Been there, mama...
I moved to the cold north from the sunny south five years ago, and winter depression was the pitts the first few years. The state of my home really was making it worse. We did some crazy/drastic things that worked. I'm still not fond of the winters, but now we cope just fine... no depression!
1) Downsized & Decluttered
Seriously. From a 2,400 sq. ft. house with a full basement, two-car garage and an out building to a 1,200 sq. ft. co-op apartment with almost no storage. We sold about half of our furniture and 3/4 of our crap. We love our home now. Easy to pick up/clean, and I continue to declutter to maintain the zen.
This was very important for me. Our co-op doesn't get a lot of natural light in the winter. I did paint my front hall and nursery sunny yellow. Restoration Hardware has awesome paint colors, esp. the yellow... go take some chips. You can have them color-matched if RH's paint is too spendy. I painted my bathroom sky blue, including the ceiling. There is no natural light in there, but it is one of my favorite rooms. Painting any ceiling blue is very cheering, and it will make the room seem much larger, especially if you pair it with the warm sunny yellow walls. I love Puddle blue from Martha Stewart's line at Sherwyn-Williams. I also bought large, colorful rag rugs from the Crate & Barrel online outlet for the more neutrally toned rooms and put up some Peruvian/Mexican artwork (bright, happy primary colors, this stuff is *warm*). Your home should make you smile. Find what makes ~you~ happy and do it.
I learned to dress for the weather. This took *four years* to figure out.
Wool, down, and windpro fleece are my friends. I go outside everyday for at least a 10 minute walk with the children. Big sanity saver. We need the fresh air and exercise more than we need to stay out of the cold. If we are sick, I open the window a crack and go stand by it to get some fresh air. Fresh air seems to be as important as color and light for us.
Yes, that. I had to get creative since I'm a home-schooling sahm with an attached toddler. Dd1 and I like to jump rope together (in the house, good cardio and rhymes
) and do yoga together while the little one naps. I try to go out to yoga class 2-3 times a week after the girls are asleep. Another sanity saver. Mama time... ahhhhh...
Hope you find your winter groove...