Act of kindness #15: Happier Goody Bags

Since joining Happier almost two years ago, I’ve become… well, Happier. My absolutely favourite app is an online community of like-minded souls and works like an online gratitude journal; members post ‘happy moments’ and fellow Happiers can ‘smile’ and write comments on these posts.

I truly feel like I’ve found my tribe: a community of kind, loving, supportive and positive souls from around the world.

There’s been quite a few meet ups, mainly in the US where the app’s HQ is, and it’s lovely to see friendships grow and flourish.

And I know I’ve made some cherished friendships for life.

The UK Happiers are dotted all over the country and a big meet up was arranged in London last month. I was deeply disappointed not to feel well enough to travel down and join them, but I enjoyed seeing the love and friendship radiating from the photos of the smiling faces.

There was another meet up in London today. And sadly again, I’m not well enough to go 🙁

So I thought it would be a lovely idea to make up some special Kindness Goody Bags and send them down to everyone who could go. That way I feel like I’m a part of the day even though I’m not physically there.

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A lovely Happier hosted the meet up at her home, and kindly let me send the parcel of goody bags there in time for the big day. She even tied some fabulous orange balloons to the bags to give them an extra Happier vibe. And she’d made an amazing cake especially for the occasion.

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I love that not only do I get the opportunity to spread a little kindness around this amazing community but I also got to be a part of this special day.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #14: Costa’s Dream Team

I popped into my local Costa Coffee this morning for my usual decaf soy flat white.

I usually tend to avoid going in on Friday’s as it’s market day in our town and the cafe is usually really busy and very noisy, and unfortunately busy and noisy are not great friends with CFS.

But as today was the best day for me to go into town, I hoped I could sit outside on one of the three outdoor tables.

And when I arrived, there was one table free… hooray!

There were only two servers working and I was so impressed to see how calm they were under the pressure of a long queue and full cafe, and how well they worked together.

The staff here are always lovely and friendly, and I always enjoy a quick chat with them.

And today was no exception.

When it was my time to be served, they were still big smiles and friendly chat.

As I enjoyed my coffee in tranquility outside, I decided to write them a little message on one of my Kindness Cards to show that they are appreciated.

Thankfully I carry a spare Kindness Card in my bag and I quickly wrote: To the Costa Dream Team, You are both AMAZING Xxx

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As I left, I popped back in to hand them the card, so they could put it where they can see it and be reminded of how much they are appreciated and what a great job they are doing.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #13: Positive messages

After a challenging weekend, I decided to take myself out and cheer myself up.

And one of the best ways I’ve found to turn my frown upside down, is by spreading a little kindness.

I wrote a positive message on the back of several of my Kindness Cards inspired by a message at a London Tube Station I saw online recently: Hello lovely you. Yes you… the one reading this message. You are beautiful, kind, smart, amazing and simply the BEST at being you. Never forget that ☆♡ 🙂

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I’d planned to leave them dotted around our city’s market square, but it was  under construction and all closed off. So instead I put them around the city including: on my bus seat; on the mirror of the bathrooms in a café; on a shelf in the main library; and the rest I lay on benches around the city.

I hope they bring a smile to finders’ faces like doing this kindness act has brought a big smile to mine.

☆♡☆

Kindness Act #12: Thank you note

Being kind by writing a thank you note to a helpful stranger:

I’ve just started a new treatment plan with a private clinic and am having a few tests to try and establish the root causes of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

After carefully studying the comprehensive and specific instructions for one home-based test, my brain-fogged mind felt rather confused and I needed some help and guidance.

I knew I had to call the clinic but was feeling reluctant as I didn’t want to bother them.

I also didn’t want to appear paranoid, or pernickety, or dumb!

But as I’m investing quite a lot of money into this treatment plan, I want to make sure I do everything I can to ensure optimum results.

It took a few times to get through to the clinic, which fuelled my anxiety as I knew it meant they were busy.

But when I did get to speak to someone, she was simply fabulous.

In her soothing Welsh tones, she patiently and kindly answered all of my questions, which were actually completely validated, and gently talked me through the whole process.

What a relief!

As well as thanking her on the phone, I knew I wanted to thank her in a special way.

I wanted to show my gratitude to her for being so kind and patient and helpful. And that I appreciated the time she spent talking me through everything.

So I wrote her a little thank you note on the back of one of my ‘you are amazing’ postcards and included it in the package.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #10: Video interview

Being kind by helping someone out:

After the big and exciting activities of the last few weeks, it’s no surprise that I’m feeling really wiped out. While my heart is still smiling after such lovely times, my body clearly needs a few days of complete rest in order to restore and recover back some energy.

But this morning I had a video interview planned with a young journalist.

Stewart had interviewed me a few weeks ago for my Valentine’s Day Act of Kindness for the local paper, and had got back in touch with me. He asked if he could do a further in-depth interview with me as part of his Postgraduate Studies: I was really happy to help out.

Then a couple of weeks ago, he asked if I would be his subject for a video interview, a required part of his course portfolio. Despite being camera-shy, I agreed. But only after he explained that it would be him under scrutiny, not me, which made me feel far less self-conscious.

But when I woke up this morning, I knew I had no energy in the tank. I knew that if I went ahead with the video interview, the fallout would not be good. I knew I needed to postpone, but as his submission deadline is imminent, I didn’t want to let him down.

So, I managed to find a little energy from somewhere and we actually had fun. As we filmed some ‘action’ shots I nicknamed him Stewart Scorsese and I was christened Helen Streep 🙂

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After Stewart left, my mind and body crumbled. Savagely tired, I gratefully climbed back into bed and know I’ll be staying here for as long as it takes to rest, recover and recharge.

But I’m really glad I did it, as it felt good to be able to help someone out.

Act of kindness #9: Bookmark messages

Being kind by hiding kind messages inside library books:

Today I returned four books to my local library and decided to hide a Kindness Card with a handwritten message on the back, inside each book.

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The thought of the next person to read each of these books coming across my surprise message, makes me feel really happy.

♡☆♡

Act of kindness #8: Birthday giveaway

Being kind by giving away Kindness Cards for my birthday:

Today is my birthday. And to celebrate, I’m giving away some of my Kindness Cards.

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All you have to do is message me your name and address either by leaving me a comment below or sending me a message on my ‘Spreading a little kindness’ Facebook page (your details won’t be published or made public).

Here are a few ideas of what you can do with your Kindness Cards:

1. Write an uplifting message on the back – my favourites are: You are AMAZING; You have a beautiful smile; You are perfect, just as you are –  and leave the Kindness Cards for a stranger to find. My favourite spots include: on the bus or a bench; on a bathroom or changing room mirror; on a lamppost; or inside a library book.
2. Pay for an extra coffee and ask your barista to choose the recipient and pass on the Kindness Card with ‘Enjoy this coffee on me’ written on the back
3. Attach the Kindness Card to a chocolate bar and place it on a work colleague’s desk or post through a neighbour’s door
4. Pop some money into a vending machine or parking meter and stick your Kindness Card to the machine with ‘Enjoy free parking on me’ or ‘Enjoy a free snack on me’
5. Attach the Kindness Card to a bunch of flowers and give them to a stranger in the street

Or simply keep them in your pocket to hand out whenever you have an opportunity to randomly do something thoughtful and kind.

And I’d really really love you to hear how you’ve used the cards: why not tell us about your Kindness Acts on my Facebook page, or write about them in a comment below. By sharing your story, you’ll inspire others.

I hope you have fun spreading a little kindness!

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Act of kindness #7: Easter Goodie Bags

Being kind by giving away Kindness Goodie Bags filled with all things Easter:

Making up and giving out Kindness Goodie Bags has become one of my favourite acts of kindness.

I relish deciding what to put in them, and then shopping for the goodies.

I enjoy getting lost in the creativity of designing the message which explains what the bag is all about, and writing the messages on my Kindness Cards.

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I savour the anticipation of putting them together, and take great pleasure in the mindful act of making them up, carefully deciding where each piece should go.

And I get such a thrill when I can tie the bags up, knowing that they’re all ready to go.

I carefully plot my location and timing, considering where I’m going to give them away, how I’m going to do it, and when is the best time.

And then there’s the actual giving out part. I feel giddy with excitement as I go from car to car, carefully placing the bags onto the windscreens.

It makes me feel really happy to imagine how the owners will get a nice surprise when they return to their car and find my Kindness Goodie Bag waiting for them.

The whole process gives me such joy, and again, I can personally vouch for how the giver benefits as much as the receiver.

Of course, the icing on the cake is hearing from someone who’s found one of my Kindness Goodie Bags, but that’s not why I do it and I don’t expect to hear from them: it’s simply a lovely bonus.

As I really enjoyed making up and giving away my Christmas and Valentine’s Goodie Bags, I wanted to do an Easter Goodie Bag.

As the Easter theme of bunnies and chicks, and the yellows and greens and bright Easter colours is so much fun, I wanted my goodie bags to reflect that.

So, in each bag I’ve popped: a mini creme egg, two mini chocolate eggs; two sweet chews; a teeny fluffy Easter chick and Easter Bunny; a party popper; bright coloured feathers; fun stickers; a message explaining this is a Random Act of Easter Kindness, and one of my Kindness Cards with a ‘You Are AMAZING’ message on the back.

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I’m on unfamiliar territory as I’m currently visiting the beautiful spa town of Bath. So I decided to pop most of my Easter Kindness Goodie Bags onto the windscreens of the cars parked in a small city centre car park and the rest I dotted around randomly.

I’m hoping the owners will return to their cars after a busy Easter shopping trip or a relaxed Good Friday brunch and find my Easter surprise waiting for them.

Here’s how I spread a little kindness around Bath this fine sunny Good Friday morning: 

Easter Kindness Goodie Bags 1-7: I lay on car windscreens in a small city centre car park

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Easter Kindness Goodie Bag 8: I popped in the basket of a bike, just for fun

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Easter Kindness Goodie Bags 9+10: I gave to the two very helpful staff at T2 who kindly helped me find my favourite tea I used to drink in Australia. I couldn’t remember the name and with an abundance of Chai teas to choose from, we whittled it down to two and they brewed me a cup of each. Now that’s what I call fantastic customer service

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Easter Kindness Goodie Bag 11: I tucked this into the door handle of the coolest car parked  along Royal Avenue in Victoria Park

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Easter Kindness Goodie Bag 12: As I’m staying in my friend’s flat while she’s on holiday I’ve put one on her dressing table, so she’ll see it when she arrives home.

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ps if you have received one of my Easter Kindness Goodie Bags, I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below. If you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please let me know.

Act of kindness #6: Listening to my body

Being kind to my body by taking the rest I need:

With having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I have to rest a lot. Well, most of the time actually. And as much as I’ve made my bedroom my sanctuary which I love, I need a change of scenery now and again.

When a friend very kindly offered me her flat to stay in while she went on holiday, I jumped at the chance. I carefully planned my journey down and thankfully felt well enough to travel last Thursday.

This is my first visit to Bath and I’m excited about exploring this beautiful spa town. And being mindful of my health limitations, I know I can’t see and do as much as I’d like, but there’s a couple of gentle activities that I can hopefully enjoy.

I arrived a couple of days before my friend left so we could spend a little time together. The idea was that while she was out at work all day, I would rest and then we’d hang out when she got home.

But I arrived to find her still recovering from a recent bout of flu and she was still feeling pretty unwell. Poor thing.

As I have a compromised immune system due to the CFS, I tend to get cold/flu symptoms ten-fold and feel even more wiped than normal and for much longer too.

So I have to try and not contact viruses by avoiding contact with people who have a cold or the flu, the expression to avoid them like the plague is very apt for me!

We joked about setting up a convalescence home, and while my friend rested in bed, I rested on the sofa, and we met up at mealtimes to share empathy and sympathy.

This morning, the day after my friend left for her holiday, I’ve woken up with nausea, a slight headache, and am feeling drained; I’m really hoping it’s not the onset of the flu.

My plans for today were to have a gentle walk to see the nearby Royal Crescent and enjoy a soul stroll around the nearby park.

But despite desperately wanting to ignore my symptoms and stick to my plans, I am choosing to be kind to myself by listening to my body and honouring what I know it needs: complete rest.

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and will feel enough to explore a little, but if I don’t, I won’t.

And that’s ok.

 

Act of kindness #5: Appreciating good service

Being kind by writing a thank you message for my lovely waitress:

I’ve just enjoyed a yummy brunch at Bills, thanks to a much appreciated Christmas Gift Card from a thoughtful friend.

My waitress was really lovely. She was kind and friendly and I felt very well looked after.

Having been a waitress in my mid-late teens, I know how hard work it can be. I also know how much a simple thank you from a customer can mean. I can’t bear it when people don’t acknowledge waitstaff or treat them discourteously. And so I always make sure to smile and show my appreciation.

So as well as thanking my waitress personally, I decided to write her a thank you message on one of my kindness cards.

Thankfully, I always carry a blank kindness card or two in my bag. I wrote a message and propped it up on my table as I left so she would discover it when she was preparing the table for the next (hopefully appreciative) customer.