BBC Radio Nottingham’s kind school visit

A few days after we launched my Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids at Edgewood Nursery and Primary School, the big-hearted folks at BBC Radio Nottingham visited to see how the children (and Sir Mr Seeley) are getting on.

Click here to listen to Part I: 

Click here to listen to Part II: 

A big thanks to presenter to the lovely Mark Dennison – and the BBC Radio Nottingham team – for his brilliant and entertaining chat with the children, and a big round of applause for the amazing trio – Rileyann, Jessica and Louie – for sharing their kindness experiences.

Finally a huge thanks to Mr Seeley and the teachers for embracing my Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids so warmly, and, of course, most importantly an ginormous THANK YOU to all the kind-hearted children of Edgewood School for your wonderful acts of kindness so far.

You really are AMAZING ☆

thank-you1

If you’re feeling inspired to join in with the Kindness Advent Calendar or the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, you can download them both here for free.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #34: A kind school

Over the last year, I’ve been hearing from big-hearted teachers who’ve been using my monthly Kindness Calendars in their classrooms and saying how much the children enjoy following them. So I thought that this year I’d create a special Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, as well as my usual one for grown ups.

A couple of weeks ago, I contacted the headteacher at my nephews’ school – Edgewood Primary and Nursery School – to see if they’d be interested in teaming up and using my calendar in the classrooms… and received a resounding YES!

WooHooo!

Then he invited me into the school to help launch this kindness initiative at their School Assembly on 1st December.

Eeeek!

I haven’t spoken about kindness in front of an audience before, not counting my radio/TV interviews, but this was to be standing in front of 300 children aged between 4 and 11 years.

And I was really hoping they wouldn’t be a tough crowd 🙂

Feeling more and more nervous as the big day approached, I can honestly say that it couldn’t have gone any better – it was absolutely brilliant and my heart is fit to burst.

growing-heart.png

Headteacher Mr Seeley’s passion and enthusiasm for the school, the children, and focusing on the gift of kindness for the month of December, shines through and the school is such a friendly and welcoming place to be.

Before Assembly began, I was treated to a tour of the school, including a walk through the classrooms with some children preparing for their Christmas Faye or writing a Christmas story, while others were rehearsing for their Christmas Performance.

And then all of a sudden, it was time: I was standing in front of 300 pairs of inquisitive eyes and it was my turn to talk.

Gulp!!

After wondering if my talk would engage the children, I was deeply heartened to see that after every single question I invited them to answer (Who likes Christmas? Who has an Advent Calendar at home? What did you get for Day 1? What is kindness to you?) a sea of hands shot up in the air, everyone eager to share their answer.

After sharing my story and introducing the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, the headteacher and I talked about Day 1’s Kindness Act to ‘Share this Calendar with friends to spread kindness’.

KIDS 1st Dec.jpg

This weekend, every child will go home with a copy of the weekly newsletter which includes an explanation about my Kindness Advent Calendar and has the calendar printed on the back:

Edgwood Primary School Newsletter on KACK

And again, when asked who they can share the calendar with, a sea of hands shot up to tell us they will share it with friends, cousins, parents, aunties and uncles…

How fantastic!

We then practiced for Day 2’s Kindness Act to ‘Smile all day’, and it was such a pleasure to see 300 big beautiful smiles and hear the chorus of hellos and consequent giggles.

KIDS 2nd Dec.jpg

I honestly couldn’t have been any happier and am excited to see how they find, and hopefully have fun with, the rest of the kindness acts on the calendar.

Then it was time for the week’s Achievers to come up to the stage and receive their Achiever Certificates and a round of applause from their peers and teachers alike.

This week’s theme being kindness, the children read out why they’d been awarded this prestigious accolade, such as being kind and caring to other children, being helpful, and having a big smile for everyone.

My smile couldn’t have got any bigger, nor my clapping any louder 🙂

The children then filed out of the hall to the tune of Heather Small’s Proud with the apt lyrics “What have you done today to make me feel proud.”.

Perfect.

Later that day, headteacher Mr Seeley emailed to tell me there’s a buzz going around the school about the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, which is just brilliant. I’m really looking forward to popping back in a couple of weeks to see how it’s all going.

And in the meantime, kindness advocates Radio Nottingham are visiting the school next week to chat to the pupils about kindness. It will be played on Mark Dennison’s morning show one day soon – I hope to post the audio here once it goes out.

Unsurprisingly, I’m now back on bed-rest with a CFS symptom flare up and need to take a few quiet days to rest, restore and recuperate from all the excitement and exertion of launching my Kindness Advent Calendars – but of course, it’s all absolutely completely worth it.

☆♡☆

If you’d like to share my Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids with your school, you can download it here for free – just scroll past the one for grown ups! And please do let me know how it goes in the comments below, I always love to hear from you…

Kindness Advent Calendar: December 2017

Hello lovelies ♡

I’m so excited to be launching this year’s Kindness Advent Calendar on World Kindness Day (Monday 13th November).

I have to be admit, I’m still amazed at the incredible response to last year’s Kindness Advent Calendar, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times.

Please forgive me for repeating, but that’s an astonishing HALF A MILLION TIMES!!

WOW!

I’m hugely grateful and excited at the thought of all the extra kindness being spread all over the world.

And it’s all thanks to lovely you, the kind folk who shared the calendar with friends, family, colleagues, on social media, and who joined in all the kindness act advent fun.

This is absolutely proof of the ripple effect of kindness and it really couldn’t have happened without you so THANK YOU.

thank-you-

☆ You really are amazing ☆

I know your acts of kindness make a huge difference and help to brighten others’ day. I also think that particularly during these times of trouble and turmoil, it’s a beautiful way to show there is still good in the world.

So I’d like to invite lovely you and yours to join me spreading a little kindness again this year.

For anyone new to my Kindness Advent Calendars, they work just like a normal advent calendar but instead of the usual chocolate countdown, we are embracing the true spirit of Christmas by doing 24 random acts of festive kindness.

Here’s my Kindness Advent Calendar for 2017:

Kindness Advent Calendar 2017 copy

And you can download it here for FREE: 

Kindness Advent Calendar – December 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.)

NEW Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS

This year, I wanted to add something a little extra, and after receiving lots of requests from parents and teachers alike, and seeing how much my young nephews enjoy helping me with my kindness acts, I’ve created a special Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS to follow.

WooHooo!

It’s such a fun and easy way for teachers and parents to get children involved in spreading a little kindness in the lead up to Christmas, and a lovely way of showing children what a positive impact they can have on the world.

I ran my calendar past a brilliantly talented teacher (thank you lovely Michelle) who gave me some helpful feedback. And I’m very excited to be teaming up with my nephews’ primary school, which should be oodles of fun.

Here’s my Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS for 2017:

KIDS Kindness Advent Calendar 2017.jpg

And you can download it here for FREE: 

Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS: December 2017

If you work with children and need a non-Christmas themed Kindness Calendar, I’ve created a generic Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS.  Please click here to download.

(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.)

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 holiday, so I’ve made 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 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 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 ‘Spreading A Little Kindness’ 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.

Wishing you a dazzling December and a fun festive season, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!

Thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.

Love, Helen
☆♡☆

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

Media Support for my Kindness Advent Calendars:

☆ My local newspaper featured a teaser for my Kindness Advent Calendars. You can read about it here.

☆ On World Kindness Day, I spoke to the very lovely Mark Dennison live on BBC Radio Nottingham about kindness. I was a little nervous and rambled a little bit, but you can listen to it here:

☆ Fellow acts of kindness enthusiast, Travis Mayfield featured my Kindness Advent Calendar on his Seattle’s Morning TV Show Q13 Fox. You can watch the brilliant clip by clicking here.

☆♡☆

IF YOU’D PREFER A NON-CHRISTMAS VERSION, I’VE ADAPTED MY KINDNESS CALENDAR AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE:

Kindness Calendar December 2017 – non-Christmas version

Kindness Calendar for KIDS: generic, non-Christmas version

Hello lovelies,

I’ve received quite a few requests from people who work with children and want to share my Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS – but aren’t allowed to feature it because of the use of the words ‘Advent’ and ‘Christmas’.

So I’ve edited them out of my original Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS and created a generic, non-Christmas version:

KIDS Kindness Calendar 2017 GENERIC.jpg

Kindness Calendar for KIDS – generic, non-Christmas version

☆ IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE CHRISTMAS-THEMED KINDNESS ADVENT CALENDAR FOR KIDS, PLEASE CLICK HERE

☆♡☆

If you’d like a non-Christmas version for grown ups, I’ve added it to the bottom of the main Kindness Advent Calendar blog post here:

Kindness Calendar: November 2017

Hello lovelies and a huge shiny welcome to November ♡

I hope October overflowed with kindness for you, and you are ready to greet this brand new month and all that it brings.

I hope for those of you in the southern hemisphere you’re enjoying the warmer days of spring, and in the northern hemisphere you’re enjoying Mother Nature’s stunning display of autumnal colours, here’s a few snaps I took at my favourite Japanese Garden last week:

Onto some fun and interesting facts about our new month ahead:

