Happy 2nd Blog-aversary!

Being grateful for my 2 year blog-aversary:


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


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.


See you soon,
Love and hugs, Helen Xxx

Day 97: Colouring in

Being mindful while colouring in:

One of the best things I added to my healing tool kit last year, was colouring in.

I even remember how I first heard about ‘art therapy’ aka colouring in for adults. It was featured on a TV show around a year ago as a way of reducing stress and anxiety.

I remember it so clearly, how it was one of those lightbulb moments, where my whole being (and inner child) shouted out: “What a brilliant idea! I want to do that.”

I couldn’t wait for the next time I was in the city, when I could pop into the book shop to buy my first adult colouring book.

A few days later I was excitedly clutching my first purchase and couldn’t wait to get back home to begin what has become one of my favourite mindfulness practices.

I am seriously hooked.

As the activity has grown in popularity and adult colouring books are still topping the best seller charts, my portfolio of colouring books and pencils has grown exponentially too.

I love the process of choosing which illustration I’m going to colour in; I get all my lovely books out and see which one I’m drawn to that day. I have such a great selection to choose from: mantras and expressions, nature-focused images, soothing mandalas, and even a book centred around one of my favourite seaside cities, Brighton.

adult colouring books

A brilliant tip I heard early on was to photocopy the picture I’m going to colour in. This means that I can enjoy colouring in my fave image again at a later date.  It also means that I can put the finished artwork on my wall, which I tend to do if it’s a mantra. And the anal part of me does it just in case I don’t like my colour choice and I can start again (which I haven’t had to do so far!).  Win! Win! Win!

Happiness is a choice

I love choosing the colours too and am mindful of not getting stressed about which colours to use, as this kind of defeats the whole object! Sometimes I like to pick a colour theme: seaside shades, the bright happy colours of India, variations on one or two colours, or a complete experimentation. I sometimes like to play lucky dip and whatever colour comes out of my tin is the one I use for the next bit.

Brighton Pavilion
I find colouring powerfully healing. It only takes a few moments before I feel myself forgetting about everything else and relaxing into it. And I just love how it helps keep my mind focused on the present moment.

harlequin snail

I’m so thankful that this fun activity with its therapeutic and soothing qualities has made such a comeback: love live adult colouring in!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while colouring in.

Day 10: Tapping my way to health

Being mindful in my daily tapping meditations:

A very kind friend has gifted me a 7 week online tapping course and I am so grateful.

The course has been going for a week now, and I absolutely love it already.

I first became aware of tapping, also known as EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – about 3-4 years ago, but thought it a little woo-woo even for me!

For the uninitiated, EFT is gently tapping on the body’s energy meridian points using your fingertips, to help release physical and emotional pain.

I’ve been tapping sporadically for a couple of years now, but started using it regularly just over a year ago. I had a number of sessions last year at CFS holistic recovery specialists, The Optimum Health Clinic, and EFT is recommended as a key recovery tool.

However, it’s only since this course started that I’ve been tapping every single day. There’s morning, daytime and evening tapping meditations, each being around 15 minutes long. Plus lots of other material to get stuck into: webinar’s, Q+A sessions, and bonus classes and meditations.

I find daily tapping incredibly powerful and am already starting to feel the benefits.

I’m having some real emotional releases and shifts, and it’s not unusual for me to cry during a session. But that’s ok. Sometimes I laugh, or shout, and I’m even yawn a LOT… apparently these are all signs of energy shifting.

It’s fascinating stuff, and I intend to continue for the 7 weeks and beyond. Tapping has already become a regular daily practice and a key element in my recovery tool kit.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful in my daily tapping meditations.


Day 4: Soul stroll

Being mindful by going for a walking meditation around my neighbourhood:

I’ve come to deeply appreciate my walking meditations, a stroll around the neighbourhood that fill my soul with joy.

I’ve always enjoyed a good walk; it’s one of the things I miss the most since becoming unwell.

I used to go on long walks all the time: coastal tracks, forest hikes and countryside strolls. Living in Australia, I’d often start the day with a walk by the sea, and take an invigorating power walk at lunchtimes.

I love being outside and was feeling pretty depressed about being cooped up in the house – mainly in my bedroom – all day long, every day.

As part of my recovery plan, I started taking short walking meditation around my neighbourhood. I was resistant to the idea at first, wondering how I could possibly enjoy a walk around the houses?! How could it begin to measure up to my Aussie daily coastal walks?

I gave it a go, and soon discovered the perfect circuit. Needing to start slow, this takes around 10 minutes, and has nature to admire in abundance to admire: including a green open space with a brook running through it, magnificent trees and bushes, flowers and birds.

Most days, if wellness allows, I walk this circuit and try to tune out my thoughts and focus on my senses instead.

On this perfect English summer day, I saw the birds perched in the magnificent trees as the branches swayed in the breeze, the winding brook that is now low in water, the dogs playing happily together while their owners watched on, the colourful flowers in full bloom, and the sweeping hills and farmers’ fields in the distance.

I listened to the birds chirping, the dogs barking excitedly, their owners chatting, and the wind gently rustling the leaves on the trees.

I felt the coolness of the gentle wind against my skin, the warmth of the sun shining down, and the tickling of the long uncut grass on my feet and ankles.

It was pure bliss and I arrived back home feeling happy and grateful that I took the time to appreciate all that Mother Nature has to offer.

So with that in mind, my happy for today is being mindful by going for a walking meditation around my neighbourhood.