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

Act of kindness #32: Lovely letters

Over the last few days, I’ve been writing letters for the ‘One Million Lovely Letters Exhibition’.

The organiser, big-hearted Jodi Ann Bickley, started her One Million Lovely Letters project with the simple but gorgeous idea to send a lovely letter to anyone who needs a little lift.

It’s become a huge success and she has written and sent oodles and oodles of lovely letters to people all over the world.

Now, she is asking for help.

Jodi’s first exhibition is at Centrala in Digbeth, Birmingham (UK) from 10th April.  And she’d like folks to write a ‘Dear You’ letter to be included in the exhibition.

As Jodi explains, they need to be “letters of positivity that will be put up in the exhibition that any one that visits will be able to read and take the letter they feel speaks to them at that specific moment in time”.

The theme of this exhibition is “A letter to my younger self; a letter full of hope to a stranger or a letter of guidance to a younger, lost you.”

Lovely Letters FB post.png

It’s such a brilliant idea, I couldn’t resist writing and sending a few lovely letters…

Lovely you letters.JPG

Here’s the info with the address if you fancy sending a letter or two to be included in one of Jodi’s fabulous exhibitions.

Or if you’d like to receive a letter from Jodi, or would like to nominate someone who’d appreciate one, please send an email with the address and reason to: onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #31: Birthday Giveaway

Today is my birthday, hooray!

And to celebrate, I’m giving away 3 copies of ‘The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around The World’*  by Leon Logothetis.

29th Kindness Diaries Bday Giveaway

It’s also my little way of saying a big THANK YOU for all your kindness and support, it really means a lot.

For your chance to win, simply comment on this post.

That’s it 🙂

To double your chances and get TWO entries, finish this sentence in the comments:

“Kindness is __________”

The winners – one each from here, my ‘Spreading a little kindness’ Facebook community page, and on Twitter – will be chosen at random on Friday and posted in the comments below.

Please make sure you’ve subscribed to my blog, so I can contact you if you’re a winner.

Good luck my lovelies.

☆♡☆

The Kindness Diaries is an inspiring true story of how Leon Logothetis “circumnavigated the globe on his vintage yellow motorbike Kindness One, giving life changing gifts along the way to unsuspecting good Samaritans. All of this whilst relying on the kindness of strangers. The Kindness Diaries will introduce you to a world of adventure, renew your faith in the bonds that connect people, and inspire you to accept and generate kindness in your own life.”

Act of kindness #30: Litter picking

A kind-hearted Facebook friend recently wrote this post on her inspiring kindness page:

Ally's Post about Litter.png

And it really hit home. HARD!

I completely identified with the first part of the post:

“We were walking home and I walked past a whole lot of litter that was left from the parade that was on in the week. Guess what I thought? ‘the council didn’t do a very good job cleaning up afterwards, that’s a real mess at the top of my street’ AND I KEPT ON WALKING… yep. I walked past it.”

Yep, whenever I see litter, I say to myself how awful it is, and I keep on walking. And I imagine most people do the very same.

But now, I want to identify with the second part of Ally’s post:

“Then I thought, actually I keep harping on “Be the change in the world” and wondered how many other people had walked past this litter. I turned around, and walked back and with that thought in mind, I had a small plastic bag in my bag, and with Roux [Ally’s dog] on her leash (more hindrance than help) I picked up the litter.”

So rather than tut-tutting about the amount of litter I see strewn around my neighbourhood and feeling outrage at the person/s responsible for the rubbish, I will simply pick it up.

[image: downtownarlington.org]

It’s that easy!

Due to a CFS symptom flare up, I haven’t been feeling well enough to go out for a soul stroll these past few days (my kindness calendar suggested this act for Tuesday) but today, I felt up to taking a gentle walk around my neighbourhood.

And before I set off, I stuffed an empty bag into my coat pocket, ready to pick up any litter I came across.

Like this…

IMG_7529.JPG

And this…

IMG_7530.jpg

At one point a woman walking her dog shouted to me over the brook: “What are you doing?”. When I explained, she replied: “Thank goodness there are people like you in the world!” and came over for a little natter.

As I came back home I picked up a little litter in our front garden, and came across my dad’s peugeot car badge which he thought had disappeared forever! We’re guessing it had come loose and had been  blown onto the garden.

peugeot car badge.JPG

Result!!

So from my 10 minute stroll around the green space near my home, this is my haul…

IMG_7536.JPG

IMG_7539.JPG

I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised how much I found.

Just think, if every person in the world picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 7 billion fewer pieces of litter in the world. If every person in the world picked up just 10 pieces of litter today, there would be over 70 billion fewer pieces of litter. And if we did this every day, my mind boggles at the number of fewer pieces of litter around our communities!!

And the good news is that we don’t even have to make a massive effort to do this.

Here are my 3 favourite tips I’ve gathered from litter picking campaigns:

1. Watch and share this inspiring video:
keepbritaintidy.org

2. “You can make a big difference by ‘adopting’ somewhere and committing to litter pick it on a regular basis, say once every 2-3 weeks.”
litterheroes.co.uk

3. 7 Keys for a Successful Cleanup Project

1) be willing to do the activity alone, and enjoy it
2) make the time, place and duration explicitly clear to everyone you tell about it

3) INVITE people. Don’t coerce, try to sell it to them, or overly control their participation. When invited, most people will bring something to the clean up effort that really makes really work.
4) keep it simple. Cleaning up trash is easy. All you need are garbage bags, places to put the trash, and gloves (rakes and shovels can’t hurt either!) Tell potential participants that these are the raw materials, but bring enough yourself to cover half-a-dozen people who come without .
5) have fun doing it. After all, you and everyone else will be actively making the world a better place… really.
6) tell lots of people, including the press. Just call them up and tell them what, when, where you are doing what you are doing. Even if you wind up alone out there, you will still peak interest, and people may want to join you next time.
7) remind people and yourself that what you are doing matters by telling incidents and specifics about how it matters to you. Just the simple truth will inspire others.
litterproject.com

Thank you Ally for inspiring me to spread a little kindness around my neighbourhood to help make my community a better, cleaner place to be.

☆♡☆