Every four years, a little-understood but interesting phenomenon takes place: we get an extra day. It’s called Leap Year, and it falls on February 29.
It’s a reprieve, of sorts. Because every year grants us about 365 plus one-quarter days, you could think of it as a six-hour surplus each year for four years. On the fourth year when those hours total 24, it essentially adds an extra day.
Although it may be more accurately referred to as Leap Day, Leap Year has to do with the time it takes the Earth to orbit around the sun, which we now know takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds.
There’s a bit of slip time, so scientists figured out that some changes would have to be made to the calendar to make up the slack.
Make Your ‘Leap Day’ Count
At any rate, we have an extra day, but here’s the beauty of it: For all the days you didn’t do all the healthy things for yourself that you know you should do —and really want to do — Leap Year gives you that chance.
Although you likely won’t be able to do anything you’d like, you might think of it as your golden opportunity to spend at least part of Feb. 29 living intentionally and positively, for yourself and the people in your life. Here are some fun ways to do that, inspired by the number 29.
Try doing just one or two, and this will be a day not wasted!
- On the 28th, go to bed 29 minutes early.
- On the 29th, get up 29 minutes early.
- Drink 29 ounces of water.
- Take 29 slow breaths through your nose.
- Spread your feet, stretch upward slowly and touch your toes. Do this 29 times.
- Exercise for 29 minutes.
- Make a list of 29 people who’ve helped, inspired or encouraged you. Resolve to tell them (or at least tweet them).
- Spend 29 minutes more with the people you love than you normally do.
- Smile for at least 29 minutes
- If the weather is nice, spend 29 minutes outside.
- Drink another 29 ounces of water.
- Make a list of 29 to-die-for vacation spots. (You don’t have to actually go.)
- List 29 things you’re grateful for.
- Go through your closets and pick out 29 items to donate or give away.
- Take a 29-minute nap or just spend that time relaxing with your eyes closed.
- Create a playlist of 29 of your favorite songs.
- Leave work 29 minutes early so you can “smell the roses” on the way home.
- List 29 positive things you’ve learned throughout your life.
- Straighten or put away 29 items to neaten your space.
- In your head, list 29 positive things about your day.
Have a great Leap Day 2016!