This year is a leap year, meaning there's one extra day added to the calendar, February 29. And today's the day, so what are you going to do with your extra time? This only happens once every four years, so there's extra pressure to make it count. To help, we've rounded up a list of some ideas (and even some for those who'd rather not buy into leap day).
1. Go for an Extra Workout
2. Catch Up With Someone
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If you haven't seen or talked to a friend or family member in a while, now might be a good time to reach out. Send them a text, call them (I know, a phone call! How novel!), or maybe even send them snail mail.
3. Clean Out Your Closet
4. Go to a Museum
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Or gallery or botanical garden or insert cultural institution here. It's a fun way to spend a few hours, either by yourself or with friends.
5. Plan an Impromptu Gathering With Friends
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On the morning of leap day, send a group text to all your friends seeing who's up for a spontaneous hangout. It can be brunch, dinner, a picnic (if you live in a warmer climate), an afternoon of board games, whatever your crew wants. Sometimes it's fun to not have plans in advance and just go with the flow.
6. Head Outside for a Walk
7. Read a Book
You know that stack of books on your nightstand that you haven't touched? Or the to-be-read list on your phone? Tackle one of those.
8. Make a To-Do List
The extra day might be a good time to organize your thoughts and all the things you have going on in your life right now. That doesn't mean you have to do anything on the list, but at least you'll have it all spelled out.
Conversely, since we're at the end of February, it might be a good time to take stock of the resolutions or intentions you made earlier this year and rethink some of them, or come up with some new ones if needed. Or just say goodbye to them overall.
9. Have a Self-Care Day
10. Do Something "Boring"
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This is similar to the to-do list idea, but you have to actually DO it. Take on something that's been on your list for a while, but you've been putting it off—like your taxes, organizing or cleaning your space, getting your important paperwork together, etc. It might help to tell yourself it's an extra day of the year, so technically you're not wasting your precious free time doing something you don't want to do.
11. Do Some Voting Research
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We have a big election coming up, and some important primary dates are happening soon. So now's a good time to do your civic duty and do some research on causes, issues, and candidates.
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We asked some of our readers what they were doing with their bonus day, and one person said they were going to use this time to reset. Take a moment to think about what's been going on in your life, say goodbye to some things that are holding you back, and do anything you need to do to start anew or reframe your mindset.
13. Do Something That's Free
You don't have to spend a dime on your extra day. Take a look online or in your local newspaper for any fun (and free) activities that are happening in your neighborhood or city today.
Whether you're a crafty person or not, a day spent making something with your hands could feel very productive and fun. Take up a new crafting hobby, or pick up something you love doing—stuff like knitting, calligraphy, macramé, or a home improvement project.
15. Go Shopping
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Maybe you have some extra cash or got your tax refund early. Whatever the case, if you feel like revamping your wardrobe with some new spring finds, head to your favorite store. And if you don't have money to burn, window shopping is always fun, too.
16. Plan a Vacation
If you've been itching to go somewhere this whole winter, now's the time to start plotting your next adventure. It can be a quick weekend getaway or a multiple-week vacation—whatever you plan, it will be something to look forward to!
17. Do Something Alone
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Sometimes trying something by yourself can seem a little intimidating, like going to the movies, eating out, or even going on a solo day trip. But it can be fun and rewarding to spend time with yourself, so use this extra day to get to know yourself better.
18. Binge-Watch a TV Show
Since it's an extra day, I say we shouldn't feel guilty about spending it bingeing a new show or rewatching something you already love.
19. Cook Something New
You might not be the greatest cook in the kitchen, or maybe you're an aspiring chef—whatever the case, with your extra time, why not try a new dish you've seen on Instagram or in that cookbook you got as a gift?
20. Call Your Mom
Or dad, grandma, sister, aunt, uncle… anyone in your family you need to catch up with.
21. Go Somewhere, But Have No Set Destination
Now, we're not saying to drive around aimlessly, but it can be fun to wander around, whether you're on foot, in a car, or using public transportation. Head out the door and decide once you get outside where you're going to go. Or start traveling in a certain direction and decide from there. Again, it's the perfect day to be spontaneous!
22. Try a New Look
Whether it's makeup, an outfit, or both, today might be a fun time to experiment with an idea you've been toying with for a while.
23. Organize Your Photos
How many photos do you have on your phone? Or what about the ones saved in the cloud? Or maybe you have prints in a box somewhere. It could be fun to take a trip down memory lane and look at all the snaps you've taken over the years and also get them organized.
25. Do Something That Scares You
While you might not opt to go skydiving or bungee jumping today, you can try something that's out of your comfort zone.
26. Create Some Art
This is like the DIY idea—grab some painting supplies, try pottery, make a collage, or for a low-lift activity for non-artsy folks, lose yourself in a coloring book.
27. Start Learning Something New
Thanks to technology, it's pretty easy to pick up a new hobby nowadays. Want to learn a new language? There's an app for that. Inspired by The Great British Bake Off and want to get into pastry-making? Guaranteed there are online tutorials. Whatever you want to do, there's probably an app, video, or website to help you achieve it.
Use the extra time to re-center, relax, and de-stress.
29. Take a Nap