4 Things for Apprentices to Look Out for This Winter

Carina, one of the Owners and Directors of Professional Apprenticeships was once an apprentice herself so knows first-hand the uncertainties winter can bring on an apprentice. Find out how to get through it as she shares her experience to current apprentices below…

Winter has always been my favourite time of the year, I love drinking hot chocolates, cosy evenings in listening to the rain and most exciting of all wrapping Christmas presents! Not to be a Grinch, but these wonderful days came with many uncertainties, as a Hairdresser apprentice I faced worries regarding dark nights, money stresses, and cold and flu season.

Dark Nights

I was waking up in the dark and coming home in the dark, I felt I was “missing out” on daytime as I spent it all working. I would be washing the hair of a client and they would be telling me how they were “off shopping” after this and I felt sightly envious. I overcame this by ensuring I had lots planned on my weekends and even booked some time off when the salon was less busy, so I had things to look forward to.

Money Stresses

It’s no secret that the apprenticeship wage isn’t the best pay in the world due to training, development and gaining a nationally recognised qualification. This meant I couldn’t buy everything people wanted for Christmas and instead had to budget.

I overcame this, getting into the festive spirit a little earlier, by shopping for people presents over several months to spread the cost. Bulk buying of Christmas cards and selection boxes but most importantly making sure friends and family understood how I was feeling, so nobody expected an expensive gift from me. Of course, I offered what I could do best at the time which was a hair wash and blow dry, gaining extra practice for me – a win, win!

Cold and Flu Season

They say prevention is better than the cure and this couldn’t be more true.

As the colder days started drawing in many people developed sniffly noses and felt under the weather. I didn’t want to be off work and leave my colleagues under pressure with staff shortages or take the entire workforce down with a nasty cold, so I was determined I would try my best not to get ill by taking the following steps:

  • Keeping wrapped up warm whenever I was out of the house with a coat, gloves, and hat.
  • I kept my immune system strong by eating healthy, taking multivitamins, and trying to keep my distance where I could from anyone who had cold and flu symptoms.

Mental Health

Working in a salon as an apprentice I met many people that found as the dark winter months set in, they found themselves feeling sad or low. Many people find they suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and I wanted to share my advice on how to pick yourself up if you find yourself feeling this way or how to spot signs that colleagues maybe feeling this way and how to help them to.

Symptoms include:

  • Mood changes
  • Low energy and feeling sluggish
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Losing interest in activities they usually enjoy

More symptoms are listed here

How to help:

  • Listen to upbeat music
  • Talk to people about how you’re feeling
  • Plan fun activities and things to do outside of work

If you’re an apprentice struggling at the moment, please talk to our safeguarding team who are here to listen and help – safeguarding@professionalapprenticeships.co.uk

Written by Carina Wills
Director & Owner

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