In this series I read through books and use the points within them to discuss a variety of subjects.
In this post I shall be looking at “The Art of Making Memories” by Meik Wiking and discussing ways that we could make life more memorable, more enjoyable and more exciting.
If you enjoy this post, please check out my other posts inspired by mental health-related books.
This is not a review of the book, just my thoughts on some of it and how it relates to me and my life.
“Written in Meik’s warm and funny trademark style, filled with infographics, illustrations and photographs, and featuring “Happy Memory Tips”, The Art of Making Memories is a life-affirming read, which shows you it’s easier than you think to make your life unforgettable.”– The Art of Making Memories blurb.
It’s easy to let life pass you by.
The days slip by without you realising.
Out of the thousands of days you’ve experienced so far, how many stand out to you?
Why can we remember the scent of someone we met long ago but not their name?
The first time we tried a new food but not the conversations we had with a loved one a month or so back?
How can we make more of the days we experience more memorable?
With scientists believing that nostalgia could be the key to producing positive feelings, boosting our self esteem and increasing our sense of being loved by others, how can we use that to create more memorable experiences in our present day?
Our memories are the cornerstones of our identity and are the glue that allows us to understand and experience being the same person over time.
Memories allow us to travel through time and transport ourselves to a place that may be filled with more happiness and joy than we are currently experiencing.
Memories shape who we are, how we act, influence our mood and help form our dreams for the future.
“You don’t know you are making memories, you just know you are having fun.”– Winnie the Pooh
After conducting a study where the Happiness Research Institute asked 1,000 people to write down a happy memory they have, they noticed that people were remembering experiences that were novel, meaningful, emotional and engaged the senses.
The memories contained a mixture of big events, like weddings and graduations, first-time experiences, like going to a new holiday or trying a new experience, or smaller and more intimate moments, like someone hugging you at the time you needed it most.
Every memory helped the Happiness Research Institute to find the “ingredients” that created happy memories.
THE MEMORY MANIFESTO
THE 8 INGREDIENTS FOR HAPPY MEMORIES
- Harness the power of firsts; first holidays, first time trying food or activities. First times are incredibly memorable!
- Make it multi-sensory. Memories can also have sounds, scents, touch and tastes, don’t just focus on what you can see.
- Invest attention. Pay attention to everything around you; what you can hear, what you can smell, what you are wearing. The more details there are the more likely you will remember this moment in future.
- Create meaningful moments. Special occasions like birthdays are a great time to turn a wonderful experience into a meaningful experience.
- Use the emotional highlighter pen. Challenge yourself to try things that scare you, getting over that barrier will be a memorable experience!
- Capture peaks and struggles. Milestones are memorable, but the struggle to reach one is unforgettable. Don’t forget, it’s about the journey, not the destination!
- Use stories to continue the memory. Sharing stories with loved ones is a great way to re-live memories.
- Outsource memory. Write, photograph, record, whatever it is you like to do, turn your memories into physical form and keep them forever!
It is possible to change your mood via exploring your memories, re-living old happy memories can definitely put a smile on your face!
Obviously this can also work in a negative way, so please be careful.
Perhaps when you are feeling your mood is slipping, exploring a memory that made you very happy could be just the thing to stop your mood slipping too far.
Perhaps you could listen to a song relating to the memory?
You could bake something that reminds you of happy memories or maybe even visit a place that holds positive experiences for you?
The key to stopping our mood from slipping could be found in transporting ourselves back to a time where we experienced so much happiness that it permanently held itself as a memory in our mind.
Let’s explore how.
The difference between recalling a meal you ate a few nights ago and being able to answer which mountain is the tallest in the world lies with our autobiographical or episodic memory and our semantic memory.
The difference between remembering and knowing.
When you are retrieving memories from your first holiday you are travelling back in time to experience it again, allowing you to recall it, whereas delving into your memory to retrieve the answer to what is the tallest mountain is a different experience entirely.
It is impersonal and contains no sensory involvement, meaning you most likely don’t remember where you even picked up that information, as opposed to your experience with your first holiday.
Your episodic memory develops later in childhood than your semantic memory, meaning you learn facts about the world before you can remember your own personal experiences in the world.
There is also a third type of memory, procedural.
This is the type of memory that allows you to do things like brush your teeth, sign your name and ride a bike without really thinking about them.
This book and blog post however will be focusing on episodic memory.
HAPPY MEMORIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
For those of us who suffer with depression, you will know how it not only stops you from being able to create happy memories, but it also stops you from recalling any times where you once experienced happiness.
