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mental health

I love a good cry every now and then. Sometimes all you need to do is sob to your heart's content when life gets a little overwhelming.

We may feel embarrassed or silly when we cry but fear not my friends, a new study has found that crying is actually good for you.

Researchers in Japan confirmed that crying can actually make you happier. The team of researchers explained that crying can help reduce stress meaning you live a happier and calmer life.

Basically, crying is an act of self-defence against accumulating stresses.

“The act of crying is more effective than laughing or sleeping in reducing stress. If you cry once a week, you can live a stress-free life," said Hidefumi Yoshida told the Japan Times.

Hidefumi Yoshida believes watching heart wrenching movies, listening to emotional songs or reading harrowing books can help make you feel better, even when you’re a blubbering, snotty nosed wreck.

So, next time you’re having a bad day fetch the tissues, watch The Fault In Our Stars and just let the tears roll.

Having a cry is good for the soul so don’t be afraid to let the tears out after a bad day at work, after arguing with your bestie or when you're watching a tear-jerker at the cinema.

Trust me, holding back the tears is no good for you. I tried to do so in a very quiet cinema whilst watching A Star Is Born and ended up with a headache for the remainder of the day, so when you gotta cry, cry.

Don’t be ashamed about it. If scientists say it’s good for you then let the tears fall.

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By Laura Lynch

It’s no big secret that we have all become phone, screen and social media addicts. It seems we are rarely present in the moment these days, as we always feel the need to capture all the big (and small) events in our lives, on our phones. Whether it’s at a concert, at the gym, on holiday, or even just at the dinner table… why is it so hard for us to put our phones away for a few hours?

This addiction to our phones and the online world was certainly something I had become accustomed to over the past five or so years, and it puzzled me, why was I so hooked to my phone?

What good was this constant scrolling, checking for notifications and need to keep up with the Kardashians' daily lives actually bringing to my life?  

After discovering a video online, about a girl who quit social media for one month, I decided to challenge myself and try to do the same. I deleted all social media apps from my phone (Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook).

The first week was WEIRD. I was finding myself feeling quite bored at little gaps throughout the day, such as on my commute.

While everyone else was staring at their phones, I had nothing to look at. I wondered if I might be missing out on some big celebrity news that may have come out online. I kept going to click into apps on my phone, even though they weren’t there anymore.  

The second week was NICE. I was already noticing lots of positive changes at this point, in myself and in my life and I found it was easier to continue the detox from this point on.

The first month came and passed and I never even for a second considered going back online at that point. I had come so far, I was enjoying the freedom and my new outlook too much to go back.

Five months later, I was still offline and living a completely new, happier life. I felt different, it was like a weight had been lifted and I was so motivated to share my story. I was finally beginning to understand the importance of self-care and started seeing everything in a new light.

Here are the important things I noticed during my Social Media Detox:

  • During the first two weeks of my social-media-free life, I noticed just how often I glanced down at my phone, without even thinking, and it was staggering.

  • I was sleeping much better and for longer – the less grumpy and less stressed version of me began to appear.

  • My anxiety reduced by 90 percent – this was by far the most significant change I noticed and loved about this whole experiment.  

  • JOMO – the joy of missing out has actually become a thing. It was lovely just doing my own thing and not knowing, or worrying about what everyone else was up to. When I wanted to hang out with my friends, I just messaged or called them, and this worked perfectly. I didn’t have a fear of missing out on anything (FOMO), which is something I worried I would experience, before the detox.

  • I just stopped caring about the crazy things we do for social media, like taking photos of our food whenever we go out to eat and sending it to everyone.

  • I didn’t feel any pressure to get that perfect Instagram photo or Snapchat story everywhere I went. I went to an outdoor concert and felt there was no pressure on me now to look perfect and get lots of amazing photos to post online. I felt I enjoyed the whole experience much more than I would have in the past.

  • I read books on my commute instead of staring aimlessly at influencers or celebrities, who I once compared myself to not realising how toxic these comparisons were.

  • I felt like there were more hours in the day and there was. I was amazed by how much more free time I had when I took social media out of my life.

  • I genuinely felt happier, more confident and less stressed out.

