birthday blues

Birthday depression: 7 ways you can beat birthday blues

As much as we were excited for birthdays as a kid, an overwhelming feeling is somewhat common when approaching a birthday as an adult.

Remember those childhood days when birthdays meant planning for that one special day for weeks in advance? When we counted months and days to our birthday? The countdown, the planning, the expectation of gifts and finally, the celebration all added to the charm of birthdays during our childhood. However, as adults, ringing in our birthdays can be overwhelming for some.

While birthdays are the one day to feel truly special, they also tend to be a mix of many emotions for a few of us. We may feel overwhelmed, stressed or even depressed from a few days in advance. Our expectations and comparisons with others often prove to be a spoiler and the thought of innumerable responsibilities and tasks along with planning our birthday can be daunting too. As grown-ups, we have to keep realistic expectations of our birthday as many things depend on external factors like time available, commitments of others, resources etc.

Peer pressure or getting caught up in a wrong mind-set can also add to this feeling of being overwhelmed.  If you see yourself or someone you know sulk, sob or get upset before their special day, it is a sign of the birthday blues. It might also be that the birthday is causing them a fear of getting older and losing another year.

Whether we acknowledge it rightaway or slowly, birthdays can be beautiful to introspect and give gratitude for. It can even be an occasion for new beginnings. Birthdays are reminders that we have been gifted with this beautiful life. To help you beat the birthday blues, Soulveda lists a few ways to welcome another year around the sun with fun and gratitude sans the pressure.

No over-planning

While it is normal to feel excited about your birthday, over-planning may just add stress and unrealistic expectations to the day. And when these expectations are not met, they will lead to sorrow and even anger, eventually resulting in a kind of depression. Instead, why not go with the flow and accept the wishes, the celebrations and the gifts with immense gratitude? Accepting all that is coming your way, even if it is not meeting expectations, is a way to enhance your happiness. Learn to spend the day gleefully without spending all that precious time in over-planning and over expecting from a simple yet poignant day.

Gratitude for those who remember your day 

Every time we experience some kind of happiness, there is an urge to share it with others, this is intrinsic human nature. And during our birthdays, we end up expecting our loved ones to join us or maybe wish us. But it is better to keep our expectations real and simply have gratitude for those who remember us on our special day and shower love on those keep us in their thoughts. This action also involves not keeping any unpleasant feelings for those who cannot join or wish us on our day.

It is important to keep moving ahead positively, taking the wishes with you, watching as your happiness multiplies.

Avoid comparison

Due to the omnipresence of social media, you might happen to see a post by your best friend from school or college having the most gala celebration on their special day. Now, it might make you feel sad in case you aren’t having a big celebration yourself. However, if you stop yourself from comparing and truly wish your friend the best, you welcome happiness into your fold too. Any comparison to a peer, co-worker, sibling or friend does not make sense as situations are different for everyone.

Social media has brought upon us a new era of envy – it seems as if everyone is living the perfect life. Even mindlessly scrolling social media can create chaos in our minds. It is important to remember that everybody has a different tale of ups and downs, so learn to never jump to conclusions. Enjoy your day to the fullest instead and steer clear of social media for the day.

Spend time in nature

What better way to embrace the day you were born than by connecting with nature. Being one with nature revitalizes you, reminds you where we all come from. You will experience pure bliss and feel the stress going down if you choose to spend your birthday outdoors. Start the day with a nice, long walk in your favourite park, pause to admire nature’s precious bounties and dine at an open air restaurant, bringing in calm and peace as you turn a year older.

Donate or volunteer

Birthdays are one of the best occasions to reflect, connect with humanity and even bring back core human values like compassion and kindness in one’s fold.  Being grateful for all that we have been blessed with, including our loved ones and life’s positive learnings is what makes our hearts warm and carries us in tough times.

When shared with others, this warmth increases our contentment and peace as well. So on your birthday, donate something big or small, according to your capability and will. When you donate or volunteer to be a part of a cause, you find yourself truly connected to your inner self. And looking at someone who is not privileged as you are smile because of something you gifted them, turns out to be priceless, a humanitarian deed for keeps.

Celebrate in your own special way

The entire year, you may have been working hard, prioritizing work commitments or relationships. Your birthday is the time of the year to pamper yourself the way you want. Even if it means going on a solo trip, do it. You might have your own bucket list, so why not treat yourself by checking off some of the things from this list?

Birthday blues can be easily driven away by doing your favourite things; order your favourite cuisine, buy that book you have been planning to read or check out a performance you always wanted to go for. The idea is to take out some time for yourself even if you are not celebrating socially. The important bit is to do what you love.

Begin something new

Not just the new year, a birthday can also be a perfect occasion to embrace a new beginning. If you have been thinking of starting a healthy habit, say adding millets to your diet or adding breathing exercises to your fitness routine, this is the time to do it. Such new initiatives add zeal to your calendar and you begin to cherish another big year ahead of you.

There may be many things you want and yearn for – maybe that relationship goal hasn’t been met as yet, that career milestone still seems far from being achieved, but a birthday is not the time to wallow or sulk. Birthday is the best time to reflect, introspect, feel gratitude in abundance and give back to society. And a time to begin something new. A mind-set shift and adding new activities to your upcoming year will charge you and help you beat those birthday blues. And maybe by your next birthday, the blues won’t come a visiting!




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