Instead it fills you with all the times you experienced negative emotions and in turn convinces you that those are the only feelings you will ever experience again.
Despite scientific experiments, which tested to see if people suffering deep depression could work their way through it by recollecting happy memories, returning inconclusive results, nostalgia is still considered a useful psychological mechanism, which counteracts loneliness and anxiety and makes people feel happier.
Personally, I think using nostalgia at the time when your mood first starts to get low could be a great way to stop you from slipping.
I have found that your mood can “snowball”, a metaphor used for describing how your mood can act like a snowball going down a hill, getting bigger and faster the further it goes.
After reading this book, I am going to see whether exploring happy memories when I’m at the beginning of “snowballing” will help me to stop my mood from falling any further.
THE HISTORY OF NOSTALGIA
‘Nostalgia’ is a compound word of nostos (‘return’ or ‘homecoming’) and algos (‘pain’) and was inspired by historical tales of homesickness.
Originally thought to have been a medical or neurological disease when first coined by Swiss physician Johannes Hofer in 1688, by the early nineteenth century it was instead thought of as a form of depression.
Today however, it is a subject of scientific study.
With a growing body of evidence showing that nostalgia produces positive feelings and boosts self-esteem, it appears that our happiness depends in part on whether we have, or create, a positive narrative on our life.
HARNESS THE POWER OF FIRSTS
A study compiled by Pia Fromhault asked a group of 100 year olds to provide a memory that matched buzz words (such as sunset, car, snow etc) that they were given.
This resulted in memories that usually happened around the age 15 to 30, which could be because a lot of us experience things for the first time around those ages.
This spike in memories was deemed the ‘Reminiscence Bump’.
During the Reminiscence Bump our identity and sense of self is developing, we’re learning the things we love, what we dislike and what makes us happy.
It’s no wonder these novel experiences remain ingrained in our minds as they are usually filled with us doing so many different things and experiencing things for the first time.
MAKE IT MULTISENSORY
Our senses have a way of teleporting us back in time like nothing else can, the scent of a place can morph us from an adult to a child in a matter of seconds.
The beauty of our senses are that they are very personal to us; the taste, scent and sound itself isn’t what reminds us of a memory, but the time and place that we experienced it.
Someone else could taste exactly the same thing as you but it is nothing but a taste, yet for you it is a portal into a previous life.
Smells don’t have any meaning prior to being associated with an experience.
When a scent is experienced with something, that is what it becomes associated with and represent.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”– Friedrich Nietzsche (I wanted to add this as it made me giggle)
Andy Warhol swapped perfumes every 3 months so he could somewhat control his memories, giving himself the ability to teleport back to them whenever he picked up a particular perfume bottle.
When you are enjoying a wonderful day, perhaps visiting somewhere new or spending time with people you enjoy being around, be aware of what you see, smell, hear and feel whilst you are happy, you never know, in the future it may help you create a metaphorical portal to come and visit this very moment again.
If sounds are something that provide you a lot of comfort, you may like to read my blog post exploring the world of ASMR.
MAKE A MEMORY DISH
The book talks about making a meal containing certain tastes or textures that could create an experience so memorable that in future you could make it again and transport yourself back to that moment.
At first I thought this may be a bit of a reach, but then I sat and recalled all the various meals that hold so many memories for me because I have had them with my partner; his homemade chilli, which he normally serves as a buffet for us both with tacos, nachos and various dips, the array of restaurants we’ve tried over the years as we love to explore new cuisines, and the various snacks we’ve saved for rainy days inside playing on the XBox in bed.
If you are having a day that you’d love to ingrain deeper within your memory, perhaps making a meal with ingredients found throughout that day could be the perfect way to create a portal from that moment into the future, there for you to visit whenever you make it again.
Still to this day I can play a particular game on my PlayStation and I’ll have a vivid memory of a specific meal I ate at some point in my past, no doubt whilst I was playing that particular game.
For example, thinking about the game Limbo reminds me of eating Weetabix with chopped bananas, and Dragon Age 2 reminds me of a very specific vegetable soup I used to make.
Observing our surroundings should be something we do on a daily basis anyway, focusing on the way the trees move in the wind and the variety of songs the birds grace us with is a wonderful way to get out of your head and away from negative thoughts.
When it comes to making memories, focusing on our surroundings helps us to collect more details, which should hopefully make it easier to retain the memory for later recollection.
“We are not only blind to the obvious but blind to our own blindness.”– Meik Wiking
As I am currently writing this blog post, I can’t hear the wind blowing viciously outside or smell the lavender oil burning next to me, yet when I focus my senses I am all of a sudden surrounded by smells and sounds I had previously ignored.
This is called selective filtering or selective attention.
When experiencing selective filtering we see but we do not observe.
It not only blurs our vision from everything except what our eyes are focusing on, but it also mutes our other senses, allowing us to properly focus on the task at hand.
This is great when you have something to work on, like a large blog post!
However, when you are trying to enjoy the moment you are in, time can appear to move quickly as you don’t anchor yourself down and invest your attention on the things going on around you,
Have you ever ate food and realised you didn’t taste it?
This could be for various reasons, like something being on your mind, or it could be because you just didn’t pay attention,
Back when I was a barista I had to taste the coffee every day to see whether it was too bitter or sour.
I went through extensive training to work on my taste recall skills.
Doing this really made me realise that most of the things I eat and drink I just don’t focus on the flavours they entail.
“The true art of memory is the art of attention.”– Meik Wiking
Our attention is like our currency, we pay attention to things we believe deserve it and we filter out everything else.
Memories can not be made unless we observe, notice and pay attention to what we are experiencing.
Next time you are out on a walk or you’re meeting friends, pay attention to everything around you.
What is the weather like?
What are your friends wearing?
What do their voices sound like when they pronounce certain words?
Slowly you will build a wealth of details that should help you to recall this moment again in future.
CREATE MEANINGFUL MOMENTS
Making connections is a wonderful experiences, to making new friends to strengthening current relationships.
No matter how much or how little social interaction you need, as human beings we all need some.
Whether it’s a planned day out or a spontaneous trip to the pub, making connections can enrich us more than we are aware.
Listening to one another’s stories, telling one another jokes, or just being there for one another can be incredibly meaningful and may not only create an everlasting memory for you, but for the other people involved.
Sometimes the memories that last are nothing huge, they can simply be the way someone gently smiled when you complimented them, or the look on a partner’s face as you told them you loved them for the first time.
You will only notice these things if you truly pay attention.
Words can mean a lot, but people’s reactions can mean so much more.
“Happiness is often found when three views align: who we feel we are, who we want to be and how others see us. When our loved ones see us and love us for who we really are, and when we manage to become who we know we can be, that is where we find happiness.”– Meik Wiking
Doing something nice for others can be a great way to create connections.
More people than you realise suffer with loneliness.
When we feel lonely, we feel more prone to be nostalgic, and depending on how lonely you feel, this may lead to you snowballing.
When someone is there for you when you need them most, you never forget the way that person made you feel.
Memorable memories like this will stay with you for a long time and may even make you more empathetic to others.
I remember being at work many years ago, back when I was a waitress, it was getting near to closing time and I was incredibly exhausted, mentally and physically.
I had served a customer and as I was about to walk away they stopped me.
She looked me in the eyes and asked me if I was okay, and to answer her honestly.
I broke down in tears as it was the first time I felt like someone wanted to listen to me.
I have never forgotten that moment and I have spent my life ever since trying to be there for others.
USE THE EMOTIONAL HIGHLIGHT PEN
Embarrassing moments, fearful moments and challenging moments are times that may stick in our minds more than others as we experienced things that made us uncomfortable.
“Emotions act like a highlighter pen”, says Meik Wiking.
The pen highlights the experiences you’ve had on the journey of life, sometimes highlighting moments you’d prefer to forget.
The key to deal with these moments is to learn from them and create a story with them.
Now, this doesn’t mean for experiences that hold trauma for you, just everyday embarrassing or challenging things that you are able to change the narrative of with some positive thinking.
For example, my partner and I went on a trip to Disley last year.
We were only staying for one night as we could only afford to go away for the weekend, so we didn’t pack any food with us as we knew we would be treating ourselves and eating out that evening.
After a day of walking around the Peak District we were more than ready for food.
We walked around the village hopping from restaurant to restaurant just to find out they were all fully booked.
What we didn’t realise when we booked out little holiday was that the tiny village happened to have a number of events on that very weekend.
As we stood in the middle of the village, both quite ‘hangry’ to say the least, we realised we had no choice but to visit the local CO-OP (a little supermarket you find in the UK) and grab some food from there.
The only things we could get were sandwiches and crisps as our room we were staying in had no cutlery or a microwave.
As the situation became beyond ridiculous, I sat on the floor in the supermarket and cried laughing, a real belly laugh!
The fact we had come for a romantic weekend away and all we were having were the sandwiches that nobody else like, and hence were the only ones left, made me laugh like I haven’t laughed for a long time.
I guess the moral of my story is, that moment could’ve really ruined our weekend as we had been waiting months for it, but we managed to change the story into something funny, which now makes other people laugh when we tell it.
CAPTURE PEAKS AND STRUGGLES
If you were going on holiday and you knew that after it was over you would forget all about it, would you plan your holiday any differently?
Would you plan more exciting experiences so you could really live in the moment?
Our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” experience happiness differently, with our experiencing self living for about 3 seconds at a time for many times a day, whereas our remembering selves are more permanent and do their best to keep track of all of our experiences.
When our experiences end on a high we are more likely to remember it, as our memories age and the experiencing self is long gone, the remembering self focuses on the peaks and highs we experienced.
If you are able to, try to make sure that the moments you want to keep with you forever end on a high.
“If we don’t do anything stupid, if things don’t go wrong, we don’t have any stories to tell.”– Meik Wiking
If there is something you want, work for it.
The feeling of working hard for something and earning the reward is so much more memorable than someone just handing something to you.
Meik compares this to a mountain view.
The view at the top will be so much more breathtaking if you have just spent 5 hours climbing up to get to it, rather than taking a 15 minute train ride to reach the top.
The same goes for if you are feeling fearful of experiencing something.
Getting over your fears to experience something for the first time is something that will stay with you forever.
Not only are you experiencing something for the first time, but you are more likely to end your experience on a high when you challenge yourself and discover that what you were fearful of wasn’t that bad at all!
What are you more likely to remember in 10 years, you sitting something out because you were too fearful to do something or facing your fears and doing something for the first time?
USE STORIES TO STAY AHEAD OF THE FORGETTING CURVE
Bad moments can be turned into great memories.
Now, my methods may not be for everyone, but they have made some very difficult times much easier to bear, and also sometimes nice to look back on.
In the space of a couple of years two of my closest loved ones had cancer.
One endured six rounds of chemotherapy and the other sadly suffered a short illness and passed away.
My family and I have always looked at difficult times and have tried to laugh our way through them.
As my grandad always says, “If you don’t laugh you cry!”.
Throughout these experiences we would do whatever we could to make our loved ones and ourselves laugh, creating somewhat happy memories during the worst moments of our life.
For this section I won’t be delving into these specific memories as I have done earlier in this post, these memories are very personal to me.
However, having these positive stories that we can tell one another allows us to change the narrative of that moment somewhat, it allows us to look back on that time with yes, some pain, but also some happiness.
“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”– Muriel Rukeyser
Collecting mementos from your various experiences can help you to recall your memories in future.
Collectibles you’ve gathered from various beaches, paintings made by loved ones, all unique things that may not mean much to others, but hold a world of memories for you.
It’s okay if you like to decorate your home with beautiful things, perhaps consider adding some collectibles you’ve gathered through your various experiences.
Furnish your home with stories, not just items.
Consider turning your experiences and memories into something more physical, like photo albums, scrap books and videos.
Stop worrying about what you look like, focus on capturing a moment that will stay with you for life.
When my Nana passed I realised I only had two photos of us both together.
I felt so sad, but I was grateful I had something.
However, there is a fine line between outsourcing our memories and focusing solely on outsourcing them and therefor not enjoying the moment.
When I was in my 1st year of university I went to a lot of gigs, I loved them so much that I didn’t want them to end.
I found myself recording as much of them as possible so I could watch it again later, eventually realising that I couldn’t remember anything I had experienced as my attention was in the wrong place.
“I look at the pictures and feel grateful for every time someone pressed down on the shutter.”– Meik Wiking
Today a lot of people share their memories on social media, instantly showing the world what they are experiencing.
Outsourcing our memories via social media makes us curate our memories so they look good to the viewer, rather than hold all the details for our future selves to look back on.
Perhaps instead create a private social media account just for yourself so you can post the memories without need for filters, and focus on the captions you’d like to add to them.
Without an audience, you’re more likely to truthfully recall the experiences.
The need to put our memories online also makes us subconsciously feel like we have no need to retain them within our minds as we have them physically in-front of us.
Over time our memories will dwindle and we will no longer remember the smells, tastes and feelings our memories hold.
What if Instagram ceases to exist in the future?
For anyone who enjoys acronyms and would like a way to remember the various aspects of creating a lasting memory, remember Memo Snaps:
I know the world requires us to be busy all the time, we work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, but at the end of the day, do you want to reach the end of your life and remember that you spent your whole life just getting by, or do you want to remember that amongst all of that, you still tried to create as many happy memories and moments as possible?
