I just got an email from someone that said, “Your birthday month is coming soon.” My first thought was, “Don’t remind me.” My next was to thank them for remembering me. 🙂
There’s just something about birthdays…
You either love them or hate them.
What I’ve found, is that as many people get older (and I’m not talking old, either, but just past the age of 21), birthdays aren’t as much fun.
In fact, they can be depressing. And that means…you guessed it- stress.
Birthdays are supposed to be a time of celebration. Of fun. Of happiness. (or so society tells us). But when people don’t remember (or when the right people don’t remember), it can make you feel like you don’t matter to others.
They can also serve as a time of reflection. “Look how far I’ve come!” or “I can’t believe I’ve actually done that! I never thought I would.”
But not all reflections are good. Sometimes, they serve to remind of unmet dreams and goals. Many of my clients report feeling this way. “I thought I’d be married by the time I was 30,” or “I can’t believe I’m about to turn 40 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
So should yourself facing the birthday blues, here are some tips to help make the day brighter:
- This day is about YOU. Do what you love. Pick the place you like to eat. Stop trying to please everyone else. It’s OK for them to suck it up and eat the cake flavor they don’t like.
- Have a plan in advance. Don’t leave things up to chance. That can make it a bit harder. Decide if you want to do something with friends or family. Tell them what kind of food, gifts, or surprises you do or don’t want. It’s OK to not like surprise parties or to prefer pie over cake.
- You can choose to observe and celebrate the day, or not. If you don’t like being the center of attention, or if birthdays make you sad, then make it just another day.
- Reflect on the great moments of your life. It could be the first time you ever made cupcakes, learning how to drive a stick shift, or moving away from home. Nothing is too small to celebrate. When you did those things the first time, they felt great, didn’t they? Try to capture on that feeling when you reflect. The great moments don’t all have to include a big check, a shiny ring, or a diploma.
- Decide what you want your future to be like. Instead of feeling bad about the things you haven’t done yet (see the emphasis on yet?), decide what you are finally going to do. Will you start saving your pennies for that dream vacation you’ve always wanted to take? Will you finally sign up to take that class for calligraphy (or photography or pasta making or scuba diving)? However big or small, commit to doing something over the next 365 days that you’ve always wanted to do.
Age is just a number. Birthdays are still just that- days.
So this year instead of wallowing in the birthday blahs, decide now how this year (not just that one special day) will be different. And more importantly, just how you want it to be!