Day 6: A cheery note or two

Being kind by sending a cheerful postcard to a friend or two:

A couple of friends are having a tough time at the moment, and I wanted to do something to make them smile.

I thought I’d send them both this gorgeous ‘Hello Sunshine’ postcard. I have the same one on my bedroom mirror, and never fails to cheer me up whenever I look at it.

After writing a little message on the back, I posted them with heartfelt love and smiles. Hopefully it will be a nice surprise when the postie delivers them in a couple of days.

I think that’s such a shame that sending someone a hand-written letter is practically non-existent these days. As we have become a technology-based society and a increasing number of our social connections are conducted online.

I used to LOVE handwriting letters to my childhood penfriends. At one point I was firing off letters to friends in the US, Canada and Germany. Plus an old schoolfriend who moved down south when we were 8 yrs old. I remember the absolute excitement of receiving a letter through the postbox and devouring it many times, word by word.

Nowadays, we can have instant connections with friends all over the world through emails, texts and social media, and that still blows my mind.

I’m forever grateful to be able to keep in touch so easily with the friends I’ve made on my travels. But nothing beats receiving a hand-written letter or card in the post.

So, with that in mind, my happy today is to make a couple of friends smile by sending each a cheerful postcard.

Day 5: Riding the CFS wave

Being grateful that I’m learning to accept my condition with love and grace:

Today I woke up feeling utterly and completely wiped out.

I guess it’s no surprise really as I’ve overdone it the last couple of days.

Following my recent ‘blip’, after some stress and a nasty ear infection, my recovery has taken a couple of steps back and I need to take things much more slowly.

Accepting CFS has not been an easy journey. At all. It’s still a work-in-progress but I feel I am definitely getting there. I’ve fought this condition long and hard for too long. Which is no surprise as it’s been completely debilitating and has changed my life drastically.

Progress is painfully slow. Just when I think I’ve taken a small step forward, I have a ‘blip’ (my positive word for ‘crash’) and take a few steps back. But rather than react like it’s blooming frustrating, which it is, I’m trying to ride the wave.

It also reminds me of the advice for when caught in a riptide – if you panic you use up all your energy and it gets you nowhere, but if you stay calm and go with it, you will eventually end up where you’re supposed to be: to safety.

I’m learning to trust the process and go with the flow. I’ve learnt to listen to my body and know when I need to have a bedrest day. And that’s perfectly ok.

This too shall pass.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is accepting my CFS condition and today’s ‘blip’ with love and grace.

Day 1: A happier me

Being kind to myself by committing to this project and becoming a happier me:

Eeek! My first day. And I’ve no idea what to write.

OK Helen, take a deep breath in… and out… that’s better.

Sooooo, here I am: embarking on my 100 days of happy project.

I think I want to kick off this project by being grateful that I’ve decided to do it! That I am committing to my quest to being a happier me.

Doing a project like this has been on my mind for quite a while and I’ve been inspired by the 100 days challenges that have been popping up recently.

Happiness means different things to different people. For me it’s about feeling more positive, being content with my life, being the best friend/daughter/sister/auntie I can be, improving my health, and simply, because it feels good. I say a big fat YES to all of the above! Life is too short to be unhappy.

So, after a bit of digging to look for inspiration on how to carry out this project, I came across ‘The Happiness Challenge’ workbook – (a collaboration by Action for Happiness and Headspace to support a feature on happiness by BBC Breakfast in January 2011).

It gives me a good starting point and suggests three simple actions to try in my daily life: being mindful – do less and notice more; being grateful – remember the good things, and being kind – do things for others. It also has great ideas and suggestions with questions to answer and sections to complete – making it easy to track changes you experience.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind to myself by committing to this project and being a happier me.