Maybe you need an excuse to do something?
For example, many people don’t actually celebrate St Patrick’s Day as they aren’t Irish, but they’ll use it as an excuse to go drinking!
It’s perfectly okay if that’s how you work as everybody’s brains are different.
Here are some examples of things you can plan to do in accordance with the seasons if you’re in the northern hemisphere, flip them around if you’re from the southern hemisphere!
Spring: Planting seeds, spring clean, bird watch, visit a farm.
Summer: Holidays, hiking, theme parks, have a picnic, have a barbecue.
Autumn: Harvest your crops, learn new cooking recipes, pick pumpkins, plant bulbs.
Winter: Learning new crafts, reading, build a snowman, ice skating.
Do you like the idea of having a whole day to look forward to and to do fun things on?
Below is a collection of official celebratory dates that you could use to inspire yourself to do something for the first time and make some great memories.
If you like the selection below but would like to find more that may be tailored to you, please check out Days of the Year as that’s where I found the below collection.
I have put my own suggestions for what you could do for each day, some may seem silly, but you never know, you may discover a new favourite hobby!
SCIENCE FICTION DAY | JANUARY 2ND
At this time of year we don’t really feel like getting out much, so why not create a wonderfully cosy day filled with science fiction books and films, perhaps get a loved one involved and make snacks that are inspired by your favourite science fiction worlds.
BIRD DAY | JANUARY 5TH
There’s many beautiful locations dotted around, here in the UK we have a vast selection of nature reserves that are full to the brim with birds.
Spend the day somewhere new and see what beautiful birds you can find.
BUBBLE BATH DAY | JANUARY 8TH
Sometimes we just need a day for ourselves, completely focused on relaxing and making ourselves happy.
Why not use this day to spoil yourself with your favourite bath bomb, your favourite candle and either your favourite book or a film / programme on your laptop and spend the day relaxed in a blanket of bubbles?
HOUSEPLANT APPRECIATION DAY | JANUARY 10TH
If you live in a country similar to me where it is dull or rainy a lot of the time, you may not have the chance to see nature very often.
Use this day to research the houseplants that will thrive in the lighting and temperature you can give them and spend the day getting them and placing them exactly where you want them in your home.
Whenever you see them you’ll remember the time and love you put into getting them and having nature in your home will always make you feel more peaceful.
POPCORN DAY | JANUARY 19TH
This day could be a great excuse for making popcorn yourself (not buying it from a packet) and having a movie night with a loved one.
Turn your living room into a cosy cave, put out the popcorn and get comfy with a great film!
HUGGING DAY | JANUARY 21ST
Use this day to share your love for your loved ones.
Far too often we spend time with them, but we don’t truly connect.
Hug them tight, tell them you’re grateful for them and watch the smile form across their face, which will soon reflect onto yours.
PIE DAY | JANUARY 23RD
Cooking can be incredibly therapeutic, watching the process as a selection of ingredients turn into something you can feed yourself and your loved ones with.
Use this day to teach yourself how to make a pie, be it sweet or savoury, then share with a loved one.
Enjoy the tastes and smells as you tuck in, and chat about the challenges you faced during the process.
SEED SWAP DAY | JANUARY 25TH
Growing a plant or flower from seed can be a very therapeutic experience, but in order to do so you need to research what you would like to grow so you have plenty of time to get the seeds you need and sow them at the correct time of the year.
Use this day to do your research and perhaps even get the seeds you need.
Personally I like to watch YouTube videos as it makes things seem a lot simpler!
PIZZA DAY | FEBRUARY 9TH
Majority of us love pizza but I’m sure most of us who do have never made our own.
I have a vivid memory of making my own little pizza with my mum when I was a kid, it was magical creating something and then being able to eat it afterwards!
Find your perfect recipe online and get to work making your perfect pizza.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY | FEBRUARY 17TH
Making others happy makes us happy too, it’s a wonderful little circle of happiness.
Spend the day doing things for others, whether it’s helping them with things, gifting them surprises or sending them loving messages to let them know how much you appreciate them.
Not only will it make you and many others happy, but you’ll be helping to create memories for other people too!
PERSONAL CHEF DAY | FEBRUARY 26TH
When I saw this celebratory day I imagined a day with my partner and I spending the day making each other our favourite breakfast, dinner and tea (you probably call these meals lunch and dinner).
I love the idea of keeping it a secret and surprising your loved one with what you think their favourite meals are, and they do the same for you.
