In September this year, I spent my birthday alone, cooped up indoors. With the looming pandemic of COVID-19, I’m sure many of us miss being able to celebrate our birthdays the same way we did in the past. Like some others, I grew up in an environment that never really made a huge deal out of birthdays, but as I grew older, I came to fathom what my own birthday meant to me. Whatever the significance of our birthdays may be to each of us, we are all blessed in abundance by Allah SWT to even see the light of day. Dear reader, your existence in this world is special, so here are some ways for you to celebrate your birthday alone!
#1 Grab some popcorn and watch a movie
If you are fully vaccinated, head down to your nearest cinema to watch a movie on your own! Many of us would usually watch with our family and loved ones, but why not try watching a movie alone? If you’re still adjusting to being comfortable with your own company, watching a movie might just be the first step towards finally being at peace when alone.
#2 Go to the newly opened cafè or bakery you’ve seen on Instagram
As someone who tries to keep up with food accounts specially dedicated to Halal food, I keep an eye out for newly opened cafès or restaurants that might be worth visiting. I went to the newly halal-certified soufflè place, FLIPPER’S Singapore. They serve both savoury and sweet pancakes as well as a variety of beverages (I recommend any milk-based drinks, especially Strawberry Ice Travels) so take your pick!
For the cat people out there, you could also go to a cat cafè! Currently, there are five cat cafès in Singapore, most of which are conveniently located around central Singapore. Make your birthday a purr-fect one by basking in the company of adorable feline creatures.
Butter from The Cat Cafè (Bugis)
#3 Order in some good food
If you’re incredibly busy and have no time to drop by your favourite restaurant, why not order your comfort food or something expensive and tasty? Reward yourself and fill your belly with no regrets. What could be more comforting than your favourite bowl of ban mian or fish soup after a long, arduous day?
With back-to-back lessons on my birthday this year, I chose to order beef ramen from Ichikokudo Ramen and a pack of six cheese tarts from Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart (which I shared with my roommate).
In other words, order something that makes you feel content and while you’re at it, order some dessert too!
#4 Catch the sunrise/sunset at the beach
There’s no need to wait for your special someone to take nice, long walks at the beach. On your birthday, wake up early to catch the sunrise or even cycle to the beach to watch the sunset.
If you find a relatively quiet area, you can also do your prayers at the beach. On your picnic mat, lay out a prayer mat and make yourself as comfortable as possible, i.e. make your environment comfortable for prayer, using attar and putting some on your prayer mat as well.
#5 Binge watch your favourite Netflix series
A pandemic-friendly option you could always choose in the comfort of your own home. If you’re reluctant to step out of the house, you could always re-watch your favourite series or any Korean drama that you’ve heard your friend talk about. Low effort, high reward option since you don’t have to get dressed or leave the house!
Some words of advice: don’t be afraid to do things alone. It may be daunting at first, but you’ll soon come to realize that maybe spending time alone is the therapy you need from a ridiculously hectic life. Have fun celebrating your birthday!