Kindness Calendar – January 2017

I am absolutely astounded and deeply heartened by the incredible response to my Kindness Advent Calendar and the amazing kindness ripple effect it has created.

With nearly 340,000 downloads, a potential 8.5 million acts of kindness have taken place around the world.

☆ Eight and a half million acts of kindness ☆

How brilliant is that!

My heart is overflowing with gratitude to everyone who has taken part… and have shared the calendar with others. I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to every single person who has completed even just one more act of kindness…  thank you for making a difference, you really are AMAZING.

I’ve absolutely loved reading about your kindness experiences and hearing how much you’ve enjoyed doing them. And I must confess, I’ve often shed a happy tear or two.

Hand on heart, I truly believe that together we are making the world a kinder place.

And so, why stop there?

I’ve been thinking how a kindness calendar doesn’t have to be just for Christmas, and how absolutely amazing it would be if we kept this huge kindness ripple effect going throughout the whole of 2017.. and beyond!

So, I’m going to be creating a Kindness Calendar each month and would love for you to join me.

Here is January’s Kindness Calendar…

Kindness Calendar January 2017

To download your free copy, please click on this link: Kindness-Calendar-January-2017.pdf (17029 downloads)

Again, I’ve made each kindness act quick, easy and mostly free (or really cheap!) so anyone and everyone can take part.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

Every single extra act of kindness counts, so let’s get as many people as we can involved.

It was because of lovely you so kindly sharing the Kindness Advent Calendar that helped keep the kindness ripple effect going and reaching so far and wide.

And so I’d like to ask for your help again. It would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media too 🙂

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, and I’m even on Twitter too (although I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’ll get there!).

Let’s have fun, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Thank you so much.

☆♡☆

A LITTLE EXTRA NOTE:

I’m going to be taking a little break from my blog and social media in January.

Unfortunately my Chronic Fatigue Symptoms have flared up after all the activity and excitement of the last few weeks. I have to practise kindness to myself by concentrating on my health and feeling the best I possible can, so I can come back ready to continue spreading a little more kindness.

Please do keep on sharing your kindness experiences, thoughts and ideas – I know how we all love to read them, and they really do help keep us inspired.

Have a wonderful and kind January.
Big hugs to you, love Helen Xxx

To download your free copy of January’s Kindness Calendar, please click on this link: Kindness-Calendar-January-2017.pdf (17029 downloads)

Day 99: My kind Valentine

Being kind by leaving love-filled goodie bags on car windscreens in the hospital car park:

Happy Valentine’s Day! And Happy International Random Act of Kindness Week!

So why not combine the two, me thinks!!

How about some Valentine’s Day Kindness Bags filled with love-themed goodies?

And being joined by my helpful nephew Callum, I have all the ingredients for the sweetest Valentine’s Day EVER!!

I’ve been planning this ever since my  Random Act of Christmas Kindness. One of my favourite kindness acts so far, I loved choosing what to put inside my festive goodie bags and it gave me such pleasure leaving them on car windscreens at my doctor’s surgery.

But most of all I was incredibly moved by a response I received from a lovely lady who received one of these bags (see the comments section if you’d like to read it).

So the day is finally here, hooray!.

And I’m over-the-moon that my seven-year-old nephew Callum wants to help me. I love what a big heart he has and how his teacher is always commenting on how kind and helpful he is.

So earlier this morning we spread our loot across my bed, and had fun packing our 20 kindness goodie bags.

Packing goodie bags

Into each clear bag, we popped: a red foil-wrapped chocolate heart, a mini packet of Love Heart sweeties, a mini chocolate bar, a highlighter pen, some heart stickers, a handful of heart-shaped jewels, and a feather or two.

Valentine's Goodie Bags

We wrote kindness messages on my Kindness Cards. Callum carefully writing: You are amazing, and adding his name and age on a few. So sweet. And we also included a ‘You Are Loved’ card I’d made using one of my favourite nature photos I took last year, with a little explanation about our Random Act of Kindness on the reverse.

Valentine Kindness messages

Excited and ready for action, we drove down to the City Hospital and parked up.

Although it was freezing, our hearts were warmed as together we placed our kindness bags on the car windscreens.

Callum with goodie bag

placing our goodie bags on car windscreens

We even had the chance to give someone one of our kindness bags face-to-face: we spotted a lady heading into the hospital and ran across to hand-deliver a goodie bag. She seemed really happy to receive it.

We hope that when the owner/s returned to their cars after their appointment or visit or work-shift, they will be surprised.

