Want to read more?
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
technical support? Click here
Last year I interviewed Claire Wortley from Morar about her website Moods, Meds and Miracles where she shares her journey of living with mental ill health through a series of blog posts and audio readings.
Claire explained how she wanted to use her experiences with medication, therapy and a whole host of self help tools to help others.
She told me: ‘I have this overflowing toolkit of wellbeing ideas from all I have been through and I want to share it.’
The Mood Manager – your yearly joy diary, is the next tool in that tried and tested kit that Claire is hoping will help people. Available in paperback or spiral bound this is a self help book with a difference.
The first part is written by Claire and includes an introduction, a how to use this
book guide and explains how and why it will work. All of the rest is written by you, becoming what Claire calls ‘a personalised feel good reference guide’.
I caught up with Claire to find out more about her book and what sets it apart from other self-help books or gratitude diaries.
Claire, who uses her copy and rates her mood out of 10 every day told me about a darker time for her when she would consider her mood often as low as a two or three.
‘I was signed off work and really struggling,’ she said.
‘People would often tell me to count my blessings and list all the things I should be grateful for; a roof over my head, a healthy child, a sunny day.
‘The reality was that I was simply not in a place to feel grateful for anything. Being told I should just made me feel even worse.
‘It was more likely to make me feel anger or guilt than gratitude.
‘One day I was sitting on my balcony and a butterfly landed on a plant next to me. For about 20 seconds I just forgot how awful I was feeling. I didn’t necessarily feel joy or anything close to it, but I stopped feeling dreadful.
‘As soon as it flew away all of my dark feelings returned but it was such an epiphany to realise that no matter how bad I was feeling I could still have moments that made me smile, laugh or even just forget my pain.’
Claire would record these tiny precious moments in her diary each evening, even though they were not every day or even every week and realised when she read her diaries back that the more she noted down the things which had brought her joy the more she grew into the habit of looking for them.
Over time her diaries grew into reference books for joyful and magical moments that Claire would refer to to remind herself of her capacity to find happiness and how and where she had done so.
The Mood Manager – your yearly joy diary comes with a plain blue cover featuring a beautiful photo of Loch Morar, somewhere Claire tells me is one of those joy filled magical places for her and is deliberately calm and non-attention seeking.
‘It’s your book, you are free to create whatever space brings you joy inside and outside, so if glitter, sparkles and bunny rabbit stickers are what makes you happy then that is what you should decorate it with,’ she added.
‘Inside is also a plain design – I wanted it to appeal to everyone so it’s age and
gender neutral, with no busy spaces, fussy fonts or colourful pictures, although of course you could add those if you wanted.’
At this point Claire holds up a fistful of brightly coloured pens and markers to show me that her own book most definitely gets made pretty as that is one of the things which brings her happiness.
Claire’s joy diary, recording moments of happiness, tracking her highs and lows and rating everything in life from relationships with friends and colleagues gives her a reference book to chart both her internal and external influences on how she is feeling.
She told me: ‘My diary is such a powerful tool for me. It gives me a sense of power and control, it is literally all about me.
‘I want to share that with others. The beauty of it is that there is no hard work to do, it is simply noticing and recording how you are doing and realising that however fleeting they feel the magical moments are still there.’
The Mood Manager by Claire Wortley is available from Amazon or from Claire via email at email@example.com.