I’m not sure how the logistics of this will work, but I still like the idea all the same.
FLORAL DESIGN DAY | FEBRUARY 28TH
This could be a great day to find a floristry class to take part in, or perhaps just spend the day visiting a garden centre or botanical garden.
I love taking photographs of beautiful flowers I find so I can paint them afterwards.
WORLD WILDLIFE DAY | MARCH 3RD
Use this day to get out in nature and enjoy the sights and sounds you experience.
Try to visit somewhere new as it will be far more memorable to you.
Spring is a fantastic time of year for nature as it’s ripe with new babies for you to see.
WORLD BOOK DAY | MARCH 5TH
This could be another great day for self-care, creating a day of pure cosines for yourself.
Perhaps find a short book (a few hundred pages at most) and enjoy the day relaxing in your fluffy pajamas, drinking flavourful tea and get to work on your book, escaping from reality and into a whole new world.
DAY OF UNPLUGGING | MARCH 6TH
Unplugging is great for all of us, we spend far too much time on social media where we end up overloading ourselves with information.
It’s draining and not good for our health.
Having a day where you spend it caring for yourself but disconnecting from the world can be great for your mind.
If you live with a loved one, spend the day learning about one another and really enjoy being in each other’s company.
LEARN ABOUT BUTTERFLIES DAY | MARCH 14TH
Butterflies come in an array of sizes and colours and are incredibly beautiful to look at.
This could be a great opportunity to visit your nearest butterfly house and see what the world has to offer.
Take some photos, create some sketches and be bowled over by the beauty of the butterflies.
WORLD POETRY DAY | MARCH 21ST
Poetry can be a beautiful way of putting down your feelings, especially if they are about someone else.
This day could be a great way for you to look at your own thoughts and feelings for past experiences you’ve had, or perhaps write a poem for a loved one and spread the joy by making their day a wonderful one with the gift of your poem.
WORLD FOREST DAY | MARCH 21ST
The world contains some beautiful forests, use this day to explore the ones close to you and photograph what you find, perhaps even make a picnic so you can eat amongst the forest.
WORLD WATER DAY | MARCH 22ND
Use this day to visit your local lake or seaside and enjoy the magical sounds of the water.
You’ll no doubt see a wonderful collection of birds, which can be wonderful to just sit and watch.
DIY DAY | APRIL 4TH
Making or fixing things yourself can be a very magical feeling, the process of creating something with your own hands can be a huge confidence boost.
This could be a great day to either build that desk you’ve been meaning to build or fix the things in your house that have been neglected for a while.
Getting help from another can make days like this less stressful and more joyful.
ZOO LOVERS DAY | APRIL 8TH
Zoo’s aren’t for everyone, but they do some tremendous conservation work with endangered animals.
This could be a great day to support that conservation work whilst also seeing animals you may never have met before.
WORLD HERITAGE DAY | APRIL 18TH
History is a wonderful thing, by looking at it we can learn so many things that we can use in our daily life.
Here in the UK we have many heritage sites that are available to visit.
Use this day to spend exploring a new place and learning all about its history.
WORLD CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION DAY | APRIL 21ST
A wonderful day to delve into the world of creativity!
Whether you’re already an artist or you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since you were a child, everyone can be creative and it’s very therapeutic to release your feelings in a creative way.
Perhaps use this day to have a Bob Ross painting night with a loved one or friends, laughing, painting and eating some wonderful food.
PAY IT FORWARD DAY | APRIL 28TH
As we’ve already established, making others happy can make ourselves feel happy too.
This could be a great day to do the same but for strangers instead of loved ones.
Buy the person behind you the coffee they want to order, or maybe give a homeless person a lovely meal.
Helping others will not only make their day but also create a beautiful memory for them and yourself.
INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY | APRIL 29TH
Dancing isn’t really my thing, but it can be a fun way to get your heart pumping.
Find a friend or a partner and take a dancing lesson, maybe some salsa or street dance?
Don’t fancy going out?
Put on some of your favourite music and dance by yourself, the more you dance the better you’ll feel as you get those endorphins pumping through your body!
THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE AWARENESS DAY | MAY 1ST
A lot of people I know personally have never had a massage, which is such a shame as a good massage is a wonderful experience!
Use this day to either treat yourself to a magical professional massage or get together with a loved one and use the day to massage one another.
DRAWING DAY | MAY 16TH
Use this day to draw the things you experience throughout the day, like a visual diary.
Draw the breakfast you have, your morning coffee, the book you are reading, the pattern on your fluffy socks, anything at all!
