Autumn has arrived and, with the clocks having just gone back over the weekend, the nights are drawing in again.
Fewer daylight hours coupled with Zoom fatigue and our different working environments and practices – it’s certainly shaping up to be a Winter unlike any other. Have any of us really thought about how we’re going to navigate our way through our working days? Or, with such uncertainty around, are we just taking it a day at a time?
After the lovely summer that we’ve had in the UK, some of us might feel that we’re not going to be phased by a period of longer nights and colder weather but changing seasons can affect us in different ways. None of us know exactly how we’re going to feel in a couple of months’ time.
It’s a fact that longer nights and fewer daylight hours mean less exposure to sunlight and fewer opportunities for our bodies to make that much needed Vitamin D. The resulting low mood and energy levels could certainly contribute to an increase in feelings of isolation and fatigue – something for us all to be aware of, in ourselves and our colleagues.
However, whilst it would be easy to focus on the obvious negatives of working through this coming Winter, at least some of the ways it affects us could depend upon our own attitudes and ways of dealing with it.
Look for the positives
There are some definite plus points to working remotely – no scraping ice off the car in the morning, no stressful commute in the cold and dark, a chance to get cosy in front of the fire straight after work.
For those travelling into work, the opportunity to connect with colleagues in person and perhaps even to socialise, obviously at a safe distance.
Can we adapt our working environments to maximise opportunities for sunlight exposure and feelings of wellbeing? Move the desk nearer to a window? Add some greenery in the form of indoor plants? Perhaps even have a complete change of scene and work from a different place now and again, if that’s an option?
Seizing any opportunity to get out and stretch the legs during the day has obvious physical and mental health benefits – whatever the weather. And anyone who’s transitioned to a working environment outside a busy city centre, or with a more flexible working pattern, might now feel more inclined to take advantage of a leisurely lunchtime walk.
Learning to enjoy and remind ourselves of some of the positives of our changed working environments at this time of year could help us all to develop a mindset that allows us to stay on top of our physical and mental wellbeing in the months ahead.
Let’s look out for each other and keep trying to find the good in whatever form our working lives now take.