Stacy D. Phillips, renowned Los Angeles celebrity divorce attorney and author of Divorce: It's All About Control -- How To Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, asserts that New Year's Eve is the biggest date-night of the year and arguably the most depressing for those who have recently gone through a divorce or personal-relationship breakup. Phillips says there are ways of getting through the Super Bowl of date nights without feeling tremendous loss. The following are her tips:
1. Don't go it alone: The last place you should be is smack-dab in the middle of your living room, alone, watching Dick Clark and friends drop that shiny ball in Time's Square when the clock strikes twelve. No, Phillips says, find someone (pets don't count) to spend the evening with. This could mean hanging out with one good friend or many; those fun-loving work colleagues or possibly those family members who have shown you tremendous support through your breakup. Pick up the phone and call one of them. Make plans today. Or if you don't want to do that, then...
2. Pamper yourself: Should you decide to go the evening alone, do something you do not usually do for yourself. Take a long soak in a bubble bath, then curl up with a good book -- the one you never had time to get to all year -- and fall asleep as soon as you're drowsy. When you awake, it will be a new day and a New Year. Great books make great dates!
3. Find someone more needy: Though it may be difficult to drag yourself out the door, think about volunteering down at the local community center. You may find that calling out those bingo numbers just might give you the laughs and lift you need that evening. If most of those bingo-players want to turn in early, don't despair, and don't leave. Snag a couple of the stragglers and suggest a little Texas Hold 'Em. Nothing like an intense game of cards to distract you.
4. Dress up in something fabulous: Whether you're going to a fancy restaurant or the Laundromat, alone or with others, wear something spectacular! When you look good, you feel good. Go out there and get noticed, and don't come home until the clock strikes twelve!
5. Be a designated driver: Pick up that phone and call your local police department and ask if you can give a helping hand in your neighborhood. Many police departments will guide you to an organization that needs your driving skills. Just think: most of the people for whom you provide rides may prove very entertaining. To kick off the New Year, you could write a book (without naming names) of the people you took home. No doubt you will have some great stories to tell.
6. Hang out at the gym: There are some workout facilities that stay open 24/7. Find one and join, if you don't belong already. Show up around 9 p.m. and keep working out until the bewitching hour passes. This evening will give you that chance you've been waiting for to try different workout routines. Have you always lifted weights? Try a little treadmill, then hand yourself off to spinning, next Pilates, and work your way through every workout discipline until you reach the calming effects of yoga. By the time you're done, midnight will have come and gone, and you'll be too exhausted to care that you had no one to kiss.
7. Give someone a night to remember: You think you've got it bad? There are a lot of teens out there feeling just as down as you. Call your local Big Brothers/Big Sisters center or the Boys and Girls Club and see if you can "adopt" a teen for New Year's Eve. Take him/her to dinner and a movie, then finish off the night with a countdown at midnight of all the things you both will do to make your new year a better one.
8. Laugh: Many stand-up, sketch, and improv venues will offer hilarious entertainment New Year's Eve, and not everyone shows up as a couple. Wander in and find a seat or table next to those you think are upbeat types. Befriend them. Now, sit back and laugh right along with them until curtain call or last call.
Phillips says that planning any one of the above will take time and energy -- productive time and energy that will keep a person from focusing on what they think they are missing. "The New Year signals a time for new beginnings," Phillips says. "There is no better way to look at the New Year than to suddenly realize that you were able to count on yourself to make your New Year's Eve one of the most fun and rewarding or even one of the more relaxing you have ever had." Phillips says her number one rule for New Year's Eve: "Enjoy yourself," she says. Give your plans for New Year's Eve thought." She adds, "Do something that lifts your spirits and gives you a brand new perspective."
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips, Lerner, Lauzon & Jamra, which specializes in high-profile family-law matters. She represents many celebrities in film, television, music and sports. Some of her clients have included: Bobby Brown (ex-husband of Whitney Houston); Charlie Shanhaian (ex-husband of Tori Spelling); Darryl Strawberry; Erin Everly (ex-wife of Axl Rose); Toni Taupin (ex-wife of Bernie Taupin), Corina Villaraigosa (ex-wife of Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa), and many others. This California divorce lawyer can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile.