Natalie, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, is a freelance writer who is always searching for what lies within the potential.
April can be a stressful month. Despite it getting warmer outside and the days getting longer, it is also tax month in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Switzerland. It is probably no accident that the month of April has been declared Stress Awareness Month. If taxes or other stressful events are getting you down, try celebrating some of these great holidays and watch your mood pick right back up.
Simple De-Stressing Techniques
- Exercise—Even a quick walk outside in an area you like can help. Plus, sunlight increases certain hormones and chemicals in the brain which make us happier.
- Meditate—There are easy techniques to learn how to do this online.
- Eat Healthy—Arm yourself with healthy snacks and water.
- Music—Put on your favorite songs.
- Social Support—Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
- Hobby—Don’t forget your favorite activities even when your time is short.
Wild and Wacky April Holidays
- April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
- April 3: Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day
- April 4: Walk Around Things Day
- April 6 and 7: New Beer's Eve and National Beer Day
- April 7: International Pillow Fight Day (or first Saturday in April)
- April 12: Walk on Your Wild Side Day
- April 13: Blame Someone Else Day
- April 16: National Wear Pajamas to Work Day
- April 18: Pet Owner Independence Day
- April 26: Hug an Australian Day
April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
Although this may be a U.S.-based holiday as Peanut Butter and Jelly is the most popular sandwich in America, you can celebrate this day no matter where you live. Whether you like strawberry, orange, blackberry, current, or grape, they all go great with peanut butter. Choose the savory taste of peanuts in whatever form you like, smooth, crunchy, natural, salted, or unsalted.
You can even save yourself the trouble of having two jars and knives by using peanut butter premixed with jelly. Celebrate this day with the classic sandwich or with any one of the numerous delicacies that are available and made with these two classic ingredients. (See below for a couple of simple recipes that go way beyond the simple sandwich).
Simple Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
- ½ cup plain yogurt (I use Greek style)
- ¼ cup milk (You can use any kind including almond or soy)
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter + more for top
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jelly (can also use grape jelly)
- 1 medium banana frozen
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 2 ice cubes
- Place peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave for about 20 - 30 seconds until thinned
- Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and drizzle with additional peanut butter
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons applesauce
- 1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour (do not use regular whole wheat flour as it is too heavy)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- Jelly, jam or preserves of your choice
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and heat for 20-30 seconds to soften.
- Place butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until the ingredients are creamed.
- Add sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla and almond extract, and beat until well blended.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add milk, applesauce and yogurt, and beat on slow until fully combined and the batter comes together.
- Butter and flour an 8 × 8 cake pan.
- Pour in batter, then add jelly in dollops to the top of the batter with a spoon.
- Run a knife through the jelly to create swirls. Use as little or as much as you’d like. More jelly will keep the cake moist. If you use jam or preserves you may want to microwave it for 10-15 seconds to make it a bit more spreadable.
- Bake at 350 for 20–25 minutes or until cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before serving.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Pops
Yield: Makes 14 pops
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup milk, any kind (almond works well with this recipe)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite fruit preserves to match berries
- 1 cup berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
- 2 cups orange juice without pulp
- 14 small Dixie cups
- 14 Popsicle stick
- Place peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 15–20 seconds to soften.
- Blend peanut butter, yogurt, milk and honey until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into dixie cups until the cups are filled one-third to halfway.
- Freeze for 30–45 minutes.
- Combine the berries, preserves, and juice. Mash slightly to transfer the taste of the berries into the juice. Stir together until fully combined.
- Divide among the cups and then insert the sticks.
- Replace the cups in the freezer until completely frozen, about 6–8 hours.
April 3: Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day
Wouldn't it be nice to wake up in the morning and decide whether you will go to work or not? If it is going to be fun at work, you go and if not you just go back to sleep or get up and do something you enjoy. Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day might just be your day to call in sick or take a personal day and sleep in. If this day falls on a Saturday or Sunday and you don’t normally work weekends, it's an easy day to participate in. If it falls on a weekend some people take the Friday before as the holiday.
Warning: If others that you work with also intend to participate in this holiday such that several people are out at the same time either okay it with your boss or arrange it with your co-workers in terms of who comes in and who doesn’t. You don’t want to turn this into Don’t Go to Work Because You’ve Been Fired for Celebrating Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day
If you must go in and your job is not normally fun (and let’s face it, how many are?) then plan some activities that won’t get you in trouble but will let you have some fun on this day.
Tip for Employers: In order to increase attendance today, it is recommended that you consider things that will make it fun to go to work. Team building activities are great for this day as they will improve employee interactions and team-related behavior and make your employees more productive in the future. Consider a ropes course, a white water rafting trip, a competition with several great prizes, or maybe a quiz show with the questions related to something the employees need to learn anyway.
