Ways I Have Shown Kindness This Week

As I’ve said before, it’s nice to be nice isn’t it?

When I thought about this blog post, I thought ‘there’s probably a couple of bits I can pull together. I’ll really put the effort in next week’. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was surprised that there were more ways than I realised.

My job involves kindness; it could be argued that kindness is at the core of the role and it is practiced so often that the gratitude gets lost. However, I have not been at work this week, does that mean I am kind from within? It is an unconscious way of my life?


The previous 8 days

Kindness to family

I arranged to meet with my Nana on Wednesday. The planned project was to ‘sort the shed‘. To organize it, to weed through obsolete items, rearrange existing items. It was to take a few hours; 10am-4pm was set aside.

282695_2060574711446_1385411_n

I arrived at 10am, prepared with old clothes and garden gloves. A hot cross bun…just in case. As I got out of the car I greeted her gardener/friend, she really had got the outdoor team together this morning. I joined immediately, she had already started…cleaning. Who cleans objects that live in their shed?! I did the heavy work, lifted and shifted the tiles (tiles in the shed?), heaved numerous boxes up the steps to the ‘sorting table’, relocated the paint tubs, the compost and gravel. Nana helped as her ageing body allowed, she lightened the boxes, carried the lighter items, cleaned (cleaned?).

There was a lunch break, a couple of rehydration stops, take the weight off your feet pauses. During these breaks, small projects continued. I put back together the windchime. Patience was necessary.

 

Slowly we made progress. We made a good team. The tools were sorted…methodically. It pleased us both. It was decided that unneeded tools would be given to a charity that refurbishes these and uses them in the UK and East Africa to aid vocational training projects. See Workaid for an example of this.


After some hoovering of mats (?!), it was project put back. Everything had a place and would make for easier reaching. There were fewer trip hazards and it was more inviting.

 

The shed looked good…that was probably due to the cleaning.

 

I drove my Mum to the cinema to see a film of her choice. We saw ‘A Royal Night Out’, it was enjoying. An uplifting film that did not require much thought. Perfect.

Kindness to my fake twin, my best friend and housemate

I’m not brilliant at empathy or even sympathy; self-confessed. I am improving these with the young people that I work with, but in a more personal setting there is a long way to go. What I am good at, is practical support. Their clothes wash, cooking dinner, the cleaning. This form of support is most definitely in my genes from my Dad.

Kindness to animals

Does this count?

The school guinea pig came to stop with me this week (you can read about his experience here). I can’t say I’m knowledgeable about guinea pigs, I know the basics but not to guru level. Cue googling. We had decided that Jerry had put weight on since his housemate had passed away, there was no one to run around and share food with. Google – healthy snacks for guinea pigs, what shouldn’t guinea pigs eat?, how much food/snacks should they have?  And his monitored eating started. His vegetables were vitamin heavy and the correct amount of each one per week. If I was eating clean, he would be too. It was in his best interest.

IMG_6973-0

We did try increasing his exercise level, but I can’t say it went well for either of us, as recounted in the review blog linked above. We both ended up under my bed, neither of us able to move effectively.

Jerry even got a new water bottle this week. A smaller size than he is used too, but this means he will have fresh water more often. Best of all, there is no leaking! His bedding (in that area) now remains dry.

He’s had a quieter week but he seems to have enjoyed that.

 
Kindness to myself

Does this count? Being kind to yourself?

This week I have increased my self-respect for my body. My diet has been clean, hydrated, my exercise consistent. I can feel the appreciation, my body is thanking me. It has not been sluggish, bloated, achey. This has further prompted more free-from food, vegetarian (some vegan) food, even more fruit and veggies.

  
I accepted support, that’s hard.

I have given myself time. Time to rest. Time to rediscover what it really is that drives me.