And we really hope our little act of kindness will make a few people smile and feel happy, especially on this love-filled day.

Last week, I told the Nottingham Post about our little Valentine’s adventure, and we were interviewed and snapped by our city’s newspaper while in the midst of our good deed. Once the feature goes out, I will post the link here:

We then celebrated with a trip to our local Costa for a well-deserved sugar-loaded treat!

my handsome valentine's date

What really warms my heart is that Callum wants to take a kindness goodie bag with him into school next week for his ‘show and tell’. My heart is so happy to think that this small act of kindness may help inspire this younger generation to continue the ripple effect of kindness.

What a brilliant way to celebrate the start of International Random Act of Kindness Week!

Now back home, I’m shaking with exhaustion and about to switch-off and have a long soak in a yummy Epsom salt bath.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving love-filled goodie bags on car windscreens in the hospital car park.

ps if you have received one of our Valentine’s Day Kindness Goodie Bags, we’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.

Day 95: Kindness trail

Being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city:

Time for another Random Act of Kindness me thinks.

I wrote out a kindness message on the back of my new Kindness Cards with the intention of sprinkling some magical kindness around my city on this freezing cold January Tuesday.

The message was simple and true of ALL of us: You are beautiful ~ inside and out.

I set off for my Artist’s Date in the city of brunch and a movie, clutching my Kindness Cards and blu-tack ready for action.

As I was a little short of time and am still slowly building up my energy levels, I decided to leave a trail of Kindness Cards in my wake.

First up was the window of my local connect bus:

local connect bus

Followed by the window of my tram which took me into the city:

tram kindness card

After eating a delicious brunch in my favourite café, I nipped to the bathroom to pop a card on the mirror:

cafe loo mirror kindness card

As I walked through the shopping centre, I stuck a couple on the mirrors in the main public toilets:

shopping centre loo 2 kindness card
shopping centre loo 1 kindness card

After arriving at the cinema and before my screening, I popped one on the bathroom mirror:

kindness card cinema loo 1

And after seeing my film, I stuck my last card to the mirror in the main bathroom.

Kindness card cinema loo 2

And that’s it. My job as Kindness Fairy for today is done! I really hope I’ve made at least one person smile today after seeing one of my kindness messages.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city

ps if you happened to see one of my kindness messages, thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

Day 87: You’ve been RACK’ed!

Being kind by leaving festive goodie bags on car windscreens at the doctors’ surgery:

I’m so excited about this act of kindness. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, but with my recent big CFS relapse have had to put it on hold.

But as I start to feel a little better, I made it to the shops a couple of days ago to buy some treats to make some festive goodie bags; and I was delighted to have enough to make 24 bags!

RACK loot

Alongside a few sweet treats, I added a party popper, a festive feather and a Christmas bauble.

I also included one of my brand new Kindness Cards with the message: You are AMAZING (if you forget that, please read this again).

You are AMAZING

I’ve also made a ‘you’ve been RACK’ed’ card which reads: You have been RACK’ed. You have been chosen to receive this small gift through a Random Act of Christmas Kindness. May your day be merry and bright Xxx

RACK'ed

So today I nipped out to pop a goodie bag onto the windscreen of the cars parked in my local doctors’ surgery car park. I really hope that it will be a nice surprise for those who’ve just been to see one of the doctor’s about a health issue.

Doctor's surgery RACK

A dapper gentleman dressed in a smart suit was just returning to his car as I was about to put a goodie bag on his windscreen, so I got the chance to give it to him face-to-face instead. It was really heartwarming and rewarding to see his reaction to this little act of kindness: he gave me a huge smile as he said thank you. ♡

With the rest of the goodie bags, I hope to feel well enough to head into the city one day next week and will either hand them out or will hide them for people to find. If not, I’ll work something out.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving festive goodie bags on car windscreens at the doctors’ surgery.

 

ps if you received one of my festive goodie bags, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

Day 84: BBC Radio Nottingham

Being kind by handing out chocolate bars, face-to-face:

I did something new today: I handed out chocolate bars to strangers.

Face-to-face!

EEEK!!

And it felt really good.

My confidence is obviously growing! OK, it helped that I wasn’t alone. My lovely mum was with me, and also the lovely Sarah Julian a presenter from BBC Radio Nottingham.

I’d been invited into the studio to talk about my kindness acts in a pre-recorded interview, and then go out to perform some kindness acts with the presenter.

