Today is my birthday. Although this year is going to be something of a non-event (apart from a lovely (hopefully) meal out with my parents), I always try to celebrate my birthday. I see it as my own personal New Year. In this blog I give ten reasons why I think it is important to celebrate, or at least acknowledge it.
1. It's a celebration of life: Celebrating a birthday acknowledges the day you were born and the fact that you are alive. It's a reminder to be grateful for the gift of life. From my own perspective I celebrate the fact I survived another year. I realise this sounds dramatic, but with my mental health issues I think it's important to celebrate this.
2. It's an opportunity to reflect: A birthday can be a time to look back on the past year and reflect on accomplishments, challenges, and personal growth. I like to take time to reflect on things and acknowledge things I achieved and things I didn't manage to do. It's important not to beat yourself up and say "I failed to do..." instead acknowledge what you did do.
3. It's a chance to set new goals: A birthday can also be a time to set new goals for the coming year and create a plan for achieving them. As I said in the intro, I see my birthday as my own personal New Year so I'll take some time out and think about what I want to achieve for the forthcoming year. I'll also consider shorter term goals as well as longer term goals.
4. It's a time for self-care: Celebrating a birthday can involve taking time for self-care and doing things that bring you joy. Remember it is your day and whilst well-meaning friends and family may want to organise something for you it is vitally important that you don't become a people pleaser and do what they want you to do...
5. It's a time for connection: ...With that said, a birthday is a great reason to gather with family and friends to celebrate, which can strengthen relationships and build community. You can organise your own celebration for people you don't get to see very often - but only if you want to do so.
6. It's a time for fun: Birthdays are a great excuse to do something fun and out of the ordinary, like taking a trip or trying a new activity. You can do an activity on your own, or you can see if any of your friends or family would like to join you.
7. It's a time for reflection on personal growth: Birthdays can be a time to acknowledge personal growth and milestones achieved. Similar to number 2, I like to go a little deeper with things.
8. It's a time for appreciation: Celebrating a birthday can be a way to appreciate the people in your life who love and support you. We should always acknowledge what others do for us, but perhaps take the opportunity on your birthday to make a special effort to say thanks.
9. It's a way to mark the passage of time: Celebrating a birthday can be a way to mark the passage of time and the transition into a new year of life. Some people get hung up on the number of their year. Personally I find that to be totally irrelevant. Sure celebrate the big milestone birthdays, but as a rule I won't make a big deal about the actual number. I prefer to say "I'm a 16 year old with 25 years experience" (for example).
10. It's a way to celebrate yourself: Celebrating a birthday is a way to celebrate and honour yourself, your life, and your journey. It's a way to acknowledge that you are worthy of love, celebration, and attention. We should always do this, but it can be easy to forget to do so - so make a special effort on your birthday.