After my detox, I did return to the online world, but in a totally different way. I felt it was really important to share my story with others and encourage people to try this Social Media Detox Challenge for themselves and see the impact it could have on their lives. I decided to start writing my thoughts and ideas down. This led to me starting up my own blog on Mental Health & Wellness, called ondayslikethis.com.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Laura Lynch – Wellness Blog (@ondayslikethisblog) on

I have returned to Instagram and Facebook but don’t have the apps on my phone anymore as I feel that constant scrolling throughout the day can be toxic for our mental health and body image. I have created a new Instagram page called ondayslikethisblog, where I share only motivating posts, news and information about my blog.

I have also only chosen to follow pages that uplift and inspire me and this most definitely makes a huge difference.

I never returned to Snapchat and still don’t miss it, which is crazy as this is the app I would have used the most before my detox.

With all the above said, I would encourage everyone to detox from social media for a few weeks. I promise you will definitely notice so many nice changes in your life.

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If you have noticed that your mood- or that of someone you are close too- is exceptionally low this time of year, that could be because you are experiencing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Just as it sounds, SAD is a disorder that is at its most prevalent during the darker days- from September to April. It causes symptoms of depression and anxiety and is more common than you’d think, affecting approximately 1 in 15 people. Like others who live as far from the equator as we do, the decrease in natural sunlight during the winter months has a direct effect on our mental health.

For many, SAD is so disabling that they cannot function normally without treatment. SAD most commonly begins between the ages of 18 and 30-years-old and you are diagnosed after two or more consecutive winters of experiencing symptoms.

So, what are they? Those with seasonal affective disorder may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping problems– It is common to oversleep often and have difficulty staying awake.  Disturbed sleep and waking too early are also symptoms of SAD
  • Feeling lethargic– Those with SAD can lack energy and are sometimes unable to go about their normal day because they feel so tired. Limbs become heaving and weight gain is common due to overeating and craving carbs and sugar.
  • Feeling anxious– Anxiety is a common symptom with increased feelings of dread and stress.
  • Feeling depressed– Low moods, weeping and feeling generally sad are key features of SAD. Hopelessness and feelings of failure are also very common.
  • A weakened immune system– Those who suffer from SAD will be more susceptible to catching winter colds, flu and bugs.
  • Feeling apathetic– SAD causes loss of motivation and difficulty concentrating. It can also leave you feeling less motivated to partake in things you would normally find fun.
  • Feeling like staying in– More than normal, we mean. Those with SAD will withdraw from social situations at this time of year and become uninterested in friends.
  • Disinterest in sex– Loss of libido is a common symptom, meaning a decreased interest in sex and physical contact.
  • Mood swings in the warmer months– Many people experience spurts of energy and hyperactivity (known as hypomania) in spring.

Identifying this very common mental health issue is the first step. There are luckily many ways to treat and look after your mental health if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder:

Spend as much time as you can in the sun

Try to get up early to get the most out of the daylight. Make an effort to allow sunlight into your home. Trim any vegetation that may be blocking the path of sun rays to your windows. Keep blinds open and surround yourself with colour by painting walls and using brightly coloured décor. You could even switch desks at work so that you are sitting close to a window.

Try to stay healthy

This is the hardest one. Any exercise or time spent outdoors will help. A simple walk each day can have an amazing impact on your mental health. Try to limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake (we know). These changes to your routine will be worth it when your mood lifts.

Try to have fun

Instead of taking all your holidays during the summer, takes some time off in winter to do the things you love and surround yourself with people who boost your mood and support you. Do what is fun FOR YOU.

Consult your GP

This one is important: Ask for help even before it seems overwhelming. Take all medication as prescribed by your doctor and keep an eye on any side effects. Your doctor may suggest light therapy. This is the use of artificial light to substitute the sunlight. Ask your doctor about this one- they will know.

The most important thing is to consult your doctor immediately if you notice your symptoms are getting worse or stronger. If you suffer from severe winter depression your doctor will need to determine if your symptoms are SAD related, or if something else is causing them.

Psychotherapy, behavioural therapy, stress management techniques and prescribed medication can all be used to treat SAD. Remember, you are never alone, and your GP will always be there to support your mental health.

Sources: Mental Health Ireland, HSE.ie

 

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By Rachel O Neill

I was first diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder when I was 19 but really I’d been suffering from it for as long as I could remember. I thought it was normal to get obsessed with studying for exams and to cry if I got 85 out of 100 instead of 90. I thought it was completely normal to have your brain scream things at you that you would never dream of saying to another person. I thought it was normal to be sad all the time. In reality, getting my diagnosis was my first step to admitting that my normality wasn’t everyone else's.

