There are three things I find absolutely necessary for winter; hot coffee, lip balm and my light therapy lamp. I am a huge fan of multiple solutions to a problem, especially when it involves mental health. When you have depression, making positive changes is, like, pretty much impossible. Taking that first step is the hardest. For me and seasonal depression I found using a light therapy lamp to be a really easy first step towards better mental health. If you can go on amazon and hit "buy it now", in a couple days you can try it out.
We're pretty into science around here at Knox Girl Soap, and I like that Light Therapy has science to back it up. The Mayo Clinic, the NCBI, and Harvard have some things to say about it if you're interested. On top of those guys, I have 7 years of experience using it. If you're wondering how it actually works, it's pretty straightforward. I sit next to this bright light for about 30 minutes in the morning while I drink coffee or eat breakfast. Today I'm doing it while I type this. And that's it. Usually within a week of using it daily I notice a marked improvement in my baseline mood.
Once I feel like I can function, then I work to incorporate other healthy habits that reduce depression and make me feel good. I try to get outside, exercise, talk to friends, make art, do laundry. And to be totally transparent, sometimes it's what I need to refill my meds and take them everyday like I'm supposed to. (Mental health is complicated, ok?)
The healthy habits begin to snowball, and pretty soon I'm managing seasonal depression ok. And then spring comes and I get 3 full seasons of joy and pleasure to look forward to! I don't do things perfect, and life can look pretty messy sometimes. The deal is, you keep trying. Even when the joy isn't there yet. You try even when trying looks like not very much. You fight for balance between pushing yourself and treating yourself with tenderness. And you suck at it at first. That's ok too. We can do hard things, and I promise you you're not alone.