If you’re in the process of cancelling your much-anticipated birthday plans, take some solace in the fact that you’re not alone.
Thousands of people up and down the country are receiving deposits back, informing their friends of cancelled plans and rescheduling things for later in the year.
I know this feeling all too well. I had an action-packed week planned for my 30th birthday and instead I found myself housebound.
It’s easy to keep telling yourself that there are bigger problems in the world - which there are - but you’re allowed to feel sorry for yourself during the coronavirus lockdown.
Despite this, there are some ways to still make it into an enjoyable day. Sure, it might not be the day you had planned but it doesn’t mean you have to write it off.
Break the routine
If you’re still working, make sure you take the day off. It’s easy to work through the day and pretend it’s not happening, but you’ll find yourself still looking forward to your birthday if you have no responsibilities.
Wake up late, take a morning bath, do something you love.
The purpose here is to achieve little victories. Sure, it might not be your normal birthday blowout but because everything is quite sombre right now, you’ll find yourself appreciating those little gestures way more than usual.
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Make your once a day walk more special
The government is currently advising us to take one type of exercise outside of the house per day. It’s recommended to stay in the parameters of your home, but it doesn’t mean it has to be an everyday walk.
On my birthday, I took my dog into the fields behind my house and made myself a bouquet out of flowers I found along my walk.
Simply take a pair of small gardening scissors and some string with you and you can build yourself a lovely bouquet while taking in the fresh air.
Food is everything
Birthdays quite often centre around meals out. Whether that’s roast dinner with your family or dinner and drinks with your best friends.
Just because you can’t go out to eat, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food.
You have two choices here. If you’re quarantined with people, perhaps they can prepare you a delicious three-course meal. If you’re alone or not fond of cooking, delivery options like Deliveroo are still operating and will provide you with the perfect special birthday meal.
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Speak to your friends
If you were due to be going on a fun-packed weekend with your friends (like me), it can be hard to get through that time without feeling even a smidgen of resentment towards your current situation.
Don’t lock yourself away, instead plan a fun evening of games with them anyway. It’s not like they’re doing anything.
We all clubbed together and created a mega-quiz night which involved a round called “Who said this?” where we trawled through old Facebook statuses to find the funniest ones.
It’s a simple tip but speaking during these difficult times makes the world of difference.
Try a new experience
So many of our favourite places to visit are looking for ways to make their businesses work online. You might find some really cool things to do if you try searching for your favourites.
If you’re into escape rooms, for example, The Panic Room has created a virtual play-at-home escape room to keep you entertained.
If you’ve got children, perhaps you might like to create a mini festival in the garden or a camp on the balcony. Now’s the time to get inventive.
Sure, it wasn’t the birthday I had planned but there was a lot of joy to be had in the day. Don’t let it be a day you dread, but reframe it and make it special in its own right.
And hey, you can always make like the Queen and have a second birthday at some other time of the year.