IMG_7170

Charity

The PDSA charity shop I volunteer in, was closed in February due to arson. That is right, a charity shop set alight in order to break into the safe. Original article can be viewed here. Therefore, we have been campaigning for stock over the past 5 months. Without it, the shop will not be able to reopen, money won’t be made, animals will not be cared for. This week the reopening date was made official here. This is in 3 weeks, therefore I need to step up my part in the campaign. I am using word of mouth, facebook and email. 

 

My garage is getting full and only set to get fuller as friends, acquaintances and colleagues donate.

#Chumbrella

I cannot say much about this project yet (expect a blog post soon). Chumbrella is aiming to bring people together through spreading their kindness and friendliness. The idea is people use their umbrellas to spread awareness of this social art project. For example, an elderly passer by is struggling with her shopping in the pouring rain – you share your shelter with her. Do that little bit extra, do not ignore. Ask if they would like a hand, how their day has been, why you are holding a large yellow and white umbrella. Firstly, the lady would hopefully be appreciative, someone had taken the time, she was not getting as wet, her back was no longer aching. Secondly, she would hopefully pass her experience on to others. Therefore, hopefully they will follow your example. They do not have to get a #Chumbrella, but hopefully they will be kind to that extra person. Although the passer by may not be able to physically help someone else, she could speak to someone new, smile at them in the street, ask how their day has been.


I have signed up to this project and am awaiting my #Chumbrella, I will then write about my experiences for the project. Hopefully this will motivate more people to be that extra bit kind.

The Perfect Stranger Project

A second project that I signed up for this week. You may have read about this project in my previous post. This one is about being kind to others and yourself. Putting the thought and effort into what you think your partner may like to receive, or what would represent you. Then feeling the excitement and privilege that your partner has put the same thought and effort into your package. The chance that your partner could be a friend for life, a soulmate and you did not even know they existed in this world.

Further information and the opportunity to sign up can be found on their website.


These are examples of how I have expressed kindness this week, lets see what the week ahead holds…

4 badges. 4 days.

Fitbitch.

2705/2015

I achieved 4 badges in 4 days. It was brilliant! That’s not happened since my first week as a Fitbitter (all newbie badges flooded in).

I have been off work this week so I decided I would achieve my 25k step goal. Why not attempt it on the first Sunday? Then I’d the whole week to re-attempt if necessary.

Once the steps began mounting up, I was determined. A 5 mile walk, a few village walks, walking to my parents instead of driving. By 8:15pm I was close. About 4k away. Okay one more walk before I finished for the day. And so I set off, and I achieved 25k. Hooray! Let me see my badge!


But when you’ve reached 25k…it would be silly not to achieve the 30k goal too…

…The walking continued. My original route was extended…by now my hip was hurting with each step. Would it allow me to reach my goal?
…as dusk was closing & the church clock was striking 9:15pm…I looked down and I had done it! 30k & counting! My sheer stubbornness had paid off.

 

The other badges this week are lifetime badges.

Distance

& floors.

I am pleased to receive lifetime badges but they are not immediate gratification and so my pleasure is compromised. Because they are ‘commitment badges’ I struggle to picture just how many miles and floors they represent. Whereas with daily badges, I know how hard I have worked.

Looks like I had better start working towards 35k…there is always next weekend…

Smoothie Sunday

The piggy pink one.

  

This was a throw it all in and see smoothie. The result was very enjoyable. It was sweet  from the mango and pineapple despite using Alpro Almond Unsweetened. I love blueberries, but for this smoothie I appreciated them even more for the colour.

Mango contains iron, vitamin C and vitamin A.

Pineapple contains manganese, vitamin C and antioxidants.

Blueberries contain vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre.

Alpro Almond Unsweetened is low in fat, low calories and contains vitamin E.

Ingredients

Mango 2 tbsp

Pineapple 1 tbsp

Blueberries a handfull

Alpro Almond Unsweetened 200ml

Whizz them all in your blender or smoothie maker.

Terrible Tuesday Smoothie

The green one.

Recipe found here.