I was prescribed antidepressants and started seeing a therapist. I was of the belief that I could cure myself by talking to someone and taking my pills. I didn’t understand that anxiety and depression need to be managed rather than cured. So I took myself out of therapy and weaned myself off my meds, convinced that I was fine. I would go on to have a breakdown a year later and would go back to therapy for nearly 15 months.

I’m very open about my struggles and my problems but that doesn’t make it easy to tell people about them. You don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable and most of all, you don’t want to be treated differently to anyone else. You just want to be seen as a colleague that works hard and does their best regardless. 

Telling my manager about my problems was hard. It’s something you have to prepare for. You rehearse in your head what you’ll say and how they might react. In reality, I had nothing to worry about. My manager was very understanding about my problems and has been incredibly supportive in managing workloads when I need it.

Our work lives are more hectic than they used to be. Ever-changing deadlines, longer commutes and increased pressure means that employees can often feel like they have nobody to talk to. I wanted to do something about it and was lucky enough to be  given the opportunity to help The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and The Advertising Benevolent Society (TABS) launch SMASH, a campaign around their new employee assistance programme.

The programme which is run by Spectrum and offers 24/7 support for a range of different issues including mental health support, financial advice, legal advice and career advice. 

 SMASH is the first wellbeing programme of its kind for the advertising industry in Ireland and the programme will provide a variety of mental health supports and practical services, exclusively to IAPI’s two thousand members. The SMASH programme is funded by TABS, The Advertising Benevolent Society.

IAPI members, through the SMASH programme, will be able to avail of six professional consultation sessions on eight different concerns. The programme of up to 48 professional consultations will cover financial, legal, consumer, health, parenting and career advice as well as mediation and life coaching.

It’s a really good programme and I’m so proud to be involved in the launch because I believe that every employee should have access to it. 

More and more of us are taking days off work for mental health reasons. We don’t always say it’s mental health because there is still a stigma attached to taking time off for it. But with an EAP like Spectrum available, we can feel more comfortable in recognising and tackling our problems before they turn into a major crisis.

For those of us like me, who have been managing their conditions for longer, it’s comforting to know that there is a resource there for you if you need it. 

My mental health problems haven’t gone away. They are conditions that I have to manage closely. I’ve been on antidepressants for the last 18 months and I see a therapist regularly too. Even in doing all that, I can still struggle to get out of bed or to see my friends regularly, making my head a lonely place to be.

That being said, I’m optimistic that things always have the potential to get better and being able to share my story with my colleagues has shown that. Hopefully with a little more talk and a lot more action, more organisations will follow in IAPI’s footsteps and support their employees as much as they can.

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It has long been claimed that flowers have a therapeutic effect on those who surround themselves with them, but science had yet to truly back it up.

Research conducted by the American Society For Horticulture Science has recently revealed that fresh flowers can have the ability to ease feelings of anxiety, and even physical pain. 

The study evaluated whether or not plants have an influence on surgical patients, and we're pretty surprised by these results. 90 participants were split into rooms with plants or without, and those with foliage feelings have different outcomes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to the research, those who were exposed to flowers had lower heart rates and blood pressure, decreased ratings of fatigue, anxiety and pain, and harboured more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms.

It's now suggested that flowers should be 'complementary medicine' for recovering patients. It's time to click your fingers and insist that a crowd of men throw a bouquet at you every few minutes…for health reasons.

Flowers are often the go-to gift for celebrating milestones, or for offering messages of hope or condolences. Good old science has just given us the opportunity to buy our own blooms, for self-care.

According to a study published in Complementary Therapies In Medicine, bouquets of flowers can reduce our stress levels.

The researchers gave college-age women a fresh vase of roses for their accommodation, and the subjects felt more relaxed than they did before. Whether it's psycho-somatic, or true therapy, it seems to work.

It seems like an easy breezy way to experience multiple health benefits while keeping your home aesthetically lush. Apparently, indoor plants and gardening come with health advantages similar to gym workouts.

We like this, we like this A LOT.

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Whether it's your best friend, a close family member or your favourite hairdresser, there's nothing like a good chat to lift your spirits and as it turns out, those bonds could have a huge effect on our mental and physical health.

