Well Hello February!!
February is the last month of winter – woohoo! (cue balloons, confetti and celebratory fireworks!!). Not only is this the last official month of winter, but there’s also a lot happening in this short month.
Did you know that the first Monday in February is the day when most people are likely to pull a sickie? No one quite knows why this seems to be the unofficial duvet day, but it could be down to the fact this is often the first payday since Christmas! So people have been out celebrating all weekend and can’t quite drag themselves to the office on the Monday morning. Another theory is that people start to re-evaluate their lives and careers during January and a lot of the sickies thrown on this day are to attend interviews.!!
Figures show an estimated 350,000 absences from work on the first Monday of February last year. So if you’re thinking about throwing a sickie, don’t do it on Monday 1st unless you have a great excuse. And talking about excuses, there are some great ones that we found on the web:
I can’t come in today because my flatmates took my door handle off and I can’t get out.
All of my work clothes are wet so I can’t come in today.
Goats got in to my garden
My hamster is poorly.
My trousers split on the way in.
And our absolute favourite has to be this one:
I swallowed a hot sausage last night and burnt my throat so badly I can’t breathe properly today.
And of course, February sees the celebration of Chinese New Year. And this year, it’s the year of the pig, which falls on February 5th.
We love all the traditions surrounding Chinese New Year including what food will be eaten. Dumplings are a staple for this time of year as they are the shape of old silver and gold ingots (an old form of currency) and the Chinese believe that eating dumplings will bring prosperity in the coming year. Red is seen as a lucky colour, so wearing red is a must. As is the tradition of giving money in a red envelope, called ‘lucky money’ which also serves as a way of giving best wishes for the coming new year.
Now you may not know it, but February 7th is National Pizza Day! Yes, a genuine excuse to eat pizza! There are some amazing pizza recipes around these days and lots of people now have their own pizza ovens in the garden. But we can’t let this awesome day go by without mentioning the incredible Fatto A Mano in Brighton who do the best pizzas in our opinion. You can find them at www.fattoamanopizza.com.
And who can think of February without mentioning Valentine’s Day? The 14th February first became associated with romance and love in the 14th century and has now become one huge commercial occasion giving everyone the opportunity to share the love! And don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to shower you with cards, love poems and gifts, because February 15th is National Singles Awareness Day! Time to send a card to another single friend or even send yourself some flowers.
Moving on to the 17th February which is Random Acts of Kindness Day. This is the day when people all over the world, including individuals, groups and companies, encourage random acts of kindness. This awareness day has grown massively over the years and could be due to the inextricable link between feeling happy and content when doing something kind for someone else. Studies have revealed that kindness promotes empathy and compassion which in turn, leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Feeling connected melds us together rather than divides us, so kindness is potent in strengthening a sense of community and belonging. No act of kindness is too small. Here are some things you can do:
Pay a compliment to a stranger.
Donate to a food bank.
Write a note or card to someone telling them how much you appreciate them.
Surprise a work colleague with their favourite coffee or treat.
Let someone go ahead of you in the supermarket queue when they only have a few items.
Buy someone lunch.
Leave a kind note on a stranger’s car.
Say ‘thank you’ to someone who makes a difference in the community (nurse, doctor, firefighter etc.)
Reconnect with an old friend.
Do let us know if you have any other ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day or if someone has done something kind for you.
So to sum up February, wear red and enjoy Chinese New Year, send someone a valentine’s card, buy yourself some flowers and as a random act of kindness, take someone for a pizza! But whatever you do, don’t throw a sickie!