It’s your birthday! You have been waiting for 365 days, it’s time to celebrate and make the most of it.

So why not indulge in what makes you happy? Self-care isn’t selfish, and even if it was, it’s your birthday, so who cares.

It’s also an opportunity to reflect on how you and everything else has changed in the past year.

Without further ado, here is a list of 33 self-care rituals and ideas in general that can be done anytime although your birthday makes them special.

If you’d like to share your own ideas, please do so by leaving a reply at the end of the page.


Birthday self care rituals

  • 1. Letter to the old self. Grab a beautiful piece of paper (or your journal, if you have one) and write a letter to the younger you. Be compassionate, and give advice and guidance, as if you were a close friend.
  • 2. Letter to the present self. Same ritual; this time you’ll have to imagine your future self writing a letter to who you are right now. So you’ll first have to imagine the person you want to become, which is in itself a fun, interesting exercise.
  • 3. Empty glass ritual. Grab a glass and observe it. Say to yourself that, just like the glass, your life can be filled with anything you want because the content is not the container. Fill the glass with your favorite drink and think of what you want to fill your own life with.
  • 4. Visualization ritual. Close your eyes and visualize your ideal life (be realistic but do dream). Feel the experience, make it vivid, as if it was real. Remain in that blissful state, feel the joy. When you are ready, open your eyes and say “this is my life”.
  • 5. The growth list. Make a short list of all the ways in which you have improved and grown as a person, or the things you have learned in the past year — you have no idea how many they are until you write them down.
  • 6. The dream list. You are older now, it’s time to dream bigger. What do you want, what are your desires? What do you want to manifest? Again, be ambitious. And make sure you use a beautiful piece of paper, one that feels special.
  • 7. Read a life-changing book. Which doesn’t have to be done in a single day. There are so many life-changing books out there and honestly, if you think long-term, this could be your own best birthday present ever.

Birthday self care ideas

  • 8. Don’t celebrate your birthday. “Go out, invite everyone, do this, do that”. Says who? Yes, your birthday is a special day. But you choose how or whether to celebrate it. If the thought of it sounds like an annoyance, then why would you?
  • 9. Buy yourself a present. Duh. But perhaps you’ve never done it before. The great thing about it is, although there is no element of surprise, you know you’ll actually like and/or use the present.
  • 10. Get a professional massage. And a long one, if possible — one to two hours. The benefits of massage in terms of mental, physical, and spiritual health are incredible, so why not pamper yourself on your birthday? You deserve it!
  • 11. Eat something tasty and healthy. You can cook it yourself, order in, or just eat at your favorite restaurant. Just make sure it doesn’t just taste good but it nourishes your body as well.
  • 12. A moment of silence. And stillness. Spend a few minutes in complete silence, as if you were meditating. If you’re an introvert, you’ll probably enjoy this — as an extrovert, maybe not that much, but you can still give it a try.
  • 13. Listen to a new music genre. Like, one you would never normally listen to. Then when you find a song you do like, you’ll want to listen to it again and again because it’s so… new.
  • 14. Give the 333 rule a try. This is a simple yet effective technique that can be used to stop panic attacks, relieve anxiety, or just increase your awareness in general. It’s basically mindfulness. Have a look at this post to find out more.
  • 15. Rearrange the furniture. Not just for aesthetic purposes. It changes the energy of the whole room if done properly. Most of us do it subconsciously to improve our mood e.g. we have a bad day, come back home and rearrange items as a way to de-stress.
  • 16. Take the longest shower ever. Aah. Take your time, breathe, relax, enjoy the hot water. You can then moisturize your skin to lock in hydration immediately after. Easy, cheap, and feels great.
  • 17. YouTube marathon. Literally watch your favorite videos for as long as you want. Even if it’s a waste of time, who cares? And if you ever run out of self-care ideas, then watch self-care videos!
  • 18. Do absolutely nothing. Just like you don’t have to celebrate your birthday in any traditional way, similarly you don’t really have to constantly do things or even “have fun”. Nothing is perfectly acceptable, and even enjoyable in some cases.
  • 19. Stargaze and wonder. Reflect on the meaning of the universe and everything that’s in it as you look at the beautiful stars. It really is a special experience. I used to do it all the time as a child.
  • 20. Listen to the waves. Or the sound of the wind. Or the birds chirping. Perhaps you can’t physically do it where you live, but a video will do. If it is a video, make sure it’s the Maldives or some fabulous paradise. Watch, listen, relax.
  • 21. Write a to-do list. Just for fun. Especially if you don’t use to-do lists on a daily basis. What do you want to do tomorrow, next week, next month? Again, it’s not tasks or chores, but things you’d like to do.
  • 22. Hug people, and things. Get your dose of oxytocin. Then some more. Then some more. Hug the people you love (or even strangers, for that matter) and pillows, pets, anything you want. it’s your birthday!
  • 23. Create your own logo. For example, use your initials to draw a cool logo or emblem. It’s fun and creative, and essentially a mindfulness practice. You can also create your own magical “sigil” — your own lucky symbol that represents a desired outcome.
  • 24. Rethink your “shoulds”. Feelings of guilt and false responsibility affect almost all of us. At best, they drain time; at worst, they drain energy. What is it that you think you have to do? Reflect on that and give yourself permission to not do what you actually don’t need to do.
  • 25. Discard an item. Minimalism isn’t just a fancy social media trend. It can be deeply liberating. The most original own birthday present ever: get rid of an item and feel how much time, space, and mental energy you actually gained because of that.
  • 26. Indulge in a hobby. Everyone has a hobby or at least a thing they like to do. Well, it’s your birthday, so do it! As much and as long as you want. If you don’t have a hobby, then find one.
  • 27. Write down what you like. This is a great self-care practice and also a powerful psychological exercise. Do you know what you want? Most people don’t. Not with great clarity anyway. By writing down your wants and needs, you then become conscious about them.
  • 28. Color changing led lights. Or just colored light. Very relaxing, especially before you go to bed. You can change the color according to your mood, time of the day, or just the atmosphere of the room.
  • 29. Slow down. Anything you’d normally do in, say, ten minutes, take your time and do it in at least thirty minutes. This is another mindfulness practice that trains you to really enjoy things as well as being present.
  • 30. Plan a holiday. A fabulous one. Anything from solo traveling in Asia, to posh staycations, unusual destinations, a sabbatical, spiritual retreats, etc. Have a look at the flights and routes/destinations online and brainstorm… and then plan!
  • 31. Try therapy. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be terrifying. Even just a single therapy session can turn into the best birthday present ever. And if you don’t like the therapist, you can always choose a different one.
  • 32. Give yourself a manicure. Not so original, but it always works. Very relaxing. And since it’s your birthday, why not invest in a really good hand moisturizer, polish, nail file, spa gloves, etc?
  • 33. Breathe and let go. Sit comfortably. Take three or four deep breaths. Then breathe normally, but imagine that with each breath, as you exhale, you also let go of anything that doesn’t serve you, that is not meant for you, that belongs to the past and must stay in the past.

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