Leap day – Psychologist explains how to make this extra day (29th February) count

Some good things don’t come around too often and they don’t last long, either. Leap year is one of those.

Once every four years we get to (hopefully) enjoy an extra day in our calendar on 29th of February.

Psychologist Jan P. de Jonge says that “While some cultures and countries may consider leap year to bring good luck, we shouldn’t rely on good luck too much.” Here he explains some ways in which we can make the most of this extra day:

• “Leaplings”, people born on the 29th of February, leap day, will celebrate this special birthday. But don’t let that stop you from celebrating! Take the opportunity of this extra day to allow yourself to decompress and let go of some pressure of deadlines and pressing to-dos – especially if you’re led by the principle that there are “only so many days in the month.

• Treat this extra day as a good excuse to do something you normally would not do or would not have time for. In fact, leap day falls on a Thursday: you might be able to take the day off and make it a longer weekend and get back to work on Monday 4th of March!

• Greater awareness of the regular day-to-day moments is good for the soul. Increasing your mindfulness of the here and now is proven to benefit our mental well-being. That extra day we’re given may just be the nudge you need to live a little more in the here and now. So come off that treadmill and be aware of the present moment.

• Flexibility; you might want to reflect on where you need more flexibility in you daily life: what could you do differently? Do you get enough sleep? Do you enjoy your work? What small changes could or should you allow yourself to make or consider? This Leap Day on the 29th of February may be a good day as any to take a step back and reflect on what habits to drop or new ones to try.

• You might follow the example of a well-established Dutch approach: “niksen” – “doing nothing.” If we focus on the fact that the calendar month strictly speaking contains an additional day, you might do well to make the most of it and allow yourself some relaxation or rest. Letting yourself unwind and letting your mind wander freely is even proven to promote your level of creativity. On this leap day, embrace the art of being effortlessly aimless and do Niksen: allow yourself to daydream and think of ‘Number 1’.

• Compelling advice suggests that our well-being is boosted when we have meaningful interactions with friends and family. So, connect with others around you (or make new friends!), learn something new together, give to others – those small acts of kindness spring to mind. Your moment is now; make it count.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.