Day 270 of the 2020 #365DaysOfCompassion, happening in September, is an extra special day. It will mark 1000 days of the hashtag and daily posts.
And that feels like it should be celebrated.
The hashtag started on the 1st January 2018, with no ambition other than to have daily posts on social media sharing compassion themed content. It’s inspiration came from Mary Welford’s #AdventOfCompassion in December 2017, with daily posts on Twitter to create an online Christmas advent calendar. That combined with the #365DaysOfSelfCare by the Blurt Foundation lead to the hashtag. At the time I thought maybe a few people would be interested and it would run for the year (with the chance it might not make it to the end of 2018!)
And of course the main inspiration was “discovering” Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Compassionate Mind Training , what that gave to me and how much it can help, not just with mental health challenges like depression, but everyday life, the up’s as well as the downs that we all meet as we make our way through life.
The only posting guidelines were around the content being compassion themed , helping to look after our mental health and being supportive to others. For my posts I created my own mini rules , so you may have noticed Monday is a book quote, Friday a musical post and Sunday a podcast recommendation. To enable as many to join in it was set up across different social media platforms. There is also the monthly book club, which has been running for a year and half now, alongside being encouraged by the hashtag to create the #365DaysOfCompassion YouTube videos in 2019, sharing my experience of CFT.
Amongst all of this there are perhaps two key things that help to define the hashtag.
Daily quotes – there were so many great daily tweets from people and I wanted to capture those for a wider audience off Twitter. And so the daily quotes started, where I attempt to match the words to an image. This can vary in difficulty, sometimes an image comes to mind and can’t find similar …sometimes while searching through images one jumps out to match the words. It can be a worry, that the interpretation of the words and image may not be what the author intended. So far, to the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t happened and it really is an enjoyable challenge to sit each evening and create one. A huge thank you to all those many folks whose words have been used. It is probably right and proper to acknowledge Dennis Tirch, whose daily tweets are so helpful and deserve capturing, and whose words feature prominently within the daily quotes.
The Review – the weekly collection of some of the content shared under the hashtag from the previous week and published every Saturday. Initially this was on the Paper application, but that became a charged service, so it’s now hosted on Flipboard , which is more manual effort but provides a great magazine feel to the Review. Each Review really does show the diverse and great content that is shared each week, from personal blogs to research, images to videos, and of course images including the daily quotes. Although the Paper based editions have now gone, there is a nice archive building up of Flipboard editions.
But what was unexpected and a gift that arose from the hashtag was the connection and community around it.
From the social media accounts I can roughly tell how many people follow the hashtag, but know from online and “real life” feedback that doesn’t really reflect how many people engage with the hashtag. The fact it helps just one person means that the effort behind the daily posts and Review is worth every minute. And it helps me.
So we are a few weeks away from day 270, which is Monday 28th September and I have been pondering how the 1000 day milestone could be celebrated.
And then it seemed to me that actually this is a community celebration as much as one about daily posts.
I need your help and thoughts …. how should we celebrate ? What could we do that would both mark the hashtag and the connection it has brought to many ?
Feel free to leave your thoughts on this blog or on social media.
And whether you have been with the hashtag since day 1 or day 999 thank you for being part of it.