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Write your own self-help book. Saturday August 24, 2013

The gaping divide of opinion on self-help books never ceases to amuse me. The mere mention of such a book can send a person into a caricature of a bear with a bump on his head.

You may be familiar with the little square books (The Little Book of Calm, for instance), each page containing a pithy crumb of inspiration. Or, Lesley Garner's delightful book perhaps - Everything I've Ever Done That Worked - which contains a collection of personal insights and a short essay on each. Lovely it is. Well, why not write our own?

I riffled through my drawer of notebooks and plucked out a handsome one with a clasp. (I like to accord the same care in choosing a notebook as I do when purchasing clothes.) I set about writing just a line or two on each page. Concise reminders of what consistently helps me.

For example, for me personally, I've recently come to realise that 'to-do' lists leave me ill. This is unusual maybe but I become obsessed with them and wind up writing 'to-dos' within 'to-dos'. Instead of finding joy in ticking off accomplished I add more and more, and yet more still. I'm stressed just thinking about it! No matter how hard I try I'm ntasksever realistic with them.

So one page in my book reads simply: Daily to-do lists make me unwell. Another: Create something. I always feel better if I allow my creative juices to flow.

What would the pages of your own personal self-help book contain?

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 7:14am

Thank you Suzy
it is a relief to know I'm not the only one who has problems with to do lists.
And I also agree about being creative. And that can be so many different things for those of us less artistically talented, from cooking a meal to writing an amusing email to a friend.
Thank you

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 9:11am

Terrific idea!

artwyrd Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 9:54am

Phew! I thought I was the only one who loathed to do lists!

As to a self-help book, I've been putting my creative talents to use to create one for myself with inspiring words to remind me how I need to be thinking, reminders of good things said about me, my talents and so on all 'decorated' by my own arty creations. It's small enough to carry around with me (A6 in size) and rugged enough to cope with rattling around in my bag. I thank you for almost giving me permission to write my own words rather than using the words of wisdom from others.

The Entertrainer Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 11:11am

I love this post! I teach time management, and hate 'to do' lists too! Anyway, I wanted to say a big "thank you!" to Suzy - knowing that you have such a passion for choosing the right notebook as many of us warms my heart. My friend Fiona added something to this that I've treasured ever since: the joy of the pencil! There is a creative and organic interaction between good paper and pencil that I simply don't get from pens (and I love pens too!)

Julia Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 11:21am

And one can erase one's mistakes with a pencil

Julia Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 11:26am

I meant spelling mistakes or if one writes something that doesn't read well. If it's nice paper and a lovely notebook, perhaps we want the pages to look nice with no crossings out. Your friend Fiona is right about pencils!

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 11:51am

Imagine and Grapefruit. Thank you John & Yoko.

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 12:13pm

Is it just me that dislikes the title "Depression Test - Am I depressed?"?

I'm not using this to test whether or not I'm depressed, and I don't need reminding that I might be - it's a mood calculator, not 'just' a website for the miserable..

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 1:49pm

And yet another task to put on our 'to-do' list... or not.

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 1:59pm

Ooooh !!
Thank you so much for today's post
I love stationery of all kinds as does a lady that I used to work with.
If she had a new notebook and we were in a meeting she would stroke the notebook and hesitate over starting the first page.
She is very creative too.

I spend lots of time deciding on a new notebook and feel much more sane knowing that I am in good company.
I will now start a new notebook and carry it with me at all times.
Now then....pen, pencil? Not sure...maybe turquoise ink and a fountain pen, very trendy using Quink ink when I was at school.
Thank you thank you thank you

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 1:59pm

I don't think depressed people are necessarily miserable, nor are bi polar or others with mood disorders. We can be fun! Certainly warm and kind. Sympathetic, empathetic. The positive list goes on....But anyone can do the cards including non depressed people like yourself. Moodscope is open to all.

Julia Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 2:01pm

The above post was from me. I was a bit harsh in my reply first time round but have tempered it. The system wouldn't allow me to post as Julia. Strange. Let's see if it does now.

Julia Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 2:03pm

What do you mean or am I being thick here?

