Hi! I’m Charlotte Reed, and I’m a new Hay House author. I got the idea for my book May the Thoughts Be with You while recovering from depression. During the illness I’d started to write a positive thought each day to try to improve my mindset. At the time it was difficult to have even one beneficial thought, but I knew if I could coax my brain into thinking differently I might stand a chance of getting better.
Once recovered, I suddenly realised I had a huge collection of thoughts, and my friends encouraged me to turn them into a book… and so May the Thoughts Be with You was born! Although I’m extremely excited to have a book out, the depression was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in life, and there were many things I did in addition to writing positive thoughts to help myself get better. I thought it’d be nice to share them here in case they can help anyone who’s also suffering from this illness.
• Confide in the people closest to you. One major part of recovery is to talk about how you’re feeling to people you feel safe with. I chose to speak to a few family members and my closest friends. Having them on board meant I was able to make sense of my feelings and their support meant I healed much more quickly.
• Take all expectations off yourself. When you are in a crisis, it’s important to be kind and loving to yourself, so forget anything you ‘should’ be doing and instead just focus on the basics – like breathing. When I was in the grips of depression, I couldn’t even make my brain work out how to go to the shop and buy a pint of milk. The illness seems to strip you of your basic functioning skills, so it’s important not to put pressure on yourself and just do what you can.
• Try to exercise. This will help the body’s endorphins get back on track. During my illness I walked for 1-2 hours every single day. It was a way to encourage me from being trapped in my head all the time.
Look at what you’re eating. Before I got depression I was living off microwave meals and sandwiches! I discovered that proper nutrition plays a huge role in our mental state so I changed my diet to be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds and good fats like olive oil. A good diet alone may not cure you, but all these measures add up and really do make a difference.
• Get professional help. I considered taking anti-depressants but knew in my heart that wasn’t the right path for me personally. I chose instead to have regular acupuncture which I found to be extremely therapeutic and this played a big role in getting me well again.
• Express yourself. Do whatever you can to get your feelings out. I chose to write positive thoughts each day but you can do anything. You probably won’t feel like it, but gentle activities like painting or writing can be very cathartic.
• Finally, believe in yourself and your recovery. In the really dark moments it was sheer hope that kept me going. Although it may feel that all the evidence suggests the contrary, believe that one day you WILL get better.
To read more about my story and learn about my book, please visit: www.maythethoughtsbewithyou.com
Charlotte Reed created May the Thoughts Be with You in response to the need to improve her own health and wellbeing. She lives in London with her boyfriend, and can be found selling her original artwork and books at Portobello