People have been celebrating birthdays since the time of pharaohs. Even setting aside the legends attached to its origin, a birthday is never just an ordinary day.
Your birthday commemorates your life and celebrates you.
However, hectic times may have pushed self-love lower down your priorities list. Some people might even tell you that if you’re old enough, you shouldn’t be spending a lot of time, money, or effort on your birthday. But that doesn’t need to be the case.
Ask yourself this: During ordinary days, how often do you put yourself first?
Most times, people put work, family, and everything else before themselves all the time. And while that sounds noble and all, it’s unacceptable during your birthday. It’s just one day of the year that you have a free pass to do the things that make you happy. Take it.
Not sure how you should indulge on your special day? Health experts recommend focusing on self-care activities and following the six tips below:
- Define an endgame.
First, you must determine what you aim to get out of your birthday. There must be something that you badly need or could use a bit more of, so indulge yourself on your birthday.
For example, if you’re feeling down in the dumps over losing your job, you can use this time to do something that could boost your spirit. Since you’re in between jobs, you can focus on rekindling your networks and thinking of new opportunities.
But if you’ve been too busy to even think about relaxing because of all your commitments, your birthday could also be a time for a break. Even for just a day, pause all your activities, reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far, and celebrate you.
Aim high and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Go ahead and travel to give yourself a break from the endless mental loop at home and expand your focus.
After you’ve defined your endgame, you can get down to the specifics and begin looking at possible destinations, like:
- A wellness retreat or a staycation resort where you can relax, get pampered and meditate for self-reflection.
- A thrilling adventure such as mountain biking or rock climbing pumps adrenaline into your system and releases a flood of feel-good hormones.
- Start the day with gratitude.
According to research, gratitude leaves a person in a more positive mood. Your birthday is the perfect time to express your thankfulness for the life you’ve been given.
While it may not be perfect, your life is filled with many things you can be grateful for. Set aside 20 minutes in the morning of your birthday and think about the people who made your past year better:
- Who showed up when you needed help
- Who laughed with you
- Who listened to you
- Who cheered you on
- Who guided you when you were going astray
- Who taught you a valuable lesson
Fill your heart with gratitude and then grab your phone, some ‘thank you’ cards and write a quick note to at least three people who made the past year more meaningful for you.
- Give yourself time.
When you’re looking forward to your birthday, you might feel inclined to squeeze in as many tasks as you can during the day. But having a crazy-busy schedule might make it challenging for you to enjoy your special day.
Instead of attempting to do everything on your birthday, try to take several days off of work and give yourself the gift of time. Take a break from your normal routine. Whether it’s binge-watching old TV shows or movies, finishing a book, or wandering around the neighbourhood, do whatever you please.
- Do things you genuinely like.
What makes a self-care birthday great is that there’s no universal formula to it. It can be as unique as you want. You can choose whatever activity you think will be best to celebrate your special day.
It could be something practical that takes care of an issue that’s been bothering you for a while, like going to a salon to condition your hair and treat split ends. You may even choose something that will leave you feeling at ease on the next day, like meditation and other de-stressing activities like soaking in an herbal bath.
The bottom line? Self-care doesn’t have to look like something you should be posting on your social media feed or anything remotely similar to what you’ll see in a glossy magazine cover. It’s a celebration, sure, but the thing is, you don’t even need other people’s approval or opinion to indulge in self-care. The important thing is how special it makes you feel.
- Be with people you love.
Although self-care often translates to “me-time,” celebratory self-care on your birthday is best spent with people you love. This way, you enrich not only your physical and mental health but also your emotional and social state.
So, if you have some friends with whom you always make promises to meet but never got around to, now is a perfect time to finally make it happen.
If lunch is too challenging considering their busy work schedules, try setting an early breakfast or just a quick bite of dessert with coffee at a local café. The point is to take the opportunity to celebrate your birthday together.
- Sleep well.
If you’re spending your birthday in a resort or at home without thinking about work, you might be tempted to stay up late reading your favourite book or binge-watching until the crack of dawn. Here’s a piece of advice: don’t.
Whatever goal you’ve set for your celebration, you need a complete eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed by the end of your birthday.
Go to bed early (or at least at a good time) and wake up as the sun rises in the morning. This way, you’ll be able to return to your regular routine feeling reinvigorated and ready to take on the year ahead.
Celebrate Your Birthday Your Way
Birthdays are meant to celebrate you, which means it can be anything you want it to be.
Figure out the self-care activity you need and indulge yourself on your special day.