I was pretty nervous going into the studio, but focused on my mission: to spread the kindness message. Sarah and I had a great chat, and although it was really cringey to hear myself on the radio the next day, I’m happy that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself (well, I hope I didn’t anyway!).

And it was so much fun going out with Sarah to do the kindness acts.

We drove to the nearby retail park, which houses one of my fave shops: Hobbycraft – I asked mum and Sarah to keep in me out of there, by force if necessary!

My mission was to hand out some chocolate bars to busy shoppers, each with one of my kindness cards attached with the message: You are AMAZING. If you forget that, please read this again.

you are AMAZING

After I’d approached the unsuspecting shoppers, Sarah asked them a few questions about the experience. A couple of people ran away – Sarah kindly pointing out it was probably due to the big fluffy microphone she was holding – most were surprised, and everyone smiled.

WooHooo!

It was brilliant to see Sarah join in and hand out a couple of choccie bars too. And as we drove away in high spirits, I was happy to hear she’d had fun too. I can honestly say that from my experience, the giver benefits as much as the receiver.

Exhausted but happy, I got back home to find this lovely message on my blog:

“My partner and I met you today whilst you were with BBC Radio Nottingham at the retail park. We love what you’re doing and think you’re a fantastic lady!!! We bought you a little gift as a thank you for making us smile, when we came out of the shop you were gone! Is there any way we can get it to you? Xxx”

WOW.

This is what it’s all about: making someone smile.

I am so touched that this lovely couple made the effort to get in touch. And that they were kind enough to want to pay it forward is the icing on the cake, with the cherry on top!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by handing out bars of chocolate, face-to-face!

ps if you fancy a listen….

Here’s the studio interview with BBC Radio Nottingham:

Here’s the outside broadcast by BBC Radio Nottingham:

Day 83: Kindness Advent Calendar (2015)

Being kind by creating an Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar so everyone can take part and spread some festive kindness:

Today I’ve put the finishing touches to my Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you.

I was inspired by a lovely friend forwarding me a fab one for children a couple of days ago, and I thought it’d be great to create one for us grown ups.

So I set to work and this is the result:

Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar by maketodayhappy.co.uk

To download your copy, please click on this link: Acts-of-Kindness-Advent-Calendar-by-maketodayhappy.co_.uk_.pdf (14798 downloads)

And I’d like to invite lovely you and yours to join me in doing a kindness act every day for the 25 days leading up to Christmas.

It works just like a normal advent calendar but instead of receiving, we are giving.

How cool is that!

Now, I know December is an extra busy month for most of us, and we can find ourselves rushing around trying to get everything ready in time for the Christmas holidays.

So, I’ve tried to make each kindness act:

  • Quick: most days it will just take a few seconds, and a couple may take a few minutes,
  • Easy: they don’t really take too much effort or energy to do at all, and
  • Cheap: well, actually most of them don’t cost a thing, and a couple cost the price of a cup of coffee or chocolate bar in the vending machine.

This way, anyone and everyone can take part.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, or even make up your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.

But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day – imagine how amazing that would be!

It’s such a wonderful way to spread some festive cheer and boost our own spirits at the same time.

But I really need your help.

Please help me spread the word by encouraging family, friends and colleagues to take part in this kindness extravaganza as we countdown to Christmas.

And I’d be ever so grateful if you could share this blog post with others – simply click on one of the ‘share’ buttons below, or share it however works best for you – and let’s get the kindness ripple effect reaching out far and wide over the festive season.

And most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy creating a kindness ripple effect in your community.

Thank you so very much.

xxXxx

p.s. I’d love to hear about your kindness experiences in the comments below…

To download your free copy of the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, please click on this link: Acts-of-Kindness-Advent-Calendar-by-maketodayhappy.co_.uk_.pdf (14798 downloads)

p.p.s. Thanks to EVERYONE who’s shared, forwarded on and/or downloaded my Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar so far – you are AMAZING! I’m so excited by how so many lovely folk are joining me in spreading the kindness message this festive season, including the Nottingham Post – THANK YOU!

Day 82: City love

Being kind by leaving more kindness messages around my city:

Today I went into the city to go to my first hair appointment in, well, quite a few months. And I thought it’d be a great opportunity to sprinkle some more kindness around my city.

I wrote my new favourite kindness message on seven of my Kindness Cards: “You are AMAZING. If you forget that, please read this again” and set off to get my bus.

you are AMAZING

I’d planned to stick my messages onto lampposts around the city centre, but as lots of rain had been forecast, I knew they’d get wet and ruined very quickly. So I decided to bring my kindness act inside.

