Kindness Calendar: September 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello to Sensational September ♡

I really hope your August was truly amazing and was brimming with kindness.

It’s been a busy but fun-filled month here with having my nephews during the school holidays. My energy levels have taken quite a battering and I’m having a little relapse, but I’ve had some lovely times and precious memories to hold dear in my heart.

After such positive feedback about August’s fun facts, I thought I’d find some about September:

  • Its name comes from ‘septum’, the Latin for seven, as it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar, and originally had only 29 days.
  • September is the only month with the same number of letters in its name as the number of the month: it is the ninth month and has nine letters.
  • The sacred sapphire is this month’s birth stone and is known for its wisdom and royal connections. A symbol of power and strength, wise judgment and kindness (yay!), this gorgeous blue gem – which also comes in green, pink, purple, clear, and even black – is believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight.Shades-of-Sapphire.png
  • This month has passionate birth flowers: the daisy-like Aster, a symbol of powerful love and once burned to ward off serpents; the trumpet-shaped Morning Glory, a symbol of affection but you have to be early in the day to catch them bloom; and Forget-Me-Nots which represent love and memories, and a gift of these pretty little flowers symbolises true love. september birth flowers.jpg
  • In this month in 1900 the Wizard of Oz was first published; in 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered the drug Penicillin, while Disney favourite Mickey Mouse made his first debut; and in 1948, The United Nation’s World Health Organisation was founded.
  • September marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern hemisphere.
  • In the UK, September 26 is the most common birthday for people born in the last 20 years, and on an average September day more babies are born in the US than on a day in any other month.
  • This month’s zodiac signs are earth-sign Virgo (August 23-September 22) and air-sign Libra (September 23-October 22) and those born in September share a birth month with: 4th Beyonce Knowles; 7th Queen Elizabeth I; 9th Michael Bublé; 10th Karl Lagerfeld; 13th Roald Dahl; 15th Agatha Christie; 16th Lauren Bacall; 18th Greta Garbo; 21st Stephen King, Leonard Cohen; 22nd Andrea Bocelli; 23rd Bruce Springsteen; 24th F. Scott Fitzgerald; 26th Ivan Pavlov, T. S. Eliot; 28th Brigitte Bardot, Confucius; 30th Truman Capote; and many many more.

* Sources: navneetgems.com crystalvaults.com, almanac.com, express.co.uk

Here is September’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar September 2017 new

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – September 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click here to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

This month’s kindness quote comes from the inspirational Louise Hay, who sadly passed away this week. Louise has had a profoundly positive impact on my life, and I thought it would be a lovely tribute to make her part of this month’s calendar ♡

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, 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.

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

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. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

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

Have an SENSATIONAL SEPTEMBER and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.
☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: August 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello to Amazing August ♡

I hope your July was joyful, jovial and jubilant!

I’m still struggling with a CFS symptom flare-up, and am thanking my past self for creating this month’s Kindness Calendar in advance, making the most of those short snippets of time whenever I had some energy.

Here are some fun facts about our new month ahead:

  • In the early Roman calendar August was the 6th month and was called Sextilis. When it became the 8th month of the year, it was renamed August after Augustus Caesar in honour of the founder of the Roman Empire
  • August never starts on the same day as any other month except on a leap year, when it starts on the same day as February
  • This month’s flowers are the poppy and the gladioulus (gladioli) – whose name derives from the Latin ‘gladius’ which means sword after its sword-shaped leaves
  • August has two birthstones: one of the oldest known gemstones the olive/lime peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune, and said to possess healing properties, and the reddish zebra-striped sardonyx which is used for courage, happiness, and clear communication, and can provide strength and protection
  • One of the most popular months for birthdays, those born in August fall under the sun zodiac signs of dramatic, creative and outgoing Leo, and loyal, hardworking and analytical Virgo. Famous birthdays include: Mother Teresa; Alfred Tennyson; Enid Blyton; Dorothy Parker; US Presidents – Bill Clinton, Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama; Tony Bennet; Madonna; Louis Armstrong; Sean Connery; Robert Redford; Coco Chanel; and Usain Bolt
  • It was during the month of August that women won the right to vote, India became independent, Hawaii became a state, and World War II ended
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963
  • In the Northern Hemisphere it’s said that: “If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming Winter will be snowy and long.” – unknown. And in the Southern Hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere
  • There will be a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on 7th August which may highlight emotions, home life and partners, and a New Moon Solar Eclipse on 21st August, an ideal time for a fresh start.

