3 Ways to Beat the Work Winter Blues

Work is a bore. With the nights drawing in, and winter spreading her icy fingers over pavements, squeezing life from the trees and freezing the air in your throat, days spent in the office seem more depressing than ever. It’s dark and cold when you get up, it’s dark and cold when you leave work, and all there is in between is an endless monotony of spread sheets, meetings, bureaucracy and sycophancy.

It’s at this point, with those halcyon summer days all but a distant memory, and the joyous coming of spring many months away, that people start seriously start considering why they bother. Why spend 8 or 9 hours a day cooped up in an office staring at flickering screens, strip lights and fake pine desks when your only reward is a cold journey home surrounded by people sniffling and coughing on the bus, and another reality TV show about vacuous idiots from Newcastle/Essex/Chelsea/Essex for entertainment.

Basically, Work + Winter = Woe. But what are the alternatives?

Quit work and go on the dole

Yes, it’s pretty tempting sometimes when you think you could be getting money from the state to sit at home and watch Trisha in your pants. But the reality is often a depressing, soul-crushing struggle to survive on a pittance, coupled with a mind-numbing sense of boredom brought on, in the main, by sitting for hours on end watching Trisha in your pants. (unless of course you have a girlfriend called Trisha, and she’s parading around in a pair of your Calvin Klein’s).

The dole may sound good in theory, and it certainly removes the whole ‘work’ part of the equation, but the truth is, without some sense of purpose, life starts to seem pretty pointless. So perhaps the whole work thing isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s more about the whole ‘winter’ thing.  

Work, but somewhere without winter

So, if work does indeed help give you a sense of direction, maybe it’s better to look for a job somewhere a little less depressing than your currant locale. A place where the sun’s always shining, the birds are always singing and children with teddy-bear smiles skip playfully through abundant barley fields on their way to grab a refreshing glass of home-made lemonade from the local store.

Sadly, without the help of some very strong pharmaceuticals, this idyllic destination is probably going to elude you. Even with the strong pharmaceuticals it’s unlikely to last for very long, and most places of work will frown on you spending 8 hours sat with your mouth open staring at the pattern on the carpet, or wandering the office stroking the walls. No, you have to face the stark reality that winter is pretty much going to happen wherever you are in the world. This is no bad thing really, without it the summer would not seem so wonderful and the roses would not smell so sweet etc. So maybe it’s best to stop looking for changes that aren’t so extreme, and go for something with a little middle ground.  

Work. But do work that’s rewarding. Do it somewhere that’s nicer than here, but which actually exists.

I know, catchy. But I guess the moral is that changing your work/winter situation needn’t involve a descent into hard drugs, daytime TV and the destruction of your soul. Jetting off abroad to pastures more verdant, sunny and beautiful is, let’s face it, going to offer a more enjoyable working environment than Croydon High Street, so why not sign up for some voluntary work abroad?

You’ll not only be spending your working day in a much more appealing destination, but that sense of purpose you could only pretend to feel when discussing quarterly sales figures will actually come naturally as you help local communities. Imagine being genuinely interested in and motivated by your job? Astounding!

Those who want to volunteer abroad will find a fair few possible worthy (and conveniently beautiful) destinations to jet off to including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Australia. Yes, you’ll still be working, and yes there may still be rain, but that creeping sense of winter blues that seeps into your bones as you head out into the freezing night air after another day of monotonous meetings, bland, repetitive interiors and general mind-numbing boredom will be long gone.

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