Happy 2nd Blog-aversary!

Being grateful for my 2 year blog-aversary:

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It’s been two years since I took a big deep breath and clicked ‘publish’ on my first ever post.

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The butterflies were dancing around in my tummy as I finally let myself start this exciting new chapter in my healing journey.

And I could not have imagined how brilliant a journey it’s been so far.

I started writing maketodayhappy.co.uk to do just that by finding the happy in the everyday little things.

Of course, it’s not always easy: there are times when I feel too crap to care. But I gently and kindly let myself feel whatever I’m feeling, knowing that this too shall pass. And then when I’m ready to pick myself up and start again, I look for the little things in my everyday life to be happy about – usually starting with the bed I’m lying in, the curtains that keep the light out, my lovely mum for bringing me cups of tea.

I know it may sound a bit cheesy, but writing this blog has truly been life changing.

Writing about being grateful inspires me to be more grateful. It helps me to notice all the wonderful things I have to be grateful for, even if I’ve had to spend the day in bed because of a symptom flare-up.

Writing about being mindful helps me stay in the present moment more often (it’s still a work-in-progress, but I’m getting better and better at it). It helps me to not get so caught up in my symptoms or the uncertainty around my health and future.

And writing about being kind inspires me to keep spreading a little more kindness whenever and wherever I can. I had no idea how much being a little kinder would have a positive impact on how I feel: kindness really does help the giver as much as the receiver in my experience.

I also had absolutely no idea that my Kindness Calendars would reach so many beautiful people, all around our beautiful planet. My Kindness Advent Calendar post has received an astonishing 1.3 million visitors, which is mind-blowingly fantastic! I would have been on cloud nine just to know I’ve helped inspired one person to do one extra act of kindness! Thinking about everyone who took part – and continues to do so with my monthly Kindness Calendars – fills my heart with such gratitude.  You truly are AMAZING.

Some of my most popular posts over these last two years are:
1. My Kindness Calendar posts
2. Act of kindness #23: World Kindness Day Goody Bags
3. 100 Days of Happy: Day 4: Soul stroll
4. 100 Days of Happy:  Day 71: Yoga every damn day!
5. 100 Days of Happy: Day 87: You’ve been RACK’ed!
6. More Days of Happy: Hello Summer, is that you?
7. More Days of Happy: ME/CFS Awareness Day

Two years on and the butterflies are still there when I click ‘publish’. And to be honest, I never want them to go away, as it shows how much I still care. I love the excitement and trepidation I feel when I write and publish a post.

I’ve really missed writing the last couple of months due to the debilating vertigo and headaches. And I really can’t wait to start writing more posts once I’m well enough.

Finally, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to you for reading my posts. I love hearing from you and truly, madly, deeply appreciate each and every one of your kind comments – they really do inspire me to keep going. Thank you for being the lovely person that you are.

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See you soon,
Love and hugs, Helen Xxx

Happy Blog-aversary

Being grateful for one year of maketodayhappy.co.uk:

[WARNING: this extra long blog post contains a LOT of gushing 🙂 ]

Yay! It’s one year today that I posted my first blog post on maketodayhappy.

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I started my life as a blogger sometime last July and have been meaning to check the exact date for a few weeks now. And this morning I woke up with a strong urge to investigate and discovered it was today!

Hooray!! Love how that happens.

I’m sooooooo thankful I decided to write this blog – it has seriously done me the world of good in so many ways.

I set out to see if I could stop my gradual slide into the deep dark cess pit of self-pity and depression as I was plunging further into the complicated and misunderstood world of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

And I knew I had to find my happy again.

And fast!

I thought it might be quite a challenging task when I spend most days lying in bed too fatigued to move, too brain fogged to think straight, and too fed up to care!

But I had to try, and I’m so glad I did.

Rather than write about the negative issues my health condition brings, I wanted my blog to be a happy positive place to be – for me and for anyone visiting. So I vowed to focus on finding the happy in the everyday little things, through mindfulness, gratitude and kindness.

And to kick it off, I embarked on my 100 Days of Happy project.

I soon realised there are so many things to be happy about:

☆ Watching the wind rustle through the grand sycamore tree outside my bedroom window, listening to the birds sing their happy tunes, witnessing a magnificent sunrise or sunset. How can you not be happy when you focus on the magnificence of Mother Nature?

☆ Enjoying every single moment I get to spend with my young nephews, even though spending more than half an hour at a time with either – or both of them – wipes me out. To be able to share in their joy and wonder of life, to play mindfully with them, getting lost in their world. I’ve discovered how children are such wonderful teachers of how to live in the present moment.

☆ Focusing on all the little things that I can do rather than the things I cannot. Instead of being grumpy that I can no longer go on a weekend hike, I’m grateful that I can take short soul strolls around my neighbourhood, make friends with local dogs, admire the flowers and the scentalicious rose garden, listen to the babbling brook.

☆ I’m grateful to have found my tribe on Happier. Making like-minded friends from all around the world who always brighten my day, provide unlimited support, and inspire me to keep looking for the happy.

☆ And I’m deeply grateful for the love and support of my family and friends who have continued to be there for me, even if my condition isn’t always easy to understand – which I know can be crazily difficult and I don’t always understand it myself! My mum has been such a superstar, she is my rock and my heart is so full of gratitude for her unwavering love, care and support.

I’m so thankful that I have so much to be grateful for!

I’ve discovered how life-changing it can be to open your eyes to everything we have to be grateful for, even with a debilitating chronic health condition.

In my experience over this past year, I’ve discovered that being mindful and being grateful go hand-in-hand, they are such a powerful duo in our quest for happiness.

And kindness makes it a powerful trio.

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When I decided to start carrying out small acts of kindness, I had no idea what a huge part of my recovery journey it would become:

♡ I love hiding kindness cards around my community for people to come across. I love putting together little goody bags, hoping they bring joy to the recipients. And I love sharing inspirational kindness stories and quotes on my Facebook page ‘spreading little kindness’.

♡ I never imagined how doing one small act of kindness could have such a positive impact on another human being. While doing most of them anonymously, it’s always such a treat to hear from people who’ve found one of my Kindness Cards or Kindness Goody Bags; it really warms my heart and inspires me to keep going (for one emotional example, check out the comment in this blog post).

♡ I never imagined how passionate I would become about spreading kindness, how it has become my mission, and how the local newspaper and radio station would pick up on this mission.

♡ And I never imagined how much of a positive effect doing acts of kindness would have on me. My intention has always been to try and make other people smile, and I honestly didn’t expect to feel as happy as I do when I’m planning and carrying out kindness acts. It’s an unexpected bonus and the old adage that the giver benefits as much as the receiver is very much true in my case.

A lovely friend wisely noted that I’m healing through kindness. And I couldn’t agree more.

And to dear lovely YOU. Thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog. And extra big thanks for your comments, likes and shares. Whether this is your first visit or you’ve come along on this journey with me, I deeply appreciate you.

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It’s always lovely to see you and knowing you’re out there helps to keep me going, especially on the darker days; it’s not all sunshine and sparkles, but it’s all part of life and for that I have learnt to be grateful.

So, here I am, one year on.

I’m truly more mindful, more grateful and more passionate about kindness. I’m not sure what lies ahead, but for now I think I’ll keep on making today happy.

Much love to you,
A happier Helen Xxx

ps I hope you enjoy reading about my journey to make today happy, and if you’ve been inspired in any way to make your today happy too, I’d love to hear from you (in the comments below).