Healthy ways to ring in the New Year?
December 29, 2015 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Let's say you want to make your New Year's Eve and New Year's Day a celebration of your newfound health habits, getting in better shape and eating better over the past year, etc. What are your non-typical, health-oriented traditions for ringing in the new year? I welcome ideas both cheap and expensive, and those that involve going elsewhere or making a night in feel 'special'. .....

I'm really dreading any sort of typical alcohol-filled New Year's Eve celebration, since heavy amounts of food and booze don't make me feel well physically or mentally lately. At the same time just treating it like a regular old night makes me feel bluesy, especially because I do have a three-day weekend (Friday-Sun.) Also I have been really focusing on my diet and fitness this past year, slid off the wagon a bit this last week, and want to get back on track.

Obviously I am asking for last minute suggestions, but if you have elaborate ones, I welcome those too and will try to be more on the ball next year... thanks! :)
posted by ArgyleMarionette to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Light a brand new candle. I don't celebrate Hanukkah, but I make a point to light candles during that week, and it makes me happy.

Light a candle, enjoy a cup of tea.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 2:25 PM on December 29, 2015

I have some friends who are going to a all-evening yoga-and-meditation thing where they end with 108 sun salutations at midnight. I assume healthy snacks and juice are involved. Maybe you could find something similar in your area?
posted by erst at 2:27 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

-a year-end journal entry (or just call it a writing exercise) about the year behind and year ahead.
- yoga
- meditation
- hikes (or walking meditation)
- run or jog or other outdoor exercise (especially New Year's Day)
- cook up a big healthy delicious meal that takes time to make, showing self-care
posted by ldthomps at 2:29 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I always do something outdoors on New Year's Day. Last year, it was a walk on the beach.
posted by the_blizz at 2:32 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

New Year's Day: pick a natural place you haven't been before and go for a hike or a walk.
posted by wintersweet at 2:33 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think we're going to spend NYE sober and at home with a 3rd-grader--we're planning some good seltzer-n-juice cocktails, music, and a night full of homemade explosive projects. Like building a volcano with baking soda and vinegar, then sparklers.
posted by witchen at 2:39 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

I love the Hispanic tradition of eating twelve grapes on New Year's eve, one for each chime of the clock. Just don't choke.
posted by clearlydemon at 2:39 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Black-eyed peas and greens for New Year's Day supper. (This is not at all non-typical if you're from the southeast US.) This year I'm making "Spicy Pork Chili with Black-Eyed Peas" from Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution, which I tried a few weeks ago and it came out great.

There are other traditions for lucky new year's food out there, too, in case one of those looks more appealing!
posted by asperity at 2:39 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Are you planning to get together with other people, or do you want to do something solo?

It sounds like you value setting intentions, so maybe you could do a deliberate intention-setting ritual, like writing down bad habits from the past year that you want to get rid of and burning them, and writing down good habits you want to maintain and...well, I'm not exactly sure what the opposite of burning them would be, but something good.

Then, a healthy but luck-filled NYE meal followed by a New Year's Day hike (or walk, or indoor activity, depending on your terrain and weather) sounds like a great way to make the occasion special without betraying your healthy habits.
posted by adastra at 2:45 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Homemade spa weekend!

Plan healthy spa cuisine for meals. Treat yourself to out of season or exotic fruit and veggies.

Plan to take fitness classes. Yoga, spun, tai chi, whatever makes you happy.

Long walk in your neighborhood.

Read your favorite classic books, or try new classics. I'm giving the Russians another chance.

Download a guided meditation.

Spa treatments at home. Soaks in the tub, deep condition your hair, scrub, mani-pedi, eyebrow arch.

Experiment with new smoothies.

Plan to meet friends for brunch in the afternoon on the first. Or make poached eggs, fresh fruit and yummy muffins and have friends over.

Clean the heck out of your house.

Buy some new fitness outfits or equipment.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:47 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

My son is doing the New Year's Day Polar Bear swim in Vancouver Canada. He said a bunch of people from where he works are doing it.
posted by mermayd at 3:00 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like to get my new planner set up for the year. If you want to make this task specifically oriented towards healthy lifestyle changes, you can write up a list of fitness/nutrition goals, schedule gym visits, etc.
posted by orange swan at 3:02 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

New Year's Eve is usually my opportunity to spend some time thinking about the past year.
posted by aniola at 3:10 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

New Year's Day road race! 5ks are a dime a dozen, but there's other distances out there as well depending on where you live.
posted by floweredfish at 3:38 PM on December 29, 2015

I like to go to bed early-ish on NYE and get up early on New Year's Day for a hike or other outdoor activity.
posted by mskyle at 4:01 PM on December 29, 2015

You should go skiing on new years eve. Then you're going to fall asleep early because you need take down your tree before sunrise and head out and ski again. Find sunshine and cross country ski.
posted by Kalmya at 4:03 PM on December 29, 2015

I go hiking on New Year's Day (or I do now, for the last few years), preferably near water. I also celebrate Eastern Standard Time new year, even though I live on the west coast of the US. I do a nice dinner (seafood, generally pre-cooked/steamed by the market) with champagne, but having the culmination be 9pm rather than midnight (but it's midnight somewhere!) and knowing that I'm planning on going on a six- or seven-mile hike the next day keeps me on track.

You could also set your "ringing in" to match Greenwich Mean Time, which I think matches 7pm on the US east coast. My francophile self also likes the idea of celebrating when the Eiffel Tower does its light display. Maybe just pick a county east of you and celebrate along with its residents.
posted by jaguar at 7:35 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

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