Kindness Card #1, I left on the seat of my bus, hoping to make the next passenger who sat there smile.

Kindness Card #2, I left on a bench inside the shopping centre, so the next tired shopper needing a rest would find it.

Kindness Card #3, I stuck on the bathroom mirror of the shopping centre, so shoppers can read it while washing their hands.

Kindness Card #4, I stuck on a pillar inside the shopping centre so busy shoppers will notice it as they pass by.

Kindness Card #5, I hid in the condiments tray on the café table where I had a bite to eat, so the next diner would get more than bargained for when reaching for the salt!

Kindness Card #6, I stuck on the cafe’s bathroom mirror, to make diners smile as they washed their hands.

Kindness Card #7, I sneakily stuck on the mirror while I was having my hair done, without my lovely friend and hairdresser noticing (Gotcha lovely Mel, tee hee!).

I hope it made everyone who saw one of my kindness cards, feel AMAZING. And if you’re one of the folk who’ve come across one of my messages today, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving more kindness messages around my city.

Day 78: You are AWESOME

Being kind by hiding kindness messages in my local newspaper:

Today I’ve been sprinkling some kindness around my city.

I’ve been inspired by a lovely little card sent to me by a very kind Happier friend. It formed part of a fabulous collection of goodies in the recent Happier Connection Box and reads:

“You are AWESOME. If you forget that please read this again.”

Happier Connections Box

I love it sooooo much, I wanted to continue this kindness ripple effect by spreading this uplifting message across my city.

I decided to hide the same message inside my city’s newspaper, The Nottingham Post. In August, the paper launched a ‘Good Deeds’ campaign to “make our community a better place” and has set a target of 1,000 readers to do an act of kindness over the next few months.

Nottm Post Good Deeds

Each week the newspaper features kind folk in our community who’ve carried out a kindness act, such as raising money for charity, volunteering in the community, or helping out a neighbour.

I wrote the “You are AWESOME” message on seven of my Kindness Cards, and set off to a busy city centre newsagents.  I found the page that mentioned the Good Deed’s campaign and popped a Kindness Card inside seven newspapers, waiting to be found by its purchaser and readers!

You are awesome

Kindness Card in Notm Post

I really hope they make the people who come across my kindness messages smile. (And if you have and you’re reading this, it’d be really, really fantastic to hear from you in the comments below!).

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by hiding kindness messages inside my local newspaper.

Day 72: A cup of kindness

Being kind by buying a stranger a coffee:

My spirits have taken a battering recently with one thing or another, and so I took myself out for a soul stroll in this morning’s magical mist.

I walked into my local town and stopped at my local coffee shop for my usual, a decaf soy flat white.

Feeling pretty down in the dumps, I decided to reach out and show kindness to a stranger. From the acts of kindness I’ve been doing over the last few months, I know how much they lift my spirits too. And to be honest, this has been an unexpected bonus, it’s like experiencing a wonderful side effect from the kindness act itself.

So today I decided to buy a stranger a coffee.

I paid for the extra coffee and asked the barista to choose a customer who’ll receive the free cup, and give them my kindness card which reads: “You are an incredible person. Enjoy your coffee Xxx”

Kindness Card: Coffee's on me

I instantly felt my spirits lift.

In an article titled “5 Side Effects of Kindness on Health”, kindness author Dr David Hamilton explains why:

“When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’

On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.”

So it’s a win-win.

I hope it brings a smile to the face of the recipient on this chilly, misty morning as it has to mine.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by buying a stranger a coffee.

Day 62: Everyday kindness

Being kind by bringing home a library book for my mum:

My mum recently borrowed a book from our local library, but a few pages in she realised she’d already read it. Mum decided to continue with it until she could go back to the library and choose a new book.

This was on my mind as I popped into our library today.  I looked for and checked out a book I thought she would enjoy.

When I gave mum the book, she was really touched and said it could be my kindness act for the day.

I was quite surprised because it didn’t feel like an act of kindness; I haven’t really considered thoughtfulness as an act of kindness before.

But when I think about it, they do go hand-in-hand.

I’ve been focussing on the bigger acts of kindness, especially those that take me out of my comfort zone. But it’s also about the thoughtful everyday little gestures. Especially to those who are part of our day-to-day lives.

Today has been a lovely reminder that all acts of kindness, big or small, showy or low key, deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Hooray 🙂

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by bringing home a library book for my mum.