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 2:06pm

I didn't mean that depression = misery, but I use the site for my OCD and have done for many months - I certainly don't see it as a tool that should be labelled 'depression test'. It doesn't even tell you if you 'qualify' as depressed so it's hardly apt even then. If the site is, as you say, open to all, then it hardly needs such a limiting title. I like Moodscope but for some reason that's really put me off. Thank you for the reply anyway..

Julia Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 2:18pm

Actually when I looked in my history folder, I did see the words depression test which surprised me. But I can't see that description anywhere else although that doesn't mean its not there. I have to admit I deleted those entries in my history in case others using my computer saw it. I mean my grown up children who are coming to visit today.
But I don't think Moodscope tries in any way to define any mental health issues and the cards are a personal guide for the user, to track our moods on a regular basis. Caroline can explain more or better. Julia
I think the site is open to all only because it's on the internet and anyone can join. I don't think you have to produce a medical certificate to be a member! I think the daily posts are for all to read and comment on. You don't have to be a member of moodscope to read those.
I hope you as an OCD sufferer find Moodscope helpful. I really do. We all have moods as you say even those who do not suffer with any mental health issues.
Thank you for explaining what you meant.

Caroline Ashcroft Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 4:23pm

Hi there, we've just recently changed the title that you are referring to on the site. As Julia points out the site is for everyone, whether they are depressed or not and can help many people in many ways - as you have said, you are using it for your OCD. The problem is that it can be very helpful for people with depression and unfortunately if someone did a search in Google for web sites/content that may help with depression, Moodscope wasn't on the list because the title, amongst other things, didn't include the word depression. So we've changed the title, not because it is only for those that are depressed, but so that the search engines will pick up the site when those that are depressed are looking for help. I hope this helps explain why we have changed it.

Suzy Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 4:57pm

Totally with you on the pencil! :o) Pencil on handmade paper or drawing paper. And when in ink, I opt for green. Ah wonderful.

Anonymous Sat, Aug 24th 2013 @ 11:34pm

Lovely post today Suzy. It's got me thinking about what I'd put in mine. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 1:42pm

I enjoyed the bloc enough to comment for the first time.
I needed to add that taught me about the "Ta Da" list where you celebrate what you accomplished instead. It works beautifully! What a novel concept.... TADA!!!!!


Elizabeth Mon, Aug 26th 2013 @ 8:20am

I dislike the title too, it's very inconvenient to be reminded of my diagnosis in this way, and I agree it is misleading. Could there be a compromise, perhaps using "depressed" only once? Like "check your mood - are you depressed" or whatever more gentle formulation you can come up with?

Anonymous Mon, Aug 26th 2013 @ 11:24am

Or 'depression test' could just be mentioned in the meta tags (Google uses these to see which sites are relevant to your search) and you could leave the searcher to work out whether the site is appropriate for them when it comes up at the top of the page. We all worked it out, didn't we?

I find myself having to delete my history after using Moodscope - is it really positive, to have a website that people are wary of using around others? Just the name 'Moodscope' with a description in smaller letters is much less incriminating to those who aren't very public about their issues.

Sally Mon, Aug 26th 2013 @ 7:12pm

I think making your own self help book is a brilliant idea :-) I am going to do this.

Anne Szadorska Tue, Aug 27th 2013 @ 9:43pm

Mine would say just because you stopped writing to do lists due to the associated negative anxiety it caused you, it doesn't mean you can use your phone's to-do list app instead.

Suzy Sat, Aug 31st 2013 @ 8:58pm

Oh I really like this "Ta Da" list! Thanks oodles for sharing! ;o)

bipolar4lifesupport Sun, Sep 1st 2013 @ 5:46pm

Hi I am Jan I don't really know how to do this so I just clicked to comment on the above that is "if" it is directed to me, in my email I got a lot of comments and some were not so nice I don't mean anyone hard and I am not just focusing on OCD, I have Bipolar1 with mixed states rapid cycler depression anxiety agoraphobia, and ADHD combined type I have been back to using mood scope and I like it a lot and have me bussies. Just to point out all of the comments I got in my email No mad or anything just wanted to clear that up I own and run a support group for any mental health and wellness, I have run this for 8 years now

Just don't know if the above post was directed at me just meant to say that using my Iphone app helps me a lot to recall appointments and things I have got to do each and all are different and that is great whatever works is what I say right.

This comment was made with all "good" intentions Thank you

Jan Roga I apologize if I am posting in the wrong area

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