Doing this will allow you to really notice the things around you and you’ll find the process very relaxing.
WORLD BAKING DAY | MAY 17TH
Baking is something a lot of us learn from our parents or grandparents, but we tend to leave it once we grow from childhood.
It can be a difficult skill to master, but the process is wonderful and is filled with an array of tastes and smells.
Use this day to bake a cake or some cookies, the process may be difficult but the result will be worth it!
MUSEUM DAY | MAY 18TH
A lot of us have museums local to us but never visit them.
Use this day to explore a museum or two and see what you can learn.
Maybe you’ll find out some interesting facts about the history of where you live, or maybe you’ll find some beautiful artwork along the way.
WORLD BEE DAY | MAY 20TH
Whether you want to visit your local apiary or you want to use the day to create wonderful recipes using honey, use this day to celebrate the hard work that bees do to help keep our planet running.
It will definitely be a unique day filled with many first times.
BISCUIT DAY | MAY 29TH
Much like World Baking Day, use this day to learn how to bake your favourite biscuit and truly appreciate the process that goes into making it.
It will be a wonderful experience sitting down with a cup of tea and a plate filled with your favourite biscuits that you baked yourself.
WORLD MEDITATION DAY | MAY 31ST
Another self-care day is due, so why not make the most of this day and take yourself to a beautiful location and focus on your mind with some meditation?
Whether you just close your eyes and listen to your surroundings or you put on your headphones and listen to a guided meditation, focusing on your mind will feel wonderful and will definitely be a memorable experience.
WORLD BICYCLE DAY | JUNE 3RD
At this time of year the sun should be shining and nature should be in full bloom.
Either take a trip around your local area or find a completely new location and enjoy your day exploring via a bike ride.
Sharing this experience with someone else will make it even more joyful.
GARDENING EXERCISE DAY | JUNE 6TH
At this time of year a majority of seeds will already have been sown, but there are still a few, like African Daisies (something I’m currently growing) that can be sown in June.
Use this day to work on your garden, maintaining what you already have whilst also starting new life with your little seeds.
The exercising will happen naturally as you get through your garden chores.
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY DAY | JUNE 15TH
Photography can really help you to see the tiny details that nature holds, whether it’s the little flowers that decorate the ground or the beautiful patterns that adorn our butterflies and bugs.
Use this day to fill up your memory card with photos and see what amazing things you can find.
INTERNATIONAL PICNIC DAY | JUNE 18TH
Picnics can be wonderful, fun and sometimes romantic, depending on how you set them up.
Spend time planning and making the food you want to bring, grab a lovely blanket and travel to a beautiful location and spend the day surrounded by nature with a loved one.
SURF DAY | JUNE 20TH
I think it’s fair to say, most of us have probably never gone surfing before.
Use this day to explore surfing for the first time, you never know, you may have found a new favourite hobby!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA | JUNE 21ST
Use this day to work on your body and mind simultaneously either at a yoga class or at home using guided yoga videos.
You could even take yourself outside to combine the art of yoga with the beauty of nature.
WORLD MUSIC DAY | JUNE 21ST
Have you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument?
Either pick up the guitar that’s been hiding at the back of your cupboard for years or buy yourself a new flute and get to work learning how to play.
Practice makes perfect, so keep practicing daily and you may find yourself a new skill.
SPACE EXPLORATION DAY | JULY 20TH
A day like this could be a wonderful excuse to take a trip to your local space museum.
Here in the UK we have a place called Jodrell Bank, a world-famous observatory.
I still have vivid memories of visiting as a child and learning all about space, it was such a magical day!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FRIENDSHIP | JULY 30TH
This day could be a great excuse for getting your friends together for a wonderful meal and a night of fun.
Perhaps everyone involved could cook something and bring it to the meal, that way the job of cooking is shared between everyone involved but you can also learn more about your friends cultures through the joy of food.
GEOCACHING DAY | AUGUST 15TH
Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices.
People will hide the “treasure” in hard to find places, meaning that a day spent geocaching can take you to a variety of locations and can be a great way to make memories.
ROLLER COASTER DAY | AUGUST 16TH
Roller coasters can be a very exhilarating experience, but for some of us they are a very scary thing.
I will never forget a trip to Blackpool with my partner a few years ago.
I was too terrified to go on any rides, so my partner queued up by himself so he could enjoy the rides.
Watching him queue up on his own upset me so much, and when he came back I told him how I was feeling.
I plucked up the courage to try some rides and ended up having a wonderful day together.
