10 Easy-To-Follow Ideas To Joyfully Celebrate a 40th Birthday

Esther Tendai Burt

My name is Esther. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. I came to the UK, London to be specific in the year 2000. In 2005, I graduated as a psychiatric nurse at South Bank University. I moved down to Southampton in 2006. I did Journalism in 2011 and founded my own publication called DIY Girl magazine. Fast forward, I am now a full-time travel blogger.

10 Easy-To-Follow Ideas To Joyfully Celebrate a 40th Birthday

10 easy-to-follow ideas to joyfully celebrate the 40th Birthday came after my 40th over a week ago. National statistics puts UK life expectancy at around 80 years. It makes 40 years, the middle-life age. This has increased the centuries-long trend by six years. For some of us, this is just nothing but national statics. However, some people don’t welcome such revelations well. This is why I decided to come up with the ideas below. Hopefully, these ideas will help individuals proudly celebrate their birthdays and confidently look forward to their 40th. Like they always say; ‘…wisdom comes with age..”. Hip, hip hooray…!


  1. Manageable Birthday Party

Some people are very lucky enough to have surprise birthday parties. This makes life so much easier as they won’t have to plan anything at all but just turn up to some arranged venue, greeted by shouts such as “…SURPRISE!…”, “…SURPRISE…”, “…SURPRISE…”. That would be a proper stress-free celebration.


Unfortunately, I have never been in that category. Therefore, the whole idea is to plan a manageable party, if arranging my own birthday. A party is all about being happy and stress-free as possible as it can be. This can be achieved by organising a practical and easy to handle the party. Even if it means outsourcing help, it is always advisable to come up with a party that one would enjoy and feel at peace.


I didn’t want to use a hired or paid venue and throw a ‘Big Bash’ so I happily settled for the beach. The weather might have been windy at the beginning so much that we couldn’t put up the gazebo but we managed to stay at the beach from 6 pm to as late as midnight.

Dad & Mum cosying up by the fire


The venue was free and I would like to believe that all invited people had a great time too. There was a fire pit that kept everyone comfortably warm throughout the night. Marshmallow lovers enjoyed tonged marshmallows by the fire that warmed us up like some big campfire.





Roasting Marshmallows


  1. Travel



The other way to joyfully celebrate a birthday occasion is to travel. I love road trips. They keep my brain alive and captivated. I love the UK’s rural areas. I marvel at the landscapes and greenery composition that vividly portrays the endearing country life. I always look forward to my birthday as I use this occasion to go somewhere remote and peaceful. And this year, I went back to Torquay again.


Dartmouth near Torquay


I love Torquay because it’s got everything that breathes life. It’s got this laidback strip to it. I love the neighbouring villages such as Totnes, Dartmouth and Brixham just to name a few. I was tempted to go on steam-train trips but watching it pass by was fulfilling enough. I enjoyed the drive from Torquay to Totnes. It was farmland after farmland throughout. I had never seen such vast agricultural land with so many livestock in one place, from cattle to goats to sheep you name it, was there. It was just phenomenal.


I love the calming seaside and Torquay has the pleasant seaside area. I loved journeying by the riverside and this time I took a boat trip from Totnes to Dartmouth. I was very lucky the Captain allowed me to go behind the wheel. Yes, really…!



My biggest advice to anyone having a birthday is to take a break and travel somewhere, as a birthday treat. This is not just with reference to 40-year-olds but any living body that is capable of travelling using any mode of transport. Research states that detaching oneself from normal everyday life to go on a retreat of any kind is good for the mental state. It doesn’t matter whether you go away for a day or two or even a week away, the benefits are tenfold.


  1. Gifts


I’m sure the majority of people if not everybody loves receiving presents especially birthday presents. It’s exciting just waiting eagerly to find out what presents people might have brought. On the other hand, it’s also very lovely to get oneself a treasured present. I always make sure that I buy myself a present no matter how big or small. The feeling is unbelievable as the present will be personal and most valued. This leads me to the next inter-related idea. The idea below comes with wisdom.


