February has long been known as the shortest month. This year however, we have an additional day added to our calendars. This got me thinking of what we could do with this extra time.
We get excited (in most Canadian provinces) when Daylight Savings time kicks in and with that the thought of an additional hour of sleep. Imagine what we can do with another day? How many of us have had the thought “If only I had some more time I would….”?
Maybe I could…
• Take a walk outside – Sometimes something so simple can be just the right thing to help recharge us. Nature has a way of putting everything into perspective and quieting our minds.
• Read for pleasure – Pick up a book or read an article just because you want to. Maybe reread a book that you’ve read before just because you love it. Perhaps an article or blog peaks your interest and you read it to gain a different perspective.
• Call a friend – Instead of texting, pick up the phone and have a conversation. It’s nice to be able to hear the tone of someone’s voice and the emotions that go along with a really nice heart to heart. That friend might really need to hear from you at that exact moment.
• Volunteer your time – No matter what our circumstances, there are always people or animals that are in a situation who would benefit from our help. Taking the focus off of ourselves and concentrating on others helps us to regain our empathy for others and gratitude for our situation. The reward is so much greater than the investment.
• Be silent – Some might call this meditation, while others might label it as just plain boring! In the middle of a hectic day though, just taking a little bit of time to quiet your mind and concentrate on “nothing” helps to center you. You just might find that you are more focussed once you return to what you were working on.
• Pay it forward – This could include anything from holding the door open for someone, to letting a person in in front of you in a lineup or putting a quarter in a stranger’s parking meter. You might find that the best feelings come from the smallest things.
The healthier (both mentally and physically) that the action is, the more beneficial the results can be. Start with a day and see where it leads. Before you know it, you’ve begun to change your thinking, which helps to change our actions, and start us on a path of rediscovery and connection with ourselves and those around us. We learn that we can do things that benefit ourselves but we also start to see how our actions impact those around us as well.
This month’s “extra” day will come and go and only you get to choose what you will do with it. Take a leap and make it count!
Contributed by Bonnie Hertzog