Facing my fears was a very challenging thing for me and my anxiety, but I am so proud of myself for doing it.
I am now the proud owner of a medal saying that I rode “The Big One”!
HOLISTIC PET DAY | AUGUST 30TH
When I saw this celebratory day I imagined spending a day completely focused around my dog; visiting her favourite park, feeding her with her favourite food etc.
I feel so happy when I see my dog is happy, so a day spent completely on making them happy and relaxed sounds like a magical day.
LETTER WRITING DAY | SEPTEMBER 1ST
Use this day to write a personalised letter to your loved ones to let them know how much you appreciate them, or perhaps write yourself a letter describing all the things you love about yourself.
Having a physical item, like a letter, is something lovely as whoever the recipient is can look back on that and read the words again, whenever they need to.
VIDEO GAMES DAY | SEPTEMBER 12TH
Grab your favourite game, gather together your favourite snacks and spend the day celebrating video game day.
This could also be a great opportunity to share your favourite game with a loved one, and vice versa.
This way you get to enjoy a wonderful day together whilst also learning more about them.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SIGN LANGUAGES | SEPTEMBER 23RD
Sign language is an incredibly important skill that I believe we should all learn at some point.
This can be a great opportunity to finally sit down and study the language, you never know when you may need to know it!
INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY | OCTOBER 1ST
I must admit, I am a coffee lover.
This could be a great day to either explore the local coffee shops in your area or spend the day baking things that include coffee as an ingredient, like a coffee and walnut cake!
WORLD SMILE DAY | OCTOBER 2ND
Use this day to put a smile on the faces of as many people as you can, including yourself!
From helping people to complimenting them, use this day to create many joyful memories for many people.
FACE YOUR FEARS DAY | OCTOBER 13TH
Much like Roller Coaster Day, this day could be a great excuse for doing activities that scare you.
Now, I’m not talking literally facing your fears (unless you want to), I’m certainly not going to plan a day tickling spiders, but try things that make you nervous.
You never know, you may find something that you really enjoy.
INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS DAY | OCTOBER 25TH
Being creative is incredibly therapeutic and sadly not enough people do it.
Paint, draw, sew, bake.
Whatever you deem creative, explore it!
AUTHOR’S DAY | NOVEMBER 1ST
This could be a great day to finally write that story you’ve been wanting to tell.
Another idea could be to write a story to your loved one, perhaps re-telling your version of how you met and how you fell in love.
Not only will it be a great way to reminisce, but you’ll be giving a loved one a very unique and beautiful gift.
WORLD SCIENCE DAY | NOVEMBER 10TH
Science is incredibly important and can be incredibly fun.
Use this day to either visit a science museum or spend the day at home creating science experiments.
You’re never too old to learn, so enjoy a day of fun and learning!
ORIGAMI DAY | NOVEMBER 11TH
I’ve always loved origami, it blows my mind how a piece of paper can be turned into a beautiful swan or butterfly.
Grab a friend or loved one, put on some YouTube videos and see what lovely things you can create.
HOMEMADE BREAD DAY | NOVEMBER 17TH
Bread is something the majority of us eat but I’m sure most of us have never even attempted to bake.
Spend the day learning the art of bread making and couple it up with a homemade soup to enjoy together during a cosy night indoors.
BATHTUB PARTY DAY | DECEMBER 5TH
Now when I saw this I just imagined sitting in a bathtub with my partner with a selection of beer and snacks, some music playing and a ton of laughter filling the room.
It creates a silly image, but I can imagine it would make a wonderful memory.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE DAY | DECEMBER 21ST
Sometimes sitting and working your brain rather than your body is just the thing you need.
Working together with a loved one to complete a crossword puzzle could be such a wonderful experience, especially coupled with some blankets, a fire and some hot chocolate.
THANK YOU NOTE DAY | DECEMBER 26TH
This is the time of year that many of us spend money getting gifts for our loved ones.
We say thank you, but do we really tell people how thankful we are?
Spend this day writing little notes for your loved ones letting them know how grateful you are for the time and effort they spent getting you gifts.
CARD PLAYING DAY | DECEMBER 28TH
Every winter my family and I play a variety of card games.
We get so much joy and laughter from it, but for some reason never do it at any other time of the year.
Get your loved ones together around a table, fix up some snacks and drinks and enjoy a night of laughter and stories.
In conclusion, nostalgia can help us to learn what ingredients we need to create more memorable experiences.
From paying attention to including more of our senses, with some practice we can help ourselves to not only create a more memorable life, but a more enjoyable one.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.
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