  1. Wants vs Needs


As I was heading towards 40, I could personally note a few things that I was doing that even left me with raised eyebrows. One thing to be specific was the idea of upgrading my camera lens to a latest and better model compared to the standard lens that I’m currently using. This was actually from money that was meant to be my wardrobe allowance.


The story goes like this; Now and then, I use my hubby’s credit card when I go out shopping for random things. By so doing, I’m not limited as to how much I spend, when I spend it etc. Come towards my birthday, hubby asks for his credit card back and gives me cash which he calls ‘…birthday wardrobe treat…’. What a clever man indeed. Why? Because he knew that if I’m to do it directly from his credit card, there was not going to be any limit towards my spending. Smart move.


The wisdom part of it is when I start thinking of other things that matter most in my life, at the stage I’m, what comes up first is not clothes. I start seeing the difference between ‘Life Wants’ from ‘Life Needs’. I thought it wise to invest my wardrobe allowance to maybe a Tamron all in one lens for my Nikon camera. Wisdom can be a very helpful thing that can make birthday celebrations joyous. 40 is the perfect age to exhibit tons and tons of wisdom.


  1. On-going Celebration

A 40th birthday should be celebrated all year round and not just on the very day one was born. It’s been over more than a week now since I turned 40 but I still wake up and celebrate every morning like it was my actual birthday. I’m still mesmerised by the journey I have travelled in life.


The ups & the downs and the highs & the lows have made me a stronger person I am today, making 40 years a milestone. It leaves me in awe that makes celebrating a 40th birthday in only a day insufficient. A 40th definitely calls for a 12-month celebration and not just one day.


  1. Laughing


Esther Burt


I love laughing so much. I couldn’t help but enjoy laughing at my birthday party. Many doctors have researched the benefits of laughing. They came up with astounding results. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  1. i) Laughing increases vascular blood flow and at the same time increasing the essential oxygen required in the blood.
  2. ii) Laughing lowers the likelihood of high blood pressure

iii) Laughing gives a great workout to the respiratory system, facial, leg, and back muscles. This also includes the diaphragm and abdominal areas.


  1. iv) It was also discovered that laughing reduces certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.


  1. v) Laughing increases the response of tumour and disease killing cells such as Gamma-Interferon and T-cells.


  1. vi) While it gives a great workout to the respiratory system, laughter also defends against respiratory infections.


vii) Laughter even reduces the frequency of colds by immunoglobulin in saliva.


viii) I’m sure everyone would love this one; Laughing increases memory and learning. Studies revealed that humour during examinations leads to increased test scores.


  1. ix) Last but not least, laughing improves alertness, creativity, and memory. So go ahead and giggle a bit. You are allowed…lol xx


I know people are wondering how one can endlessly laugh at some party but I did. I organised some games and the most favoured one was volleyball. It was just funny how teams were picked up and what people were playing for. We decided to fun enough raise money for ice cream.



Every time a team lost, individual losers donated £2. There were five matches played. The children loved the idea because they didn’t have to raise any funds but enjoyed the ice cream afterwards. Different things can be done to encourage people to laugh and I tell you, it will be awesome.


  1. Bring and Share

40 is the age where one can confidently instruct people what to do and not feel a thing about it. One of the things to help celebrate a 40th joyfully is to invite people and ask them to bring something with them. On numerous occasions, I have seen this work especially when it’s just friends and family. It’s such a stress-free way to host a party. Most of the burden will be passed to guests, as they are the ones who would crack their heads deciding what to bring and how good it should be. The other advantage of this option is the fact that it is a cheap way to celebrate a birthday and half the time people bring more than they should. Great idea.


  1. Family and Friends


Jess, Belle, Ben (front) Dad, mum, baby Rache, Chi, Esther, Mark (kind of middle row), Bernard & Dan (back)


There is no better way to celebrate your 40th than when surrounded by close family and friends. These are people that we know inside out and know us inside out.


