Image Credit: LPPHT
Federica (Fede) Trimarchi is the founder of The Mood Club, an organisation that aims to boost your mood as well as encourage self-care, self-growth, and emotional resilience. Fede is originally from Milan but lives in London and works in the social sector, supporting organisations to achieve system change. She created The Mood Club because she wanted to encourage women to find the time to focus on their well-being and I recently had the pleasure of catching up with her.
Can you tell us a bit more about The Mood Club?
I was inspired by the idea of providing little practical tips to improve women's wellbeing, as we are often juggling multiple roles and responsibilities at the same time. I wanted to create something that would help them feel better by spending a few minutes a day focusing on themselves and how they felt.
Your career has been focused in the social sector. What sort of change are you hoping to influence?
I have always been driven by a desire to help people, so it was natural for me. I have found that the structure of a large charity is complex and the process of implementing a change is slow and arduous. But if I can help improve someone’s day by even 10% then it would be a great success for me.
How do you define “mood” and how should we think about the variety of moods we experience in any given day? Is it ok to feel down sometimes?
Mood is volatile. Our mood can shift very quickly, and we need to embrace the different kinds of feelings. Also, we need to learn how to accept feelings that are deemed negative – they are part of life. We need to encourage emotional resilience and most importantly emotional awareness.
There is a large amount of empirical evidence showing that negative mood is associated with reduced cognitive performance i.e. if you are in a bad mood your ability to think decreases. Do you have any tips to help us improve our mood when we have a deadline to meet?
The best tip is to leave what you are currently doing and change the scenery. Go for a walk and focus on yourself. Do something that makes you feel better. For example, if you work from home, it is essential that you leave your house at some point and take a deep breath or listen to your favourite music. This break will also cause a change in your mood and you will come back feeling more energised.
How do the Mood Cards work?
There are at least two ways you can use them. The first is to keep your cards on a side table and pick one to inspire you. The second way is to bring a card with you to an event where you know your mood will be variable e.g. a job interview or an important meeting (they are small enough to fit in your wallet). The card will comfort you before the stressful moment and encourage you to push through it.
How do we fit a self-care routine into our already busy lives?
You simply must make time for it! You will find the time if you want to. You could set an alarm or (even better) link your self-care activity with something you already do. For instance, if you commute every day for twenty minutes, read your favourite book or listen to your favourite podcast as you travel. Or you could choose to go phone-free first thing in the morning whilst you enjoy your breakfast. I find a calm start makes a big difference to the rest of my day. Share your new routine with your spouse or significant other. Having my husband remind me to take five minutes for myself was a big help in solidifying my self-care habit.
What book would you recommend for lifting our mood when we are feeling a bit low?
Playing Big by Tara Mohr. This book helped me feel empowered and gain confidence.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019 for yourself personally and for The Mood Club?
Motherhood has pushed me to do more. It has motivated me. I started my business before getting pregnant and it truly helped keep me sane! I did not want to lose who I was, so it was essential for me to have a project to focus on. I am working on a second product for The Mood Club and we will also be rebranding which is very exciting. The second set of cards will be dealing with relationships – romantic, family, friends, and colleagues.
Thank you Fede for being a part of the Rama Journal. As I spend a lot of time on social media, I often think about the overwhelming pressure there is to put on a perfect face for the world. This desire to always look happy is of course completely unrealistic so I was thrilled to come across The Mood Club and their wonderful cards. The more we embrace the full spectrum of our moods and give ourselves permission to experience them without judgment, the happier we will be. You can keep up to date with Fede on Instagram @the.mood.club and pick up a set of your own mood cards on her website www.themoodclub.org.