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Last updated December 30, 2021.
A sad reality we’ve had to come to terms with is that we’ll be spending our birthdays in quarantine. I’ll be the first to say that all things considered, giving up a birthday celebration is a minor inconvenience. But one can’t help but think about what could’ve been.
Like pretty much everyone else, 2020 was supposed to be my year. I worked hard and achieved a lot since my last birthday and was planning on rewarding myself with a two-week getaway to Rome, or something just as nice. The Coronavirus had different plans in store for us apparently.
Instead, I’m modestly enjoying a nostalgic favorite: Betty Crocker’s boxed yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting. It’s far from gourmet and, as a baking enthusiast, I typically make my own sweets from scratch if I’m not getting a special order from a bakery. But I was feeling nostalgic and satisfied my basic inner child.
I did some thorough research to see how others were spending their lockdown birthdays and was pleasantly surprised at the number of unique ideas others were coming up with. While our options might be limited because the outdoors and social gatherings are mostly off-limits, we can enjoy the little things and make the most of what we have.
All this to say that a fun birthday in quarantine is certainly possible. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of your special day.
How To Spend Your Birthday In Quarantine And Still Have A Blast
Have a lowkey kickback.
Everyone is social distancing, but you’re still allowed to have gatherings of no more than 10 people and maintain a distance between each other of at least 6 feet. If you’re up for it, have some of your people come through and have a simple, socially distanced fiesta.
Or a virtual kickback.
If you’re not feeling like having people over, I totally hear you. I was a germaphobe before the Rona myself and don’t want to take chances, especially with my mom being a nurse (thank you for your service!). Use platforms like Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime and schedule a time to virtually meet with your friends and family. You can also host a Facebook or Instagram live and have people join in on your celebration in real-time!
Make a quarantine birthday wishlist.
Make a wishlist so that your birthday gifts are relevant or usable while you’re staying at home. Potential gift ideas include a gaming console, books, and streaming subscriptions.
Bake yourself a birthday cake.
If you’re unable to order a cake from your bakery, then there’s a good chance you’re going to be baking one. I went the cheap and sinfully-yummy route and went with a classic boxed mix as I mentioned earlier, but you certainly don’t have to. Here are some of my favorite cake recipes on the internet for you to try:
- Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake (you’ll want to put a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top of this one… apologies in advanced if you become addicted!)
Order a birthday meal from a local restaurant.
Going out for dinner isn’t an option, but you can certainly have a meal delivered to you. And by opting for a local restaurant or small business as opposed to a larger restaurant or chain, you’re killing two birds with one stone and helping your community in a time of need. So, everybody wins.
Or make your favorite meal for dinner.
Making yourself a meal is such a fun way to spend your birthday. I love treating myself with some quality food and prepare my meals as if they’re for Queen Elizabeth herself. With fresh produce virtually untouched at some grocery stores, maybe’s the time to start learning healthier recipes like you said you would. Try this coconut chickpea curry or spaghetti and meatballs if you need easy ideas that are meatless and won’t break the bank.
Have a spa day or treat yourself to a bubble bath.
Every day is a good day for a spa day. On your birthday though? Go. All. Out. Sis. Bath bombs with natural oils and butters are soothing and nourishing and drape your skin in luxury. If you’re new to creating your own spa experience, here’s a helpful article on how to draw yourself the perfect bath for some much needed R&R.
Make a birthday bucket list.
Staying indoors has many of us reaching for the pen (or laptop) and doing a bunch more writing. For your birthday, make a list of things you want to achieve before your next birthday. Have fun by taking the number of years you have and coming up with that number of things to do in the next year. Keep your bucket list close throughout the year so that you actually remember to do the items and cross them off.
You might be wondering how this is fun, but I promise you that it is. I refuse to believe I’m the only one who enjoys looking back on your last year and seeing where you’ve grown. Even if you’re feeling down or not like your best on your birthday, think of things you wish you did differently or what you’d like to approve upon and write them down. Make them your goals for the following year. You never know. It may be the boost and motivation you need to get things accomplished this year.
Make a gratitude list.
A great way to spend your birthday, especially one in quarantine, is by making a gratitude list. When I realized that I’d be spending my birthday in lockdown, my first reaction was to be bummed out on the special day of adventure I’d be missing out on. But I soon remembered that I have supportive friends and family, I’m location independent, and alive and have the opportunity to even celebrate another birthday. Those things matter way more to me.
Write a letter to your future self.
This is definitely one to put on your birthday itinerary. Writing a letter to your future self is both reflective and exhilarating. It allows you to be introspective and be still where you are, considering all that you’ve achieved and things you’re yet to complete, what matters to you, your dreams. You can write to yourself for the following year, in three years, five years… it’s totally up to you.
Have a solo dance party.
Don’t knock it till you try it. Since I added dancing to my morning and self-care routines, I feel like recommending it for everything. It’s a great way to get your blood pumping, and it’ll make for wild and spontaneous fun on your birthday. So, go wild.
Donate to a food bank or charity.
I have a lot to be grateful for and wanted to spend some of my birthday month serving meals to the homeless. I didn’t get that chance because of the pandemic, but there are other ways to help those who are vulnerable or less fortunate, especially now. With many out of work, school, and struggling to make ends meet or get meals, use your birthday as an opportunity to give back to the community.
Sometimes the best way to spend a day is by being lowkey and doing almost nothing at all, and the same can go for your birthday. Don’t feel compelled to have a celebration or do things to make it seem like you’re having a big or important day. Just being is an equally great way to spend it.
Whichever way you decide to spend your birthday, remember to come from a place from gratitude and thankfulness. The human race is currently facing unchartered territories and dealing with the largest global pandemic in over a century. While the situation isn’t what we’d want, we’re blessed to have the opportunity to even witness it and count another day.
So, here’s to wishing you (or someone you know) the happiest, most sanitized, and socially-distanced birthday!
Quarantine taking a toll on your mindful state? Check out these self-care tips to help you keep calm during this weird time!
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