I rebelled and made this smoothie on a Saturday. It is a real wake up smoothie. Sweet but with a lime kick.  I like this recipe as it includes kale, a fibre and vitamin B source, and Alpro almond milk, a calcium source.  The original link is above but the recipe contains:

  • 200ml of Alpro Almond Milk
  • 15g of kale
  • 75g of pineapple (the recipe says frozen but I used chilled)
  • 20ml of lime juice (I just squeezed one line for ease)

A Guinea Pigs Review of his B&B stay.

It was half-term for Jerry last week; so he packed his bag and went on holiday.

  
He had been counting the days to this, his treat.

  
You see, Jerry’s place of residence is a school. A secondary school, with the big kids. The scary ones that shout and cry. The ones that just point and stare.

So a holiday was an escape from the day-to-day, just what he needed. A Bed and Breakfast that he had been to before. He knew the owner there and he knew he could just wind down; ready for the next 8 weeks.

  
Jerry gets a lot of snacks at school (some say this is having a negative impact on his weight and consequentially his self-esteem). His problem is that he is just too polite, he can’t say no; whatever they bring and whenever they bring it. Now some of these visitors make the effort to get to know Jerry and his preferences. They know that he likes routine and so show up at roughly the same time everyday, with the same rustling carrier bag, when he can eat in peace (the big kids have gone). He is ready for those people, his stomach is prepared and he is fidgety with excitement. They bring a little variety, sometimes browning a little bit, but all edible. A little cucumber, a little lettuce sometimes celery! They are in perfect piggy size pieces, almost like leftovers.

  
However, other visitors are not as accommodating. They show at any time, no warning, no time for preparation. How does he know what they they have brought? Is it smelly? Are they expecting him to let them touch him? Some of them stop and watch him eat it too. His politeness takes over.  He will have a nibble to satisfy their ego and then distract them. Run into the safe house, squeak a little, force himself to take a sip of water. Until they go. And then he breathes a small sigh of relief.
But on holiday it was different. There was a sole person who did the feeding. She took the time to get to know him, and then remembered him next time. Despite all the other holiday-goers she must see! She brought his favourite snacks, parsley, broccolli, kale

  
Sometimes she even surprised him with a strawberry!! He savoured these as he knew they were saved for the special guests. 

  
She gave him his own space, yet many a conversation they had. Their daily problems shared and halved. They had a handful of common interests, mainly kale, although she seemed to eat it in different ways to his raw, nutritious choice. 

  
She also used a different bedding, not a bedding he is used to, but that he has come to know as his holiday bedding. The smell washes over him as soon as he arrives and the tension in his muscles lifts. The decor is different to home, but he likes this. The room is a bit smaller, but this is to be expected.

  
She continues the food and hay supply that he is accustomed to, and ensures that fresh water is provided. He timed this break away perfectly. She had bought a new guest water bottle and he was the first to use it! It was smaller than he was used to and a bit noisier but as soon as he tested it (as surely he would be expected to provide feedback for others) he quite liked it. It served its purpose.

  
There was only one downside of his holiday.

The B&B owner recommended exploring the local area; she patiently explained where was guinea pig friendly and that ‘a bit of exercise helps everyone to relax’! She liked walking, it was an achievement to her. 

  
He agreed to give it a go (politeness being his downfall again), she was well-meaning and encouraging, what could go wrong? As he thought about the exploration ahead, he began to feel nauseous from the little butterflies building. She aided him over the tall wall and sent him off with food. She even transported his safe place to a more convenient location. 

  
Once he had taken a few steps, he panicked. Where was he? How was he going to get back? What if the B&B owner had gone out? He remembered the action plan – go to the safe place. And so he did, deep within.

  
Unbeknown to him, she had planed to come and check his progress. He trembled, its too big, there are different smells and unusual sights. She waited patiently for him to calm down, she took the time to sit and reassure and then gave him some parsley to chew while contemplating his next action. She left him to think then, and slowly he took a couple of wobbly steps, then a couple more. Until out of nowhere something spooked him and the panic struck, it hit hard and he ran. He ran to where no-one would find him, it was quiet, it was dark. Peace. Except someone did find him, the B&B owner. The last person he wanted to see, she had caused this nightmare. She tried to coax him once again, said she would take him back to his room, but the trust had gone. No squeaks were given. Eventually she had to go elsewhere, she said. Had to get some food. A lie. There was plenty of food in his room and he had spied where she kept the supply. She did not need to get some food.