Mark, Esther, Mum & Dad (family)

On the day they will even try to be very carrying and very nice just to happily celebrate that special day. For example, my siblings (or some should I say just to be on the safe side), and I have a ‘Tom & Jerry’ relationship (Cats & Dogs relationship for those who don’t know Tom & Jerry). At gatherings or parties, we just make sure we love each other so dearly and put up an admired show. What happens after the show, you wouldn’t want to know. Family hey… I personally think friends and family are very essential on a 40th birthday because some people might feel alienated and the presence of close family & friends makes things flow pleasantly smooth.


I’ve seen people throw mega 40th Birthday parties where they get to extremes of inviting the general public via social media etc. I have seen individuals ending up restricted as to what to do and struggle to enjoy the split second of their party. It’s really such a shame so nothing beats the company of close family and friends.


  1. Body, Soul and Mind

The statement above can be illustrated by three things:

i) Eating Well

Good food and good hydration are always recommended. I can never stress enough on how healthy eating and keeping hydrated is essential for the body. This will provide the vital energy supply that will enable one to pleasantly do anything and everything required for the party.

ii) Sleep Well

There’s no disaster that beats not sleeping well. Turning 40 freaks some people as I’ve highlighted above. There’s nothing worse as not sleeping well the day before your party and wake up with tired eyes and those undesirable circle under the eye area. This will drive one made and can spoil everything. The best thing to do is having plenty of sleep day before and wake up fresh, ready to host that long waiting party.


iii) Be Yourself

Some people when they turn 40, they start look wanting to adopt some foreign behaviour or attitude that is normally different from how they normally behave. This can be straining to the brain and can affect the good vibes one naturally has. Some people start changing their behaviour in pursuit to please all people they would have invited. People should be themselves all the time and enjoy their 40th. Person pleasing has never helped but destroy what might be good by nature. The trick is to carry on blossoming without trying to awkwardly turn into something that is not.


  1. Officially Middle Aged

‘Middle Life Age’ is just a saying that people should not dwell much on. If one wants to joyfully celebrate the 40th birthday, I tell you, don’t over think much about the number 40 e.g. ‘…have I lived 40 well years?’ or ‘I am going to live better 40 years to come?’ etc. This can cause a lot of worries. Some people panic or become anxious. Worse, some end up clinically depressed. I was once a psychiatric nurse before and used to see many 40-year-olds seeking help because all of a sudden they can’t cope well, ever since they turned 40. This’s really sad and my heart cries out to people who end up facing such pressure. Again, my advice is simple to forget about the number and just enjoy celebrating turning 40.


  1. The Serenity Prayer


The Serenity Prayer


I know immediately the word ‘PRAYER’ might upset some people who don’t believe in prayer or ‘God’. But the reason why I put the image above with the Serenity Prayer is to share the overall content that applies to both Christians and non-christians. As I highlighted above that 40 is officially regarded as the ‘Middle Life’ age, some people start tormenting themselves if things aren’t going well. Some people start strongly believing that they are now capable of fixing every problem under the sun. But in actual fact, real life is not like that. This usually ends up affecting the way people celebrate their own birthdays.


The key is to always remember that in real life, there will always be circumstances beyond individuals’ controls. There will always be challenges that test people’s daily strength and the wisdom is to know the difference between what one is able to sort out or fix and accept what one can’t fix. Such is life. I thought to share this particular reasoning especially with all the 40-year-olds just to say, yes we have hit the 40s but lets us all continue to experience life in a pleasant and healthy way that can assure us another amazing 40+ years to come.


I still feel fabulous, fit and full of life. I celebrated my birthday low key but loved every single bit of it and continue to embrace being 40. I hope you all feel the same too. Please do share below how you are carrying on if you are now in the ‘40s Family’. If you are looking forward to 40, I hope you will graciously look forward to turning 40 with confidence. Either way, get in touch and share the experience.

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