The 7 emotional stages of socialising outdoors in winter

December 3, 2020 4:09:51 PM

The 7 emotional stages of socialising outdoors in winter

With pandemic restrictions meaning indoor meetings between different households are banned in many places, chances are you’re going to be doing a lot more socialising in the great outdoors this winter.

From countryside walks to beer garden catch-ups, meeting up with friends or family in outdoor spaces always seems like a good idea when you’re making plans from the comfort of home, but in reality, it’s not always a delight from start to finish…

1. Excitement

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Finally! After weeks (or maybe months) you’re finally going to be reunited with your loved ones and it’s going to be all cosy and Christmassy. What could possibly go wrong?

2. Determination

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To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail… you know that, so you begin to make preparations, googling to find a picturesque walking route, a pub that has outdoor heaters or – preferably – both.

You dig out your warmest coat, thickest gloves and wooliest hat. You’re bundled up and ready to go.

3. Joy

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As you greet your friends, who are similarly wrapped up against the elements, all is well. You raise a toast with your steaming mugs of mulled wine and settle in for a long overdue catch-up. Having worked up a bit of a sweat on the way over, it’s actually refreshing sitting down in the cool air.

4. Panic

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Hang on a minute – you’ve been here less than half an hour and you’re already starting to feel rather frosty. This wasn’t part of the plan.

Even though you’re seated right under a space heater, it doesn’t seem to be helping. How are you going to cope with another few hours of this?

5. Sadness

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As your body temperature continues to drop, so does your optimism. Despite jiggling your legs constantly and mainlining hot chocolate, nothing seems to be helping. You thought you had a foolproof plan for a festive gathering but you’ve been foiled by Jack Frost. This is so depressing.

6. Defeat

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After trying to convince yourself it’s not that bad, that you’re tough enough to handle a beer garden in December, it’s time to admit defeat.

You wonder if you should google ‘symptoms of hypothermia’ on your phone, then realise your fingers are so numb that even if you wanted to, you couldn’t.

7. Relief

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Back at home you’ve never been so grateful for the delights of central heating, a hot bath and your 15 tog duvet – that’s what it takes to warm you up after what feels like an Arctic expedition.

While it was lovely to see your pals, you’re not sure you’ll be venturing outdoors again anytime soon…