My birthday is just around the corner. I am turning 25 years young. Note how I did not say old. I am notorious for going into my birthday seeing it as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. However this year, after speaking with someone near and dear to my heart (who LOVES her birthday) I am trying something new this year. If I am going to have a birthday every single year, on the exact same day, I figured it would be only fair to try and love it this year and all the years I am gifted after that. From what I’ve heard, embracing and celebrating a day dedicated to you can be pretty awesome! How am I going to do this? Well, dear reader, if you have the bitters and blues about your birthday and want to get to a place of celebration, you will just have to keep reading.

I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “Another year older, another year wiser.” While that may be true, when I hear that, I want to facepalm myself. I never really resonated with that. Maybe I am thinking too deeply about the saying. However, when looking at my previous outlook on my birthday, I don’t remember having the thoughts of being wiser. I remember having thoughts of my body changing, getting closer to the stressors of becoming a financially independent adult, and not only me getting older, but everyone I love around me getting older. Yikes, writing that last part made me tear up a little bit. Anyways…this year I am doing my best to create a healthy distance from those thought patterns and to lean into practicing gratitude. I have just lived another year! I am healthy. I have spent another year surrounded by my loved ones. I have another year under my belt of working in a career that fulfills me. There are an abundance of blessings in my life! Sure, my pants from when I was 21 don’t fit anymore, but the new trendy Free People pants that I have in my cart right now are calling my name and are ready to be worn by the body I am in now. It’s a mindset shift, but it is a doable mindset shift.

If you’ve been to therapy, you have probably heard your therapist ad nauseam speak about how important self care is for your overall well-being. You may be asked every session, “How are you taking care of yourself?”. Sometimes, life gets in the way and self care can be the last thing on your to-do list. What better day to fully indulge in  self care than on your birthday? It is a day on your calendar that you can plan for because you know it is going to be on the same day, every single year! I have found myself, on previous birthdays, waking up and pretty much planning absolutely nothing for myself. The only thing I may have left time for on my birthday is an hour for me to cry. While crying is good and it offers a release of emotion, I find myself dreading the thought of crying on my birthday this year. I don’t really want to take an hour and cry. I want to spend time with my family and go to the bookstore. That is my version of self care! Your birthday is all about YOU. Self care is all about prioritizing time to do things for yourself that bring you joy and decrease stress. Do you enjoy long hikes? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Have you been wanting to paint pottery but you just haven’t been able to pencil in time for it? Maybe, you just need a day to sit on the couch and watch all of your favorite comfort movies. The greatest thing about using your birthday as a self care day is the fact that you get to do whatever it is that you want to do. If you want to still cry, go for it. Afterwards, go get yourself a treat and blow out your candles to celebrate another year of learning how to love your birthday!