On Saturday, I went for a bike ride in the morning mist. My route took me through Salisbury and across the Town Path to Harnham. For those reading this further afield, the Town Path cuts through the water meadows and offers stunning views back across to the cathedral. As I cycled along, I came across a group of photographers at one of the best spots to capture the view. Except with the mist, there was nothing to snap save a blanket wall of white. More fool them, I thought.

This last week I’ve been finding the lockdown tough going. A combination of work, homeschooling, the cold and lack of social interaction has got to me. I know that in many ways I’m one of the luckier ones – my family all have their health whilst others are less fortunate – but even so, it’s difficult not to struggle with the sheer relentlessness of the current situation. And just as it’s difficult not to struggle, so it can also be difficult to acknowledge that. As Pink Floyd once sang, hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. But if, like me, you’ve been feeling the pressure, it’s important to know that you’re not alone in feeling so. A general lack of happiness is spreading all over. When Tottenham Hotspur were beaten by Brighton earlier in the month, manager Jose Mourinho ascribed the loss to his team feeling ‘a bit sad’ (a similar feeling expressed by the watching fans).

The Office of National Statistics, meanwhile, runs an ongoing monthly tracker on the nation’s happiness (asking people how happy they were yesterday, on a scale of one to ten). Over the last decade this has ticked up from an average of 7.29 in 2012 to 7.56 in 2019. This dropped, as you might imagine, at the start of the pandemic, before recovering again. But the January lockdown has seen one of its sharpest monthly falls, currently standing at 6.4.

All of which is to reiterate, if you’re not feeling brilliant at the moment, you’re far from alone in feeling so. And if you are feeling like that, talk to someone. And if you know someone who might be feeling like that, talk to them too. Other changes can also be beneficial. He’s hardly a fountain of knowledge on wellbeing, but newspaper reports at the weekend suggested Donald Trump was feeling happier, having been banned from Twitter. Exercise, too, can really help.

Which brings me back to my bike ride. The photographers, I realised, were waiting for the moment the mist started to clear. Through the fog, beauty would emerge. Life might feel similarly murky right now, but hang in there. This too will lift.