How to Cope When You Are Alone on Your Birthday

10 Tips to Beat Loneliness on Your Birthday

Cheer yourself up on a lonely birthday with these tips.
A birthday alone does not have to be lonely. Getty / gruizza

Birthdays are generally fun when you are a child. As you grow older, birthdays become a nuisance for some in that they are a reminder that you are getting older. For people who live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), they can also be a reminder that you are on your own.

Here are some tips to cope if you find yourself alone on your birthday.

1. Start fresh

Use this opportunity to start fresh in some area of your life.

Go the traditional route and do a makeover on your outside: that might mean a new haircut, new outfit, or even something a little riskier like a tattoo. Choose styles that give you confidence and a new outlook.

Or, go the less traditional route, and treat yourself to an internal makeover: read a self-improvement book, take a workshop, or start writing in a journal. Read books to work on coping with social anxiety so that you will not be alone on future birthdays.

2. Light candles

No, not scented ones. The type you put on a birthday cake. Even if no one is coming over, you can still have a birthday cake. If you're not into baking, buy a storemade version.

However, if you really want to enjoy your day, don't take this shortcut. Take your time and enjoy the process of baking a cake. Feel proud of what you have accomplished. Share leftovers with a neighbor and consider it an opportunity to make a new friend.

3. Gifts aren't just for kids

If you aren't expecting anyone to give you gifts, treat yourself to something new. Choose a gift that might help you with your social anxiety such as an expensive chamomile tea, or buy an item for your home/dorm/bedroom to spruce it up.

4. Get outside/get exercise

Exercise helps to clear your mind and hiking outdoors gives you a chance to connect with nature.

Get outside and go for a hike, walk around your neighborhood, or a stroll along the beach (if you are so lucky to live near one). Feel proud about spending your birthday out of the house and being proactive about your physical and mental health. Bring Fido, if you have a Fido (Rover, Spot) in your house, and let his natural joy and curiosity lead the way.

5. Cinema time

Treat yourself to a night out at the movies even if you will be going alone. Lift your spirits with a comedy. Go at a time when you know the theater is likely to be full. Laugh out loud and don't worry what others think.

6. Volunteer

Consider offering your services as a volunteer. Spend time chatting with folks at an old age home or offer to walk dogs at an animal shelter. You might even make new friends and become a regular volunteer. Be sure to call in advance to learn about any requirements prior to helping out.

7. Read

Your birthday is the perfect time to sit down with a can't-put-it-down type of book. Start that novel or non-fiction book you have had on your list. Curl up with a good book and you might be surprised how quickly the day passes.

8. Do your norm

Make your birthday just like any other day. Go about your usual routine.

Don't mention to anyone that it is your birthday. This strategy works best if you are not much into birthday celebrations anyway.

9. Plan a party for next year

Start thinking about next year if you don't want to be alone on your birthday again. Are there relatives you could visit or friends that you could invite over for dinner? Take the year to make new connections so that you don't find yourself alone again this time next year.

10. Be appreciative

Birthdays are a reminder of how much time has passed and potentially how much time we have left. Take the time to appreciate the positive things in your life, even if you are alone on your birthday.

If you have a roof over your head, food on the table, access to education, and running water, you are actually ahead of a good portion of the world's population. Over time, this type of gratitude will become a habit, and will serve you well in improving all aspects of your life.

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