Here is August’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar August 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar August 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving post this by email, please click here to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, 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.

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

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. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

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

Have an AMAZING AUGUST and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #33: Vending machine goodies

I’ve been itching to do this kindness act for quite a while now, and have been waiting for the opportunity.

I was inspired after seeing how an anonymous donor left free treats in a vending machine at Christie’s cancer hospital in Manchester (see here). I’ve left money taped to a public vending machine before, but this is different.

I wanted to find a vending machine frequently used by the doctors, nurses and staff in a hospital. And today as I had a hospital appointment, l finally got that chance.

After my appointment, I set about searching for a vending machine staff which used, but was told that there are only vending machines in public areas.

And I really wanted the hardworking hospital staff to benefit from this act of kindness.

So I kept asking.

Eventually, someone overheard me talking to the main receptionist and suggested I try the theatre reception, as she thought there was a vending machine which the public didn’t have access too – but warned I may have difficultly being allowed into the ‘staff only’ area.

Bingo!

So back up the long corridor I went in search of the theatre reception, but got a little confused by all the different signs and entrances. Then, I saw a nurse about to go into the theatre area and thought I’d ask her for help.

As she turned around, I realised it was an old childhood friend I haven’t seen in oodles of years!

What are the odds!!

She works in theatre and was just returning from a meeting. As I explained my kindness mission, she kindly let me go with her into the ‘staff only’ area and stayed with me throughout.

WooHoo!!!!

I bought a selection of chocolate bars and stuck a note on the front to explain why there are goodies lying in the bottom of the machine.

vending machine

vending machine close up

My friend took a photo and emailed it to the theatre department to let them know. I hope a few of them got to enjoy a sweet snack on this rainy Tuesday afternoon, and know that they are very much appreciated for the incredible job that they do.

☆♡☆

ps if you found one of the snacks, I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

Happy 2nd Blog-aversary!

Being grateful for my 2 year blog-aversary:

number-two-birthday-candle-12938775

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

publish.jpg

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.

thank-you-.gif

See you soon,
Love and hugs, Helen Xxx

Kindness Calendar: July 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello July ♡

First of all I’d like to say a big warm THANK YOU for all your wonderful well wishes and kind words.

I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to respond to every lovely message – I’m still having to keep my screen time down to an absolute minimum, but please know that each and every message is warmly received and deeply appreciated.

Hearing from you really does brighten my day, especially when I’m having to spend the day lying in a dark, quiet room as I journey through these new debilitating symptoms of vertigo and headaches.

Unfortunately, I still have the symptoms. Although I did enjoy a short respite when my GP gave me some temporary medication to see if it would help.

Although I prefer not to take this kind of medication if I can help it – I’ll always choose to explore natural healing methods first – I was persuaded to give it a go as I so desperately wanted the dizziness to stop.

I was given a week’s supply, and it seemed to work… but when I finished the packet, the symptoms soon came back.

So I’m currently exploring possible causes (eye strain, inner ear imbalance, trapped/damaged nerve), but I’ve also read that vertigo and headaches are common symptoms of CFS. So I may have to simply accept them and gracefully ride this wave.

During my symptom-free week, I felt well enough to gently and slowly create July’s Kindness Calendar, being mindful of keeping screen time short and sweet.

And so without further ado, here it is… my Kindness Calendar for July 2017:

Kindness Calendar July 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar: July 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving post this by email, please click to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, 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.

