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5 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday (Yes, Yours!)

posted: 06/17/15
by: Courtney Reimer
three women and a small birthday cake
Thinkstock

After planning a birthday party for everyone else in your family and friend network, probably the last thing you want to do is think about your own birthday, but we urge you to reconsider skipping a birthday celebration. Research shows that taking time for yourself is important to mental, physical and professional health, and hey, don't you deserve a little fun? (The answer is yes.)

If the stress of planning your own birthday is holding you back, here are a few easy tips for how to celebrate you:

1. Take the day off. If nothing else, you should be sure to take time for yourself on your birthday. Some companies even include it in their time off policy, but either way, get your partner, spouse, or a friend to take on some of your duties for the day. You'll be glad you did.

2. Better yet: Take a vacation. The best way to make it a memorable one is to get outside your routine and get away from it all. A lot of places will give you the special treatment (our hotel in Cancun had a fancy dessert waiting for me in our room, for example).

3. Don't keep it a secret. Go on, tell people! If the "another year older" thing is holding you back, remember: everyone has one. People really do like to have an opportunity to tell you they appreciate you -- and, if you're lucky, you might get free stuff out of it.

4. Party like a rockstar. Literally. Head to your local karaoke bar and belt out a song. Karaoke is so therapeutic (with or without the liquid courage) because it lets you step outside your usual self and belt one out like Pat Benatar (or Britney Spears, or Bon Jovi).

5. Celebrate the kid in you. If you're a parent you probably have kid birthday ideas coming out the wazoo -- why not try adapting them for yourself? Have a pizza-making party (plus beer, if that's your thing), or decorate your own cupcakes (plus wine, if that's your thing).

No matter what, though, don't just pretend it's not a big day. You can buy the anti-aging cream later if you must, but on your birthday, just let the happiness happen.