He fell asleep in that place. It was so dark and quiet and the panic had exhausted him, his legs could not move yet. He begrudgingly ate some parsley that she had left. He relieved myself (the anxiety brought these things on) and cautiously peeked out. However, he also found that he had time

  
He was truly alone, left with only his thoughts. He had a good life, he was treated well. There was lots of hustle and bustle, lots of polite visitors to meet (some a bit scary), his regulars, and a someone to meet his daily needs. He was grateful that he had been accepted back to the B&B with only a few weeks notice. He knew others that weren’t so lucky. Once the initial anger and upset had faded, he thought rationally. She was being kind. Not mean. She wanted him to make the most of his holiday, gain new experiences, travel a little.

  
And so, when she retuned (with some kale…maybe she did need to go shopping), he had to move towards her. If he wanted to make the soaps that night, he would have to go back to the B&B. She understood how difficult this would be for him and helped as best she could. She slowly made the space he was in smaller, a more familiar size. She brought his sanctuary nearer so that he could run there during the transition. And then he felt her hands , close around his tummy. She kept him close to her the whole way back, and all faith was restored…he didn’t even wriggle.

  

I bring Jerry home with me, because I love his company. He helps me to look after myself & gives his owner a break. I am being kind to myself and others. TTFN.

 

Fitbitch here 

Morning lovelies! 

As usual the first app I clicked on this morning was Fitbit! & it got me in a good mood for the day before I have even got out of bed. 

Firstly I clicked on the challenges that finished yesterday. The workweek hustle (two challenges) & goal day. Well goal day was standard, I met my goal & other Fitbitters went beyond theirs. I don’t feel disappointed with that as I don’t actually know the other challengers, and that doesn’t motivate me as much. 

 
However, the workweek hustle challenges are myself & my housemate and the two of us again plus my housemates friend living in Australia. We had to set up two challenges as I was getting so confused with the different time zone! I came an expected second in this 3 person challenge. The winner seems to walk a lot!!  

& then with the 2 person challenge, I won, since it is the same as above but without the first person living in Australia! I also beat my personal record (I love a bit of personal competition).  

I was more pleased when I checked my tracked sleep. 0x awake and 3x restless. I’ll take that!! My tracked sleep usually predicts my energy levels for the next day & also reflects just how tired I was.  

It’s no secret that I do cheat a little with my sleep. I take zolpidem to cure insomnia & trazadone for its sedative benefits. This ensures that I do sleep, but I still find looking at my restlessness interesting.

 

I woke up without an alarm this morning too, so since my sleep was so restful I obviously only needed just over 6 hours. 

Alternatively, this little one could have woken me…

  

Two friends purchased Fitbits yesterday. Cue weekend warrior challenge. I had better start stepping…TTFN.

Join me:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Fitbit

Welcome to my guilty pleasure…

So I’m really into my Fitbit (some call it obsessed). 

  
When I bought it a couple of months back, I was worried that the novelty would quickly wear off. It’s not. Not at all. 

I’m constantly looking at my Fitbit Charge. Or my dashboard on the app. Or googling Fitbit advice. Today I received confirmation from 6Tribes that my Fitbitters Tribe had gone live; another level of obsession. I love it. I like the group challenges. But I love that it’s a personal challenge. 

  
This week has been a good week. I’ve earned 4 badges. I love a recognition of my achievement, albeit virtual. 

  
I also like that there’s a big online Fitbit community & its worldwide. There’s loads of us, everywhere. There is always someone to motivate or problem solve. 

I use Myfitnesspal alongside Fitbit to track my food and water intake. The two sync well together and provide more accurate information. 