April 4: Walk Around Things Day
We all have those days we just don’t want to deal with problems or people who seem like problems. April 4th is the day when you can give yourself permission not to deal with anything you choose to avoid. While avoiding problems is not often in our best interest, this holiday reminds us that it is important to pick our battles. Sometimes the best way to deal with certain situations is to simply not engage. The ideal way to handle Someone who constantly tries to bait you into losing your temper is not to fall into the trap of getting angry.
This day can also be interpreted in a literal sense, so that you walk around objects you might normally pass such as circling fire hydrants, light poles, desks and even people, though they may look at you oddly. This is a healthy version, increasing the amount of walking you do during the day. You can also organize health events. See if you can get a sporting goods store to sponsor a contest where the winner is the person who has the highest number of steps or other indicator on a mobile technology monitoring device that they sell. Try to get the owner of a gym to sponsor a "walk 10 (or 20 or 30) times around the building" challenge. By avoiding problem situations, increasing your exercise and encouraging others to increase their exercise you will have accomplished an enormous amount over the course of a single day. No matter how you choose to interpret the day’s purpose, Walk Around Things Day is a perfect time to try new ways of handling problem situations and ways of thinking about the world.
April 6 and 7: New Beer's Eve and National Beer Day
This holiday came about after prohibition, which was largely ignored. Millions of people started brewing their own bathtub beer and made alcohol in home stills. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment on April 7, 1933. On the evening of April 6th, people lined up at breweries and distilleries to buy legal beer and alcohol at midnight. At some point that night, someone came up with the term "New Beer's Eve", and a new holiday came into being.
On April 7, 1993, the first National Beer Day, the New Year for beer, Americans all over the country drank 1.5 million barrels of beer and ale, which were now legal.
So lift a bottle or mug in celebration on these two special days, but if you choose to partake, do so responsibly and please remember not to drink and drive.
April 7: International Pillow Fight Day (Or First Saturday in April)
Were you one of those kids who loved to get into pillow fights with siblings or friends only to have them cut short by parents who did not find them as amusing as you did? Good news! On April 7th, you can participate in International Pillow Fight Day and take part in one of the massive pillow fights that take place all over the world! Join in the feathery fight to relieve stress or just for the silly fun of it in cities such as London, New York, Rotterdam, Madrid, Rome, Washington, D.C., Rio de Janeiro, and Seattle, just to name just a few. This is a free, fun for all ages activity.
The first World Pillow Fight day occurred in 2008, and since that time number of events held on this day has grown with pillow fighting flash mobs fighting it out in more and more cities every year, all just in the name of fun. Each year has a theme for dress and action. For example, the theme for 2017 was Viking and thousands of Valkyries and Berserkers issued Earth-shattering battle cries and came together to fight amidst the flying fluff.
Though meant as fun, there are still rules to make the event safe for everyone which may differ by city. Make sure to check them before heading out for an event in your neck of the woods.
Common Pillow Fight Rules Include:
- Swing lightly.
- Don't swing at people without pillows.
- Don't swing at people holding cameras.
- Use soft pillows only.
- Bring a bag so you can help clean up after the event is over.
Some organizers prohibit feather pillows due to animal welfare concerns and allergies while others recommend them because they feel it is more fun and these pillows tend to be softer. If you aren't sure which type of pillow to use the best choice is synthetic.
You can get involved in an event or organize your own pillow fighting flash mob if your city does not have one by visiting the International Pillow Fight Day website.
April 12: Walk on Your Wild Side Day
Today is the day for you to do something that no one would ever expect you to do. It doesn’t have to be dangerous or risky. Just be unpredictable. Embrace your wild streak, the side of you that normally you keep in check. Wear neon pink, dye your hair fluorescent green, answer the phone in a French accent with a lisp, or show everyone you can do something everyone said you couldn’t. If you are already wild, shock everyone out by behaving and dressing conservatively. You may even find that you like the new you and decide to stay that way.
Some suggestions to help you get started include yodeling, sidewalk coloring, blowing bubbles at word, wearing clear glasses that you don’t need, singing operettas, wearing a feathered crown and dancing something from Swan Lake or just putting on a song and getting your groove on. Of course, if you’ve always wanted to skydive or hang glide but just needed that little extra impetus, today could very well be what you’ve been waiting for.
April 13: Blame Someone Else Day
Blame Someone Else Day is the dream day for all compulsive liars. On this day you have permission to put the blame on anyone you wish. Keep in mind, though, that when midnight hits, you go back to having to accept responsibility for everything you do. Just blame this brief insanity on Anne Moeller in Michigan, who started the holiday on April 13, 1982, as an excuse for failing to keep her appointments on that fateful day.
There is no end to what you can do to celebrate this day. Sign your boyfriend up for a new spiritual group and blame his mother, put Kool-Aid in the shower head and blame the kids, invite your family over, spike their drinks and blame the housekeeper. There Just remember, while you are blaming others, someone might just be gearing up to blame you so watch out.
If you don’t want to blame other people, you can blame objects instead. If you forgot to return a call say the phone isn’t working. Don’t want to face a work email, the software has a bug in it. You’re late with an assignment? Say the computer broke down and it’s still being fixed. Just a modern-day version of the age-old, “my dog ate my homework,” excuse.
April 16: National Wear Pajamas to Work Day
Celebrated annually, Wear Pajamas to Work Day is a holiday when you get to spend the entire day wearing your pj's. This day celebrates the iconic sleepwear and gives you an excuse to save the time of dressing in the morning and wearing something super comfy all day long. While initially intended to celebrate the traditional pajama with a long-sleeved button-down shirt and pants, the day now is honored by wearing pajamas, nightgowns and sleepwear of all kinds. A word of caution, however: If you are planning to wear your sleepwear to work, make sure it's okay with your boss (and encourage them to play along!). Also, consider your choice of pajamas. Make sure it would be considered appropriate for the workplace in general and your workplace specifically.
Children are allowed to have fun on this day by wearing pajamas to school. This holiday is also a great excuse for buying new sleepwear for yourself or your children. If you've had your eye on an expensive set of pajamas, gown or robe, this is the ideal day to justify buying them without feeling guilty. "But honey - Tomorrow is National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, and I didn't have anything appropriate to wear!"
April 18: Pet Owner Independence Day
Has it ever felt unfair to you that you are required to go to work while your pet sits home living the good life? Not to mention, that you are expected to support your pet and provide them with all their wants and needs despite the fact they never work a day in their life. If so, there's a holiday just for you. Pet Owners Independence Day gives you a chance to lie around on the carpet while your pet tries out working for a change.
Those who came up with this holiday admit that there are a few problems with the concept. Obviously, the average cat or dog won't likely be up to dictation much less answering the phones so even a low-level job is out. Of course, most owners also aren't very good at things like catching mice or chasing the mailman. You can always celebrate the day just by sharing time with your pet. While it may not be quite the same thing it is a more practical, achievable option.
April 26: Hug an Australian Day
For all you Down Under fans, it’s a day you’ll cherish. Go ahead and give a great big bear hug to any and all Australians you run across today. Make sure to not let the day pass without showing a well-deserving Australian just how much you love them. This is your chance to do something for international relations or for all of you in Australia to ensure domestic peace and an even stronger national self-concept. Give it a try, what have you got to lose? It won’t cost you anything and it will do you both some good.
You don't have to stop the fun just because April 1st is over. Keep celebrating the whole month through one or more of these other fun-filled holidays. Take the stress out of tax day and all the other days of April. There is plenty for everyone to enjoy no matter what your preference may be.
Crazy, Bizarre, Funny Holidays for Every Day of April
International Fun at Work Day
National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day
Walk Around Things Day
Go for Broke Day
National Walk to Work Day, New Beer's Eve
National Beer Day, International Pillow Fight Day
Zoo Lover's Day
Name Yourself Day
Be Kind to Lawyers Day
Eight Track Tape Day
Walk on Your Wild Side Day
Blame Somebody Else Day
International Moment of Laughter Day
That Sucks Day
Wear Pajamas to Work Day
Blah, Blah, Blah Day
Pet Owners Independence Day
National Ask An Atheist Day
National Cheddar Fries Day
Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
National Jelly Bean Day
Impossible Astronaut Day
National Sauvignon Blanc Day
Mani Pedi Day
Hug an Australian Day
Hairball Awareness Day
National Hairball Awareness Day
Spank Out Day
© 2018 Natalie Frank
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on March 26, 2018:
Ditto, Dora. It would be kind of freeing and fun to just be able to lie without having to struggle to tell the truth all the time. But the repercussions as you note would make it not so great. Thanks for the comment.
Natalie Frank (author) from Chicago, IL on March 26, 2018:
Glad you like the recipes, Linda. The smoothie is my favorite though the frozen pops are great in the summertime! Thanks for stopping by.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 26, 2018:
Thanks for the information. April 13 was my favorite pick, but the prospect of being labelled liar, and having to cancel the blame at the end of the day dried up my enthusiasm.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 24, 2018:
I will definitely be celebrating National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! I love the sound of your recipes. Thanks for sharing them, Natalie.