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

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. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

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

Have an JOY-FILLED JULY and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: June 2017

Hello lovelies

Unfortunately I’ve not been well enough to create a Kindness Calendar for June.

I’ve been experiencing strong headaches and vertigo-type symptoms for a few weeks now, and even the shortest amount of screen-time brings these debilitating symptoms on (it’s taken me a few minutes a day over a few days to write this teensy weensy post!).

It’s pretty frustrating, scary and isolating, but I’m hoping with enough rest, a little time and oodles of gentle loving patience, this too shall pass.

If you’d like to spread a little kindness in June, I have a few ideas:

  1. Check out my previous Kindness Calendars and pick out your favourite kindness acts from each, or even redo your favourite month

    Kindness Calendars Collage Dec-May.jpg

  2. Make up your own acts of kindness (I’d love to hear about them)

  3. Be spontaneous with your acts of kindness. Look out for opportunities to be kind to others throughout the day

And please don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Have a truly Joyful June and see you next month.

Thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

Going blue for M.E./CFS

Feeling grateful for M.E./CFS Awareness Day:

Today – 12th May – is M.E./CFS Awareness Day, and as a sufferer of this debilitating condition, I wanted to write a little post.

I’m going to keep this short, as I much prefer to focus my limited energy on being grateful, being mindful and being kind, which is what Make Today Happy is all about.

And to be honest, I’m struggling with very fuzzy brain fog this week and am finding it hard to write and be articulate.

But I do believe it’s important to spread the word, to help raise awareness, to hopefully help more people understand this often misunderstood illness a little bit better.

The theme for this year’s Awareness Day is #GoBlueforME…

Go-Blue-for-ME-poster-copy-2.jpeg

And I couldn’t resist having a little fun with it…

Going blue for ME.jpg

Blue Hair for CFS Chrome with logo.jpg

If you’d like to read more about this condition, here’s a few of my favourite clips and articles which are helping to spread awareness of M.E./CFS:

1. Action for M.E.’s 3 minute awareness raising video which talks about what M.E. is, the challenges people with M.E. face, and the science behind the illness. Watch it here:

2. The Huffington Post wrote a great feature on the ’10 important things people with M.E. want you to know’. Read about it here.

3. Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian talks about his long-term experience of living with M.E./CFS. Watch it here.

4. Anne Brennan writes so eloquently and informatively about what it’s like to have M.E. Read it here.

5. The Guardian asks if CFS is finally being taken seriously. Read about it here.

6. “#MillionsMissing is a movement to raise awareness for M.E., an underfunded and ignored disease. On May 12th, 2017  13 cities in seven countries will demand change. We  ask for increased government funding for research, clinical trials, medical education and public awareness.” Find out more here.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: May 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello to Magnificent May ♡

Here are some fun facts about May:

  1. Thе name Mау is believed to generate frоm Mаіа, the Greek goddess of fertility. She also hарреnѕ tо bе thе Goddess of Spring аnd Grоwth.
  2. May’s birthstone is the emerald which symbolises love and success.
  3. The flower for May is Lily of the Valley. In the “language of flowers”, the lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness. Legend tells of the affection of a Lily of the Valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May.
  4. No other month begins or ends on the same day of the week during the year as May does.
  5. May Day – the first day of the month – marks the halfway point between the northern hemisphere’s first day of spring and the summer solstice.
  6. Sоmе Nаtіvе Amеrісаn tribes called the Mау full moon Thе Full Flоwеr Mооn, The Cоrn Plаntіng Mооn or thе Mіlk Mооn.
  7. According to old superstitions, you should not buy a broom, wash blankets or get married in May: “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day”!!

[Facts courtesy of nationaldaycalendar.com and thestudyabroadportal.com]

Here is May’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar May 2017

And you can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – May 2017

(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click here or come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, 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.

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

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. 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

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

Have an MARVELLOUS MAY and thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

☆♡☆

You can download May’s Kindness Calendar here:

Kindness Calendar – May 2017

Bed Yoga

Being grateful for discovering the wonderful world of yummy bed yoga:

I’ve written a few times about how yoga has been a huge part of my life for many years now (see here, here, and here).