I was going to list my favourite stats from Fitbit but I’m not sure I can. It goes without saying that I love having a step counter -” just one more hundred…one more“. I find having the floors climbed tracker very motivating (& clever), ten floors is more than I ever realised. The first thing I do in the morning (after turning off my Fitbit alarm) & look at how I’ve slept through the night. I find that this monitors how healthy I’ve been the day before. 

  
I also really really like the water tracker. I know how important it is to be hydrating but it seemed a huge mission before I was a Fitbitter, now I enjoy drinking water because I can enter my intake! I don’t use the Fitbit for weight loss, but I appreciate its usefulness in adapting your calorie intake for the day based on the amount you have exercised. 

  
Next post giving more info on my recent 4 badge achievements. Just need to a few hundred more steps to meet my daily goal…TTFN.

Join me:

Fitbit
6Tribes
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

L for Librocubicularist

pari617's Blog

You heard it right!

A person who reads in bed is a librocubicularist. And even though I don’t read in bed that often, I still like to think of myself as one. Mostly because the word sounds so cool and makes me feel like I’m all nerdy and geeky and smart.

But, I am all of the above.

Maybe not smart.

I love reading in bed. i usually keep a book behind my pillow, or I’ll have my phone with me, which serves as an e-book reader. I stay up till 2 AM trying to finish a book. In bed.

So that does make me a librocubicularist.

Are you one?

View original post

It’s nice to be nice isn’t it? 

Morning.

I’m very excited already this morning! I have just signed up to the Perfect Strangers project.


This project is ran by Oh Comely and I am so looking forward to taking part! The idea is this: you sign up & enter your details & pay one pound, this is to ensure that participants are genuine. You also have the option to add a note to your profile about your likes & dislikes, this means that you can see your partners note too. Then you can choose if you wish to send your parcel to your country of residence or other countries. On the 15th June, the giant swapping hat comes out and you will be matched to a partner! By the 29th June you just have posted your parcel & then by the end of July you should have received your parcel from your Perfect Stranger!


There’s no rules to follow about what to put into your box. Ideas stem from either using the information on your partners note, or including items that show your passions in order for your partner to get to know you! But as I said, there are no rules, so you can just parcel up a few lovely items that you think any partner would enjoy. There isn’t a spending limit, however the advice is to stick to around £10 – then yours and your partners parcel are likely to be equal. You then pay for your postage to send your parcel – this may be something to bare in mind when choosing your recipient’s destination.

The site is very user friendly & aesthetically pleasing! It has a lovely questions section and also a posting guide.


I believe everyone that can afford to, should participate in this project. Who doesn’t like to make another person happy? Who doesn’t like to get butterflies with excitement that they’ve a parcel on the way? & it feels fantastic to take part in a worldwide project.

There is scope for your Perfect Stranger to become a close friend. Someone to turn to for advice. Someone to talk about your day with.

After all, it’s nice to be nice isn’t it?

Learn more:

Perfect Strangers
Perfect Strangers Facebook page

Perfect Strangers Twitter 

Off to start my daily steps for my Fitbit to track…TTFN.

Follow me:

Facebook

Twitter
Instagram
Fitbit

Health stats 28/05/15

I’m pretty into my Fitbit (some would say obsessed). Today’s stats as shown on the IOS app, weren’t brilliant but I reached my daily stats goal & that’s important to me. 

  
As of last weekend I started using MyFitnessPal IOS app again for food and water tracking. It’s the more accurate app for nutrition & provides more analysis. It has provided me with extra motivation as it breaks down my carbohydrate, fat & protein intake and then breaks this down further to the % of calcium, fat, vitamins A & E, sugar etc I have eaten each day. This information then syncs to the Fitbit app. 

Here is an example of how my calorie intake was spread today:

  
The net calories = my total calories – the calories I have burnt through excercise.

I’m trying to watch We need to talk about Kevin now, but struggling to keep up with the storyline…TTFN.

Challenge me on Fitbit:

Fitbit