  • The name derives from the latin ‘novem’ which means nine, as November was the ninth month of the year in the ancient Roman calendar.
  • November is the only month used to represent a letter in the phonetic alphabet.
  • In 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.
  • This month has two birthstones: Topaz comes in many colours, but it is the orange-yellow topaz that is the traditional birthstone for November. Topaz is a symbol of friendship. Citrine is also a November birthstone. Named after the French word for ‘lemon’, citrine is also yellow-orange in colour and is known to awaken imagination and creativity.
    topaz and citrine.jpg
  • The flower of November is the chrysanthemum. The word comes from the Greek words chrys, meaning golden, the original colour of the chrysanthemum, and anthemum, which means flower. As you can see, the chrysanthemum symbolises optimism and joy: 
  • November’s astrological signs are Scorpio, from 23rd October to 21st November, and Sagittarius which runs from 22nd November to 21st December.
  • If you were born in November you may share a birthday with: 2nd Marie Antoinette; 5th Vivien Leigh; 7th Marie Curie; 11th Leonardo DiCaprio; 12th Grace Kelly; 14th Claude Monet; 17th Martin Scorsese; 18th Mickey Mouse’; 22nd George Eliot and Billie Jean King; 26th Tina Turner; 27th Jimi Hendrix; 30th Mark Twain and Sir Winston Churchill.

    Sources: www.express.co.uk, thoughtco.com, popculturemadness.com, ducksters.com, holidayinsights.com, crystalvaults.com

And here is November’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar - November 2017 FINAL

And you can download it for free here: 

Kindness Calendar: November 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.)

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!

Every single extra act of kindness counts, as together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.. please share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media. 🙂

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.

Wishing you a nourishing November, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well as to others… we are definitely worth it!

Thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.
Love+hugs, Helen ☆♡☆

Kindness Calendar: October 2017

Hello lovelies and Hello to October ♡

I hope you had a Sensational September, sparkling with kindness.

My month was pretty much a washout due to a flare up of CFS symptoms, but after a month of almost complete rest, I’m feeling a little more recharged and hopeful for this brand new month ahead.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, we’ve welcomed autumn in and Mother Nature has already started to put on her spectacular art show…

fullsizeoutput_24c6.jpeg

I’m such a sunshine summer girl, but seeing all the stunning colours of autumn softens the blow a little of summer ending, and I couldn’t help but choose a pretty autumnal leaf design for this month’s kindness calendar.

Here are some interesting facts about the new month ahead: 

  • October received it’s name from the Latin numeral ‘octo’ which means number eight, as in the Roman calendar it was the eighth month.
  • The Anglo-Saxons named it Winterfylleth, which means ‘fullness of winter’ because it had the first full moon of the winter season.
  • This month’s gemstones are the semi-precious stone Opal, known as the Queen of Gems as it encompasses the colours of all the other gems, and Tourmaline which comes in a rainbow of colours – my favourite is Paraiba Tourmaline, a relatively new discovery with striking ocean-like blues and greens.October Birthstones.jpg
  • October’s flower is the Calendula, the common marigold, and symbolises comfort, gratitude, grace and good luck. It’s known for its medicinal and healing properties. marigold trio.jpg
  • Astrologically October starts in Libra (23rd Sept – 22nd Oct) and ends in Scorpio (23rd Oct – 21st Nov)
  • Oktoberfest, which features live music, games, amusement rides, beer tents, and a traditional Bavarian fair, is a 16 day festival which starts late September and ends early October. It began in 1810 when Prince Ludwig of Bavaria invited his people to celebrate his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Believe it or not, the largest beer drinking festival in the world was originally alcohol-free!
  • Halloween began as a Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, which means ‘the end of summer’ . It was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. On All Hallows’ Eve – the night before All Saints’ Day on 1st November – the Celts had a big party, which was all about scaring away the ghosts and spirits. The holiday became popular in the United States when Irish immigrants arrived during the 19th century.
  • More US presidents have been born in October than in any other month: Jimmy Carter, 1st October 1924; Rutherford B. Hayes, 4th October 1822; Chester A. Arthur, 5th October 1829; Dwight D. Eisenhower, 14th October 1890; Theodore Roosevelt, 27th October 1858; and John Adams, 30th October 1735
  • Famous October birthdays include: 2nd Gandhi, 1869; 7th Desmond Tutu, 1931; 8th Jesse Jackson 1941; 9th John Lennon, 1940; 11th Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884; 13th Margaret Thatcher, 1925; 16th Oscar Wilde, 1854; 25th Pablo Picasso, 1881; Hilary Clinton, 1947; 27th Captain James Cook, 1728; and 28th Bill Gates, 1955

sources: bbc.co.uk, express.co.uk, wixonjewelers.com, list-of-birthstones.com, paraibadealers.com, opal by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com, rhsplants.co.uk 

Here is October’s Kindness Calendar:

Kindness Calendar October 2017.jpg

And you can download it for free here: 

Kindness Calendar October 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.)

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.

Kindness Advent Calendar 2017

One final note: as my thoughts start turning towards this year’s Kindness Advent Calendar, I’d love to hear your favourite kindness acts. Which kindness acts would you like to see on this year’s Advent Calendar? Let me know and I’ll do my best to include them. I’m also thinking of including an optional donation of £1/$1 to a charity which promotes kindness – I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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

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

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.

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See you soon,
Love and hugs, Helen Xxx