And so it begins. It seems as if the cold weather, the wet, gloomy mornings, and the commutes to work that physically and mentally drain you are upon us. Leaving the house in the dark and returning home in the dark. This year however, that will be slightly different due to the current pandemic in which we find ourselves. So how will it be different?

When I got my first ever job, I was 18, fresh out of sixth form college and was working in the heart of London. I would leave my house at 7am every morning in order to ensure I was at my desk working before my start of 08:30. I would leave, and it would be dark, gloomy and cold. That kind of cold you all know of when you breath in and it hurts your chest. To top it off, when I would leave the office, usually after my finish time because of course, so much had to be done, the climate was the same. Dark and gloomy. This was slowly demoralising. I was 18. I wanted to have a social life that extended beyond a tired Friday night or a Saturday. Sundays were spent resting; ready to do it all again the week after. Summer could not come quick enough.

This year however, many of you, like myself will find yourselves working from home. So how will this all be different. It will still be dark and cold outside. You will still start working at the same time. Only this time, you will be within the shelter of your four walls and hopefully, a nice, cosy, but productive workspace you have created for yourself. Some of you may even be lucky enough to have central heating you can set to come on at a certain time to ensure you wake up to a nice warm house (I don’t).

Don’t let these comforts deter you however. Working from home seems to be a staple at the moment and whatever you feel about it, it looks as if it’s here to stay for now. I personally miss going into an office and conversing and feeding off of the workflow of other people. That winter commute wasn’t actually all that bad now I look back upon it. It seemed as if it was part and parcel of the working life cycle. Made me look forward to the summer more.

These cold nights that are upon us could be colder than ever. Not in the temperature sense, but in the social sense. You will no longer have your work colleagues waiting for you as you come in from the rain. Warming up your hot lunch to keep you going wont be met with the usual cries of how bad it smells. No longer can you make that jibe about how you hope the weather will be better tomorrow so you don’t look like a drowned rat.

During this winter period however, for your own sake, try to do something that makes you happy socially. It’s great being indoors, don’t get me wrong, but go for dinner after your working hours. Go to a friend’s house (permitting social distancing rules allow you to), or simply go for a wrapped up walk to get yourself out of the house. This winter period could be bad for a lot of us in many ways and with the current climates, make sure you look after your mental health above all and try not to get caught in some sort of unsociable rut.

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