How A Nutritionist Celebrates A Birthday
By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
I think that your birthday is the most important day of the year. For some of you, this might sound like a bold statement, but honestly, it’s true. Although we really need to work on this every day of our lives, the reality is that our birthday is the one day of the year that is totally ours, to spend loving and thanking ourselves, acknowledging our talents, and being grateful for who we are.
I find that often we can write off our birthday as just another day in the super busy life we live, but I urge you to not only keep reading this post (to hear about what I do on my birthday), but to think of ways you can make your birthday as special as possible – each and every year. As you might have guessed, this birthday rant comes just in time for my birthday. I celebrate my birthday this week, and every year I look forward to that one day that’s totally mine. It may sound selfish, but truly it’s lovely and don’t forget that you deserve to celebrate you too.
So after all this information about how important I think birthdays are, I want to tell you a little bit about how I celebrate my birthday. And my major hope is that even if you don’t end up taking days off, planning special events or doing anything of that sort, that you start to look at your birthday as a major day of celebrating your life, and for being grateful to yourself for who you are.
Here’s how this nutritionist (me!) celebrates her birthday:
- Take the day off from work: On the day of my birthday I always try my best to take the day (or part of the day off) from work. Why? So that I can spend the day doing whatever it is that I want to do. I’m lucky that I work for myself so am able to make this decision, but even if you’re someone who’s on someone else’s time clock, on someone else’s time clock, if you can, I encourage you to take a personal day or a half day simply to do something for you.
- Treat myself to something I want: This year it may be some new perfume, but I always try to treat myself to something I’ve been eyeing. It makes me feel special, and treating yourself (as I’m learning) is very important!
- Allow myself (happily!) to eat birthday cake I love: I find that people often look at me funny when I say that I love dessert (yes, I LOVE dessert!), I think for some reason it shocks people to hear me say that, but I love it just as much as the next person (or maybe more!). It’s all about portion control, and allowing yourself to have it every once in awhile and not feeling guilty for it is a healthy way to live. So, on my birthday I will be having cake from the most delicious bakery that is both gluten and dairy free here in New York, and quite honestly I look forward to it all year! My cake flavor of choice is double chocolate, no question. I will try my best to not eat more than one or two slices, but if I end up having more than I plan, I’ll enjoy it because it’s my birthday and I’ll also let it go and move on.
- Meditate: This is something that I’m always trying to do more of (and something I often struggle with, honestly), so on my birthday I plan to really spend at least 5-10 minutes meditating so that I can really think of the things I am grateful for (see more in #7!). I’m really hoping to do more meditating in this next year, so why not start on my birthday!
- Go to my favorite exercise class: Most days of the week I try to get my workouts in before I start my workday, however there is a fantastic spin class at lunchtime that I will certainly be attending on my birthday. A wonderful treat that I so look forward to.
- Have lunch with a friend: Who wants to eat lunch by yourself on your birthday? Not me! There is nothing in the world more important than friends and community and surrounding yourself with those you love; so make sure you do this especially on your birthday.
- Write down what I’m grateful for in my last year and what I’ll work on in the year to come: This is something that I started a few years ago and is by far my most favorite thing to do come my birthday, because it helps me to reflect on each year, slowly and work toward goals in the following year. Here’s the catch though, none of the things I write down or work towards are material in nature, instead their quality improvements, and things that I want to work on to make me a happier, more balanced, more complete person.
To help you come up with some ideas, here’s a few that I wrote down two years ago:
- Seize every moment, stop and take a deep breath to breathe it all in as much as I can.
- Remember to keep the bigger picture in mind.
- Be present in every moment of my day today and moving forward.
- Work to be patient, live in the moment, and let things go that no longer serve me.
Do you have any birthday activities that you love to do? Let’s hear what you love to do on your birthday below. Leave us a comment!