Ok y’all… this Florida girl is cold!!! From single digit temperatures in New York, to my small, Florida beach town shutting down due to a curious wintry, white mix of precipitation… it is that time of year when a warm fireplace needs to be the #1 priority on everyone’s list!

A warm, cozy fire does more than warm you up physically, it also warms your heart, your mind and your soul. When it is cold, dark, damp and just plain uninviting outside, a very common issue presents itself… seasonal depression. Millions of people suffer from depression on a regular basis, but depression can also hit during those wintry months when all you want is to snuggle up under your bed instead of braving the roads for school, work, or whatever other “adulting” errands are on your plate.

I will be the first to admit, I know I suffer from regular depression as a result of my PTSD, BUT I also know that depression can be amplified when I am away from my friends and family, especially during this cold and nasty weather. I travel Monday through Thursday (sometimes more), and while I love the impact of my work, it can also be very lonely out on the road.

I also know plenty of friends who don’t travel for work, or some who stay at home and care for their families. It can also be very lonely at home surrounded by family, but alone in your own headspace. So what do you do when your own mind or surroundings threaten to pull you down into a dark place?

Here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Establish your “check yourself” group or person– This can be 1 person or 5-6 people, but they are there to listen to you and be there for you. Now, I know some of you are saying to yourselves “well good luck because I haven’t had that kind of group since high school.” Trust me, there is 1 person in this world who you trust, and if you can’t find that person, let fearlesslymadeyou be here for you.
  2. Release the pressures of your mind– Whether it’s through physcially working out, journaling, or just screaming into a pillow, you have to release the pent up emotions that surround depression. Why do you think adult coloring books were invented? It sounds simple, but the art of just releasing without thinking will do wonders for your mind and your spirit.
  3. Develop a go-to song- Every morning identify a go-to song or saying that you repeat to yourself to sustain positive energy throughout your day. I have a que of about 3 songs that rotate through my head. Lately, it’s been Demi Lovato “I’m sorry… I’m not sorry,” “Fearless” by Jasmine Murray, and I always have an old gospel song “Lord Prepare me to be a Sanctuary.” They occupy my mind when the negativity tries to enter.

Commit to bringing yourself out of this cold slump, and into your own place of warmth and coziness. Use these tips to develop your own personal fireplace.