• Kristina Cherep

3 Ways To Help Let Your Mental Illness Not Affect Your Birthday



People celebrate their birthdays in all different ways and feel different about celebrating their birthday. What I have noticed over the years is that my mental illness sometimes got in the way of fully enjoying my birthday. How do I know this? Because this was actually the first year I didn’t feel my mental illness taking over on my birthday. Here are the things that I believe have helped with this...







Go In Expecting People To Cancel


This may sound pessimistic of me, but this used to be a big problem for me on my previous birthdays. I used to think people canceling on me on my birthday meant they didn’t care. Or that I wasn’t good enough. Hopefully the people you invite to celebrate your birthday do care about you and this isn’t the case.


What I have learned is that you can’t control other people’s schedule changes. Sure, it sucks when someone cancels on you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be there. That doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. Instead of being caught up in the people who can’t be with you, focus on the people who are there wanting to celebrate you!



Talk With Your Partner About The Expectations


Something that my husband and I ran into in the past on birthdays is that we weren’t on the same page because we didn’t talk about what we wanted or expected! You can tell someone you don’t care what you do or you don’t know what you want IF that really is the truth. If you are just saying those things hoping they can read your mind in what you want then chances are you are going to be disappointed. Believe me, I know from experience.


Now on every holiday, my husband and I discuss the expectations including prices on gifts, day of events, etc.. This has helped make all holidays more enjoyable, including my birthday.

This year I made an Amazon wish list to give specific ideas of what I wanted and my husband also told me he is going to buy some things that aren’t on the list too. I also told my husband “I like words” meaning I love little notes or letters for my birthday. Being a writer, I love receiving notes as gifts and look forward to those gifts the most. And no this isn’t me trying to sound unmaterialistic, I really do love words!!


Treat Yo Self


I’m all about self care every time of the year, but I used to always expect only others to treat me on my birthday. This sounds kind of selfish, but that’s really what I thought birthdays were for! This sometimes led to expectations not being met or me not fully feeling loved.

There is nothing wrong buying yourself your favorite candy or treats or even a cute outfit. YOU MADE IT ANOTHER YEAR! In the mental health world, that is sometimes an accomplishment because it shows strength in you fighting against suicidal thoughts (if you battle with that).


This year I am treating myself by finishing my first beach body workout program AND buying myself my favorite candy. And if my husband doesn’t buy me flowers then I’m going to buy myself some flowers. You don’t need a man or partner to deserve flowers! If you want flowers and you didn’t get them then GO GET THEM instead of getting lost in your thoughts of not being loved. You are capable of loving yourself without feeling guilty about it!

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