2016 has brought us a gift we only see once every four years, Leap Day. An extra 24 hours in the month of February to make the most out of life. If it’s your birthday you may feel deep seeded resentment towards February 29 or maybe you felt extra special because of the rare day and for the rest of us it usually is spent by writing the wrong date on every piece of paper but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to make this rare day memorable and special for you and your family.
The commercials are already running, you can use your extra day to buy a mattress or some furniture or maybe that new car you have been putting off but there’s always President’s Day and Memorial Day for those things. This is a special day and should be treated as such. Many companies such as Zappos have even given their employees the day off this year. Maybe you don’t have the luxury of that, but there are still many ways to make it special. If you’re daring enough, give yourself the day off and play “hookie” at your favorite museum or art gallery or even see a movie in the middle of the day. But even if you find yourself at school or work little things can make this extra day extra special.
Change up your day and have fun with it. A day that only comes around once every fours years should not be mundane or routine in any way. Since it is a Monday this year and Mondays can always cause some groans in people, make an effort to have fun. Make a silly breakfast for you and your kids. Leap out the door to get to your car. Sing a silly song and play leap frog with your kids or even your significant other. Put on some old costumes and have a family talent show. All of these things may seem a little silly, but an extra day in February calls for some silly.
Give back to the global community by participating in Rare Disease Day which falls on February 29. This global initiative is designed to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. Over 6000 rare diseases are characterized by a broad, diverse group of disorders and symptoms that vary not only from disease to disease, but also from patient to patient suffering from the same disease. These diseases, with their common symptoms often go misdiagnosed or un-diagnosed, leaving those affected with debilitating changes in quality of life. Anyone can get involved in Rare Disease Day awareness. On the Rare Disease Day website, U.S. participants can find, suggest and get involved in events taking place across the country.
Write a Leap Day letter to yourself to be opened on the next Leap Day in 2020. It can be a list of goals, a motivational letter, a poem, a reminder of what you are doing on this Leap Day or whatever you want to write. You can make this special by doing this with your children, your friends, or your spouse. Adding a picture of what everyone looks like or something you did on this Leap Day adds an extra level of fun. The biggest tip is to remember where you put these letters so can find them in 2020.
Declare this extra day as extra special and then make sure to do things that extraordinary. It can be helping someone you’ve been meaning to help. Calling that old friend who you keep forgetting to reach out to or just anything that you just keep putting off. You can allow yourself and your family extra ice cream, extra sweets, extra kisses and hugs, or just share some extra happiness with those around you. Run an extra mile, dance to an extra song, or clean out an extra drawer. It’s an extra day and spreading joy on this day will give you extra health and happiness benefits for months to come.