It’s my birthday week! Every year I get asked by someone close to me “What do you want to to do for your birthday?” This year was no different. Usually I don’t really put a lot of preparation into my birthday. I kind of let things happen, or not. I think the beginning of the year carries a lot emotional ups and downs that leave me a bit worn out and I’m not really focusing on planning a celebration for myself. Honestly that is a defect in my thinking. A very happily married friend told me years ago “Ask for what you want for birthdays, anniversaries etc.. or make it happen for yourself.” Women, moms in particular, tend to pour into others so much, but not ourselves. The day that I was born is worthy of celebrating, and I’m definitely worthy of attention. There is no award in self-denial, ladies. (currently preaches to myself)
Last year I made a pact with myself to try and do better at self-care. I started to reflect on ways to focus on myself and celebrate over the week around my birthday, and I thought I’d share what I came up with. Some of them are free, some were splurges, but most just required me thinking about myself and dedicating time.
Take some time off from work.
I’ve actually have been doing this for the past couple of years. My birthday falls around President Day, so it makes it easy to take a couple of extra days off and get a nice long weekend in.
Turn the alarm off and sleep in.
I woke up in a panic one morning thinking I overslept. In a weird way, it was the best feeling ever.
I bought myself flowers.
I purchased multiple bouquets from local markets. There’s no such thing as too much. Tulips and roses are gorgeous this time of year.
Splurged on myself and scheduled a haircut, manicure and pedicure.
Key word: scheduled. I never schedule these self-care items. I either do them myself or I haphazardly try to get an appointment at the last minute. Real fly by the seat of my pants type of shenanigans. Room for changes for the new year…
Treated myself to a massage on my birthday.
Shout out to Shirley my masseuse, for sixty minutes of pure bliss! I discovered a cute local spa tucked in my neighborhood. I definitely plan to incorporate massage in my regular self-care routine .
Treated myself to a latte.
I legit NEVER buy myself Starbucks. The only reason I even have a birthday offer is because I share a membership with my daughter.
Prepared one of my favorite foods.
I’ve been craving crab legs. I made them for myself. I didn’t share. Lol.
Spent some time with my Bae Target..
It’s my happy place.. OK? Real Target shoppers understand.
I ordered myself a custom birthday crown.
There’s a company called “Lovecrush Inc” that makes beautiful lace crowns for all ages. I decided that all the queens that I love will get one this year, including me.
Worked on my blog and social media.
This is personal for me because I want to improve on writing so much. When I make a commitment and dedicate any time to write and post, it really makes me happy.
Wandered around Barnes and Nobles bookstore.
It’s almost as peaceful as the library, but full of other cool items to indulge in.
Tidied up my apartment.
Straightening up and making things smell good does my soul good.
Caught a movie with friends.
I’m horrible at going to see new movies. Partly because I don’t take the time, but it can also be quite expensive. AMC Theaters has $5 Tuesday’s, so there is absolutely no excuse. I saw the new Taraji P Henson movie.
Bought myself a new candle.
“Love You” by Bath and Bodyworks.. Very fitting.
Spent time alone at home….
In absolute silence doing whatever I felt like doing, or not. It’s an Aquarius thing…
Did some goal planning.
New goals are important as you start a new year of life.
Prayer and meditation.
A reminder to myself to do more. Start each day with reflection, gratitude and peace.
Had brunch with family and friends.
Sometimes the best outings require the least planning. There’s no shortage of great brunch spots in Harlem. I picked Row House Restaurant, made a reservation the night before my birthday. The key is surround yourself with people that you love and who love you.
Went out for drinks after brunch.
Saw a friend perform his debut spoken word album. Drinks, music, fun with people I love.. more drinks… Good times.
Wrote myself a love letter.
I wrote myself a letter and sealed it for next year. I included what I love about myself, what I’m grateful for, things I’m proud of, and what I plan to accomplish by next year.
Incorporate some self-love and self-care into your birthday week.