According to The Irish Independent, a number of studies carried out over the past 40 years have indicated that good social relationships may contribute to a reduction in abdominal obesity, better lung function and even a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some researchers even claim that our relationships could be more important than diet and exercise when it comes to overall health and wellbeing.

A 2010 study carried out at Brigham Young University found that having a good network of friends and family members could improve a person's odds of survival by up to 50 per cent.

Participants were asked a number of questions about their social lives, including the quality of relationships with friends, family, partners and colleagues.

Based on their answers, the women were then divided into three groups – 'socially isolated', 'moderately integrated' and 'socially integrated'.

20 years later, researchers checked in with the participants and found that the 'socially integrated' women were significantly less likely to have passed away from their battle with breast cancer than those who were deemed 'socially isolated'.

The risk of reoccurrence was also greatly reduced in women who said they has a quality network of friends. 

Head researcher, Candyce H Kroenke, said: "It is well established that women who have more social ties generally, including those with breast cancer, have a lower risk of death overall."

"Our findings demonstrate the beneficial influence of women's social ties on breast cancer, including recurrence and breast cancer death."

What's more, an earlier study carried out by the same team, found that laughing and enjoying quality time with friends could help patients deal with some of the physical symptoms of cancer.  

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No matter how much you might love your job, there are few among us who don't find ourselves struggling against those classic Sunday Night Blues as Monday morning creeps ever closer.

And such is the extent of our weekly woe, many of us fail to realise the true potential of a well-spent Sunday evening.

Relaxing and unwinding before diving back into the working week is essential, but so too is putting a little prep and planning into ensuring a successful week ahead.

From brisk walks and at-home manicures to goal checklists, reclaiming your Sunday with our simple P plan has never been so easy.

Press pause

There comes a point on Sunday evening when you have to accept that the weekend is coming to an end, and it's time to look ahead and stop clinging to the last vestige of the previous days' festivities.

While it sounds harsh, there is no point in dragging your Sunday Fear into Monday morning because you were unable to draw a line under your days off.

Telling yourself you're simply pressing pause on your down-time until next weekend is a simple way to focus your mind.

Plan your week

Much of the anxiety brought about by Sunday night stems from concern over commitments and responsibilities awaiting us in the week ahead.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and consider the next five days, so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you.

It sounds like a bummer to consider work-related events during time-off, but it really helps to alleviate stress.

Pamper yourself

After you've accepted the fact that work is looming, and dedicated some time to considering the week ahead, it's time to focus on treating yo'self!

Why not indulge your hands with an at-home manicure from Sally Hansen which guarantees a salon finish without the price tag? With an incredible array of products which protect, condition and strengthen your nails, Sally Hansen provides you with all the tools need for a high-quality treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Taking the time to pamper yourself on a Sunday evening is a guaranteed way to relax, and ease yourself into the next five days.

Pound the streets

It's rare you'll return from a brisk walk and not feel much better than when you left.

Shake off the cobwebs from the weekend's excesses by grabbing your runners and going for a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood.

Not only will it help you sleep better (something that is absolutely vital on a Sunday night), but it will help clear your head if your planning hasn't quite done the job!

Prepare your outfit

A very simple way to rid yourself of Sunday night fear is to prepare an outfit (from underwear to accessories) for the following morning.

Take the time to iron your clothes, and tidy out your handbag so your Monday morning doesn't involve frantically rooting through your laundry bin or fighting your way through mountains of receipts in search of your Leap Card.

Covering the little things makes Monday mornings so much more doable.

Praise and preach

Now is the time to truly relax… because it is still the weekend, after all!

Praise yourself for getting ahead of the game by tending to vital tasks, give props to yourself for taking the time to treat yourself, and remind your friends to do the same by getting straight on WhatsApp and preaching the good word!

 

Brought to you by
Sally Hansen

When it comes to nail care, Sally Hansen’s wide range of products guarantees a salon-quality finish … at a snip of the price. From treatments to polishes, the range is exactly what you need when you want to make nailcare a priority without breaking the bank. Available in pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide with prices ranging from €6.99 to €10.99.

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Gemma Atkinson’s latest post has reminded us of how powerful our bodies are.

The new mum shared three shots, one taken during her pregnancy, one taken six weeks after she gave birth and another taken 15 weeks postpartum.

The actress opened up about the importance of staying fit and healthy as a mum.

