10 unusual international days

IT'S time to look back at all the hard work you put into achieving your new year resolutions.

Don't fret if you have not managed to achieve your resolution to drink eight cups of water a day or go on that diet.

Here is a list of quirky international days to celebrate life in general and to motivate you for the year ahead.

1. Festival of Sleep Day

Do you always feel tired? For those who often wake up feeling like they have not gotten enough sleep, then this is the day for you.

Jan 3 is the annual Festival of Sleep Day, a day that you can sleep to your heart’s content.

Take a break by snoozing that alarm, sleeping in, taking naps or just staying in bed the whole day long.

The Festival of Sleep Day encourages people to catch up on their sleep, especially after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

You may be wondering how to celebrate this day, it is pretty clear-cut – just get into your pyjamas, crawl into bed and get up only when you want to.

Sleep deprivation can have a lot of negative effects on the mind, body and soul, so sleep in!

2. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

What is better than sleeping in? Having ice cream for breakfast!

The first Saturday of every February is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

To celebrate this fun day, simply eat ice cream for breakfast or opt for fruit ice cream instead of breakfast fruits.

You can also organise an ice cream charity brunch for all your friends and family by serving your guests different flavours of ice cream.

Even if you are rushing for class or work, it is a sure way to start your day on the right note.

3. World Toothache Day

Celebrated about a week after Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, this international day could not be more timely.

You may be a little confused why toothache should be celebrated, because they are certainly unwelcome. You may also wonder how you can even celebrate a toothache.

World Toothache Day on Feb 9 is a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of good dental hygiene and learn about the steps you should take to prevent toothaches.

Tooth decay is the main cause for toothache and untreated toothache will simply get worse, hence patients with toothache should seek immediate treatment as soon as possible.

This unusual day serves to remind us of the need to treat toothache swiftly when it occurs.

4. Single-Tasking Day

For all of you multi-taskers out there, Feb 22 is the day for you to stop overloading your mind and start focusing on one task diligently.

On Single Tasking Day, try doing only one thing at a time.

It is no doubt a great way to ensure the quality of the work and it definitely takes the load off your mind as you can solely focus on the task at hand.

The best way to perform something well is to direct all of one’s energy and time into it.

Single-tasking helps reduce errors while improving productivity and accuracy, not to mention reducing stress and its ensuing health problems.

To celebrate this day, simply make a list of your tasks and check it one at a time.

To reduce distractions, try temporarily switching off your phone, shunning the Internet, closing your office door, and get started on your task list.

The first step is always the hardest. However, once you are done, you will feel accomplished and proud of yourself.

5. Plan a Solo Vacation Day

Ah vacations, almost every Malaysian dreams about impromptu getaways especially towards the end of the year.

That is when MATTA Fair comes along and we rush to sweep up all that affordable air tickets.

But why wait until the end of the year, when you can do it on the first day of March where there will definitely be less crowds and more to see?

On Solo Vacation Day, you treat yourself to that getaway you have been yearning, without needing to worry about getting a travel companion.

Do not wait for someone to join you on your adventures, pack your bags and hop on the next flight to joyful sandy beaches or enchanting snow mountains.

Travelling alone has a lot of benefits, for instance, the flexibility in making your own plans as well as saving yourself from the dreadful question of “what or where do you want to eat?”.

6. International No Diet Day

Social media have been both a blessing and a curse; apart from seamless connectivity, it has plunged humanity into constant judgment of others.

From fat-shaming to peer pressure, those comments make us always want to shed those few pounds or cut those few meals to look perfect.

May 6 is a day used to draw attention to not only how unhealthy crash dieting can be for our body, but also to acknowledge the beauty and diversity of all body types.

International No Diet Day is to raise awareness about the various dieting disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.

This day is often celebrated by taking the day off dieting and taking the time to appreciate one’s own body.

So on this day especially, go ahead and open up that bar of chocolate.

7. Leave the Office Early Day

Here is a day your boss will not like, however, that is not always something bad for you.

Celebrated on June 2 every year, this is the day to switch off that desktop early and leave in time to watch the sun set while driving home.

Today is a day to recognise employee achievements, as fostering a culture of recognition can have a positive impact on productivity and engagement.

It always feels good to be recognised for a job well done, especially when we feel that we have put much effort into our work.

It facilitates wellness, too, as leaving work early helps employees improve mental health, productivity and quality of work.

Plus, by leaving work early, you can challenge yourself to make up for the time in another way.

8. Fight Procrastination Day

We have all come across a task we rather not do, it could be as simple as cleaning up a desk or as difficult as finishing up your assignment paper.

Sept 6 is the day to combat the never-ending urge to push important tasks to another day.

On Fight Procrastination Day, we grab our to-do lists and start crossing off those tasks.

Ask a friend to help monitor your progress and reward yourself for tasks completed on time.

Also, procrastination can become disastrous if left unaddressed, as habitual procrastination increases stress and anxiety, reduces productivity and a person’s job performance.

So, start ticking off that task list!

9. World Smile Day

When the smiley was first created by Harvey Ball in 1963, smiling became an international language for spreading goodwill and cheer.

Hence on World Smile Day, which falls on the first Friday of October every year, people all around the globe are encouraged to do acts of kindness to spread joy and smile to anyone and at anywhere.

To celebrate this special day, simply just make people around you smile.

It can be any random act of kindness such as buying coffee for the stranger queuing behind you or as easy as giving up your seat to someone on the train.

Why not surprise someone in your family with a visit? Or cook a meal for your parents or loved one.

Do something special today, you can even volunteer your time for a good cause because by making someone smile and feel great, you definitely would too.

10. International Observe the Moon Night

When was the last time you looked up at the moon and marvelled at how bright and beautiful it is?

Well, on International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN), people from around the world spend a little time together to appreciate the beauty and splendour of our closest celestial neighbour.

InOMN is an annual celebration and the date changes every year but in 2018, it falls on Oct 20.

This beautiful day is led by scientists, astronomers, teachers, policy makers as well as science and astronomy organisations around the world. It is sponsored by Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Nasa’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

The international day is an attempt to spread scientific information about the moon among the public and to encourage people to learn more about Earth’s only natural satellite by observing it.

To celebrate this day, just step out and look up at the sky to behold the wonder of the moon.

You can also join an Observe the Moon Night event near you and you will certainly be pondering and waxing lyrical about humans’ place in this universe.

Once we understand and appreciate the beauty of the universe, we may finally take a step back to relax and enjoy the year ahead.

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