle.
"I see her as a very different entity. [But] not being embarrassed or afraid of asking questions is probably one of the things that I took away, because she asks questions and gets answers. Sometimes she doesn't get answers, but at least she tried. Sometimes I feel like I'm a bit nervous to ask questions or rock the boat — but actually, it just makes things easier," she stated.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now streaming on Netflix.
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Feature image by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images