How to Celebrate a Birthday in a Pandemic

This year I spent my 20th birthday in my house because of the stay-at-home orders (that I’m more than happy to follow to flatten the curve). This isn’t how I had planned on turning 20 though. I had this whole plan of staying up with my roommates and whatever friends that lived in my dorm building who wanted to be there for me at midnight. The following weekend my friends had been planning a party and invited all my friends to celebrate with me. Obviously, none of that happened but that doesn’t mean my birthday sucked. So now I’m compiling a list of things you can do to make it still feel like your birthday, even if you can’t go out and see your friends.

  1. 1. Dress Up

    The first thing I recommend is dressing up. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a cocktail dress and heels (unless you want to) but it can mean getting out of the sweats you’ve been wearing way too often now that you don’t really go out for fun. Maybe do your makeup, too, if you’re into that or feel up to it. Doing this can make the birthday feel more special and real.

  2. 2. Document the Day

    Hands holding phone

    I know that it may feel silly, but try to get pictures of yourself today! This can be as simple as taking selfies or selfie videos. If you have a camera and tripod (or someone to take pictures), that’s even better. Take videos and pictures because they’ll be something fun to look back on in the future. And today of all days is supposed to be about you. It’s a great excuse for a stay-at-home photoshoot. 

  3. 3. Get a Cake (or Some Kind of Dessert)

    This may seem arbitrary, but I really feel like this is an essential part of birthdays. One of the main festivities is always blowing out some candles and having dessert, so I definitely feel like that shouldn’t be left out just because there’s a pandemic. You can always go get your own birthday cake or have one delivered from a local shop or grocery store.

  4. 4. Host a Zoom Birthday Call

    I did this and the results were honestly amazing. I scheduled a Zoom call and sent the link out to my friends from all circles of my life, many who hadn’t met people from a different circle, but it was a beautiful kind of chaos. I haven’t really gotten to call my friends as much as I told myself I would, so being in a Zoom call with 20-25 of them was everything I needed on my birthday.

Feel free to throw out this entire list and come up with things of your own. This is just supposed to be something to get you thinking! Your birthday is everything that you make it and being in a pandemic doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be as special as it usually is.