When I’m practicing regularly, I feel its amazing benefits on my mind, body and spirit. I feel calmer and more present, I feel stronger and more flexible, my posture is better, my sleep improves, and it makes my heart smile so big.

I’ve also found that regular practice helps ward off my lower back pain. And not hearing a peep from my lower back is a great incentive to keep rolling out the mat alone!

However, one of the most frustrating aspects of this debilitating and rollercoaster of a ride called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – and of that there are many – is that it’s not always possible to practice daily or weekly, or sometimes even monthly.

As this health condition forces me to be pretty much sedentary most of the time, after a while I can feel my lower back pain starting to edge its way back.

So I try to get back on the mat, if it’s possible. But sometimes, actually most of the time, the mere thought of getting up, moving things around so I can fit my yoga mat in my bedroom, and putting on one of my yoga DVDs on makes me feel exhausted before I’ve even started!

And so I push the idea away, and hope my lower back pain goes away soon. But it never does and I usually have to wait until I feel up to a light yoga session.

Thankfully I’ve come to realise that yoga doesn’t have to be a big, long, challenging session. It can also be short and sweet and super gentle.

Especially now I’ve discovered I came across bed yoga.

WooHooooooo!! What a utterly brilliant revelation!

I found it by accident while browsing through youtube for gently yoga sessions, and discovered bed yoga was an actual thing. It’s literally gentle stretching you can do while lying on, or even in, your bed.

How marvellous!

And so I decided to give it a go. No pressure. If it was too much, I’d thank myself for trying and put bed yoga away for another day.

Thankfully, I’m finding the short’n’sweet sessions sublimely gentle and better still, I can usually manage them.

Despite feeling exhausted and wiped out, it feels so good to gently stretch my body before bedtime, easing my back pain and easing me into sleep.

So I’ve decided to try another #YogaEveryDamnDay in May.

May Yoga Challenge.png

I loved the first one I did about 18 months ago and want to get myself back into a regular practice.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO SELF: I give myself permission to skip a day or two or three if I don’t feel well enough.

Not only this gentle practice help keep my sore back at bay, I know that it will keep my spirits high, my mind at peace, and my body nourished as I continue on this healing journey from CFS.

☆♡☆

 

For anyone interested in trying some gentle bed yoga sessions, here are a few I’ve found and enjoyed so far:

1. Bed Yoga by Aroga Yoga (specially created for people living with chronic illnesses and pain)

Bed yoga aroga.png

2. 10 Minute Gentle Yoga in Bed by Candace (she has quite a few lovely videos)

Bed Yoga by candace .png

3. 10 minute Bed Yoga for Beginners by Sjana Earp (I want her bed cover set!)

bed yoga sjana.png

4. Bed Time Yoga to Help You Sleep by Dashama (she always makes me smile and also have a great session for lower back pain)

Bed yoga Dashama.png

5. Bedtime Yoga for Deep Sleep by Siya Yoga (this is really soothing)

bed yoga siya .png
If you find know of or find any different bed yoga sessions, I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below…

Kindness Calendar: April 2017

Hello lovelies ♡

I hope you had the most Marvellous March and are enjoying the change of season, whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere.

As a warmer weather, lighter days, kind of girl, I’m delighted to be seeing all the signs of spring here in the UK (although at the time of writing it’s misty and drizzly but you get my drift!!).

And so April is upon us, and with Easter being on its way, my Kindness Calendar for this month is eggstra-special 🙂

Kindness Calendar April 2017 teaser

You can download it for free here:

Kindness Calendar – April 2017

(Please note if you kindly subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)

As always, I try to make the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.

You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, 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.

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

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 🙂

Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.

And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page on Facebook, or Twitter and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.

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

Have an AMAZING APRIL and  EGG-STRAORDINARY EASTER.

Thank you so much for your kindness.

☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar – April 2017