From a divorced woman seeking advice: My birthday is coming up and this is the first time I am alone on my birthday, in a new city with no close friends. Any idea on how I can celebrate on my own?
First off, Happy Birthday! The older I get, the more I see the necessity to celebrate life. Birthdays signify a whole year of ups, downs and some days we’d love to forget. But guess what? You made it! You are alive, and that is worth celebrating. Whatever age you are celebrating, you should feel proud! In a world where we are dealing with a pandemic, rioting, politics and more- you made it THROUGH. Whether you plan on taking a moment, a day, a week, or heck-the entire month, please CELEBRATE.
Advice for “alone on my birthday”…
Celebrating looks different to everyone. Some want loud singing and flashing lights, and others prefer quiet time. Whatever you prefer, take time to feel special and build memories. Being alone on your birthday and in a new city with no close friends can be hard.
I remember picking up and leaving my lifelong home of New York with a baby and relocating to Virginia. I had no family, friends, support system or anything. Just me, my daughter and prayer! I thought everyone in my new city talked slow & weird. It was the South, so they greeted strangers, smiled at each other, walked & talked slow, cooked differently, and where was the public transportation? I decided to fully embrace my new surroundings.
In the spirit of celebration, here are 8 ways to celebrate your milestone while being alone and in a new city:
1. Start fresh!
New town, new city, no close friends. This is the time to decide that a fresh start is needed. We are banishing old thoughts & coming up with new ways to introduce ourselves, meet new people, etc. Let’s leave all the old bad habits, thoughts and actions in the old city. Today, decide to do something brand new. What will it be??
Find your local movie theatre, drive in or nature trail/park. Go for an early movie or walk. Get up and get out early! This is a perfect chance to find a new local venue and indulge!
Find your local bakery, ask the cashier what’s their most popular treat and ignore the thoughts of dieting and healthy eating. Yes, you’re alone on your birthday, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a celebration, and another reason to treat yourself! Grab a cupcake, donut or whatever your heart desires and enjoy.
Journaling isn’t for everyone, but it sure does help. I am over 50 and can easily sit and list at least 50 things I’m grateful for. Take your new age and write a gratitude journal entry listing that many things you’re grateful for. You may need some time to think on this, but this will easily turn your frown upside down, especially being alone on your birthday. Whenever you’re feeling glum, pull out your list and remind yourself of all the great things that have happened in your life. Your list is a great birthday gift!
5. Me Time!
Look on yelp and find the local nail salon with the best reviews. Walk in and get a mani/pedi. Relax in the chair, press the massage button and lose yourself for a little while. “I’m alone on my birthday” will start feeling pretty darn great!
6. Buy a pin/ribbon from the local card store or Amazon.com to let people know it’s your birthday.
See how many random birthday greetings, free coffee or smiles you get in one day! It may seem cheesy, but everyone likes a little bit of attention and you deserve it. This is sure to make you the popular person for the day!
7. Special evening!
Put on some dance music while you cook yourself something delightful to eat for dinner. Sing your heart out, light candles, set the table and celebrate you! After dinner, run a hot bath and drop in your favorite smelling bath bomb. Put the music back on and sink into the tub. This is a great way to end any evening!
8. Finally, if you just can’t take not seeing your close friends, set up a zoom birthday party.
Tell your close friends to meet you on zoom at a certain time with a glass of wine. Tell them they have 2 minutes each to toast you before toasting yourself. This is a great way to see friends, celebrate you and have a glass of wine-together!
I hope I’ve given you a reason and way to celebrate YOU, despite that you are alone on your birthday. Women do so much for others, we have to do a better job of tooting our own horn. You are a gift and deserve a celebration, even if it’s alone in a new city.
We can see it as horrible or as an opportunity for FRESH beginnings. Which lenses are you looking through? Know that I’m celebrating with you from afar. At dinner this evening, I’ll have a glass of red wine and toast to everyone celebrating a birthday. If everyone reading this post does that, just think of how many strangers you’d have wishing you a happy birthday. How cool is that?
Let me know how you celebrated your birthday by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Debbie LeSean is a divorce expert and life coach to high achieving women executives navigating the divorce funnel. She is an author, public speaker & founder of the nonprofit, 2LIVE Daily, which helps families navigate the mental health maze. Debbie helps women remove the executive mask to gain clarity on their goals and purpose, and achieve a breakthrough. A graduate of V.C.U. and Liberty University, Debbie uses her degrees in Counseling & Executive Leadership to shift mindsets, eliminate limiting belief and release the emotional heaviness that often accompanies divorce. Debbie is a two-time divorcee who took the time to heal WHOLE before stepping into the “best relationship ever.” To connect with Debbie, visit her website at debbielesean.com.
Like this article? Check out, “Loneliness Might Be The Most Painful of All Emotions”