Now, I’ve been known to say, “If I only had one more day to… (insert any number of tasks here).” This year is one of those years where I get to put my money where my mouth is. While a leap year isn’t exactly a big deal for most (unless 2/29 happens to be your birthday), it is a year where we get one extra day. Since this leap day falls on Saturday, you can make the most of your extra day. Now, I have to think about planning my big day in 2020, but rather than doing a bunch of mundane things, what if I thought a little bit bigger? What if I spent my time doing something I never seem to have time to do?
If you are anything like me, perhaps this list will give you some ideas on how to spend your extra day in 2020.
1. Tackle a bucket list item
Remember that little list you keep on the side, stored away in some part of your brain, on your phone, or on a piece of paper? Yes, that list of stuff you said you’ll do one day. Well…this year, it’s the perfect time to take that list out and cross off a few of those things.
Here are a few examples to get started with if you don’t have one:
- Take a road trip over the weekend to that spot you’ve always wanted to check out or see “The Most Beautiful Place in Every U.S. State.”
- Find a live show – whether it’s a band you’ve never heard of or an up and coming comedian or that off-Broadway show everyone has been raving out.
- Remember that class you wanted to take? That cooking, dance, art, pottery wheel, glass blowing, aerial arts, Wine 101, Ninja Warrior, photography, chocolate making, coffee brewing, or karate class? Now is the perfect time! Groupon has some great deals!
2. Be a student of life for a day
It’s true what they say: In life, you never stop learning. With an extra day, perhaps you can attend a seminar, trade show, or start a course in your field – sharpen those skills or learn brand new ones.
Some good places to start looking are LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Udemy, and Lynda. Honing your skills with an interesting course is just a Google search and a few hours of your day away!
Today, there are so many things you can learn outside of your trade. Rather than another lesson on the same old thing, I decided to hear about leadership in the fashion world via masterclass from Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and businesswomen and make-up artist Bobbi Brown. It was eye-opening learning about commonalities present throughout the corporate world. Masterclass gives you access to experts who let you inside their thoughts and experience.
3. Take care of your future
Health: Doctors’ Visits
Since the day my mom stopped making my doctors’ appointments, I have always managed to make excuses not to go to the doctor. That is unless I am very sick and have no other choice than to stop at urgent care. I am not alone on this; a 2017 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 33 percent of millennials did not have a regular doctor, compared to only 15 percent of those aged 50 to 64. So…if you’re like me, then you can utilize that extra leap day this year to find or visit a doctor!
You can even kill two birds with one stone: visit your primary care provider and then your dentist! Regular checkups can help catch potential problems sooner rather than…well…too late.
That is what I call winning! Your health, future self, and well-being will thank you later!
I guess we all know that self-care is great for us, but do we decide to act on it? Not really – we are often too busy to take the time for self-care or may feel selfish focusing on our own needs.
A busy lifestyle can be quite stressful. One survey done by Gallup found that about 55 percent of Americans said they had experienced stress during “a lot of the day” prior, compared to just 35 percent globally. This is counterproductive when you think about it. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to impaired thinking and memory – skills you need to function at your job properly.
That is why it’s imperative to focus on your well-being and invest in self-care. Research shows that those who practice proper self-care have a better quality of life, are less frequently admitted to hospitals, and live longer than people with poor self-care. With the extra day we are getting this year, you have an additional chance to get started.
Here’s a list to kickstart your self-care routine:
- Be in the presence of nature. Visit an aquarium, a botanical garden, or a butterfly sanctuary.
- Attend a yoga class, or even better, a baby goat yoga class at a winery! (Yeah, that’s a thing!)
- Grab a friend and explore a new wellness trend, such as salt room therapy, cryotherapy, cupping therapy, or a sensory deprivation tank.
- Take an active approach and throw a hatchet, hop in a hot air balloon, or go skydiving. Get your adrenaline pumping!
4. Make time for someone
Does this scenario sound familiar?
Friend One: “Hey! Long time no see!”
Friend Two: “I know! Sorry, I’ve been so busy.”
Friend One: “Me too!”
Even though this is a made-up conversation, it’s not too far from reality. Sometimes we have to plan months in advance to be able to hang out and spend quality time together. With an extra day this year, you can spend it with that friend or family member that you’ve been yearning to see. Perhaps grab a coffee together to catch up, or go see a movie, help them out with a project, or do one of the bucket list or inner peace suggestions mentioned above. In the long run, you’ll appreciate that you were able to make the time for that special someone.
Friends far away? Take a few hours and send old fashioned handwritten letters to your friends reminiscing about old times. Yes – go buy stamps at the post office – another nostalgic event.
5. Celebrate where you are in life
For some, this one is easier said than done. It is estimated that around 70% of Americans have experienced imposter syndrome. Take this extra day, and actually celebrate you! You deserve it – it’s important to find the time to appreciate and honor your efforts, your triumphs, and your resilience. There are many ways you can do this:
- Be kind to yourself
- Take a break
- Write your future self a letter
So, there it is, an extra day gifted to us. Now the question is, how will you spend it? Whatever you decide to do, cheers to making memories and getting those extra 24 hours this year! You’ll have to wait until 2021 to say, “If I only had an extra day…” again.