She wrote, “Dear body, Thank you! 5 months pregnant / 6wks PP / 15 wks PP. All different but all for a purpose. Growing my baby, feeding my baby, becoming strong and healthy again to be there for my baby. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“My training has even more purpose now I have Mia. I’m her role model! My health and mentally feeling good was always my priority with exercise,” Gemma shared.

“It was never to compete on stage or to chase a certain physique. It was just to be the best version of ME! By making good nutritious choices with my meals without depriving myself (hello once a week cheesecake & pizza) I’m slowly getting back into it,” she continued.

Gemma had to have an emergency C section so the mum has to be cautious when it comes to pushing herself too much. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“I started with just cardio around 8wks PP and last week I had my first session back in the gym. It was tough and I had to go back to basics but afterwards I felt amazing! It’s always worth it once those endorphins kick in,” Gemma shared.

Gemma said her mental health is already benefiting from exercise, “Despite being physically weaker in the gym after time away, I feel mentally stronger than I ever have going through what I did to bring Mia into this world. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gemma Atkinson (@glouiseatkinson) on

“When things get tough, I remind myself that I’m a Mum. A badass Mum. A privilege sadly denied to many… I’m so lucky, that's what keeps me going,” she added.

Gemma’s body positive post has filled us with inspiration. Exercise has an incredible impact on your mental health so we’ll be making more time for it in the future.

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For any only children or owners of brothers out there, having a sister is truly epic, and now that statement is backed up by science. 

Okay, you may have clothes and makeup stolen from your room on the regular and you may have to be the gatekeeper of many a cover story to your parents, but having a sister to confide in scientifically makes women happier people. 

Findings by De Montfort University and Ulster University found that sisters encourage open communication about each pothers emotions, which leads to elevated moods and feelings of happiness.

'Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families,’ Professor Tony Cassidy explained to The Telegraph.

‘However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect.'

'Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families.' 

Image result for sisters kardashian

'It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things.'

'With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down.’

So that solves it – having sisters officially improves your quality of life (even if it doesn't always feel that way)

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In the beginning, there were a lot of bad mental health days but then things started to get better.

I started to manage my anxiety and the clouds of negative thoughts slowly started to clear in my mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kat O'Connor (@katoconnorr) on

I thought my anxiety was gone. I naively thought I was ‘cured’. I was too ignorant to realise that mental health disorders don’t just magically vanish. They’re something you have to manage for life.

My anxiety reappeared in May, 2018, on one of the hardest days of my life. The memory of this day is one that will never leave my mind, I remember it all too well.

I was curled up in bed, engulfed in my copy of The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill when I heard a strange noise from the room next to mine.

Was someone snoring or coughing? I wasn’t quite sure, but my gut told me to check what it was.

I opened the door to find my mam turned over on her side in bed, but she wasn’t asleep. She was having what we later discovered was a seizure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kat O'Connor (@katoconnorr) on

She was shaking uncontrollably, foaming at the mouth, making this horrid gurgling noise because her brain had shut down and her body was struggling to breathe.

I held her grey, lifeless body in my arms and just yelled and yelled until my dad and sister came upstairs to find us. We shouted at the paramedics to hurry up and get here because as I clung onto my mam, I genuinely thought she was dead, we all did.

I sat in the James’s Hospital A&E for thirteen hours, waiting, hoping and praying my mam was okay. And she was.

The doctors explained to us that mam had a seizure, but have yet to find the cause, but they upped her medication, schedule constant appointments and are pretty pleased with how she is doing at the moment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kat O'Connor (@katoconnorr) on

Mam is happy and healthy, but ever since that harrowing day I have been a ball of anxiety. The trauma of nearly losing her triggered my anxiety and let it attack when I was at my most vulnerable and I must admit I haven’t been able to manage it as well as I used to.

I am jumpy at home whenever I hear an unusual noise. I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure mam is okay. Dozens of thoughts whizzing through my mind: Is she breathing? Has she taken her medication? Will she be okay when I’m at work?

My parents tell me there’s nothing to worry about, but my brain disagrees. It’s full of panic and dread every single day.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kat O'Connor (@katoconnorr) on

The heart palpitations are back. The rapid breathing is back. The negative thinking is back. And I have accepted that.

I learned how to live with anxiety before and I know I can do it again.

There are days when I let my anxiety take over because I simply don’t have the energy to fight it, but one thing I’ll always remind myself of is that I am stronger than it, even on those days when I just want to give up.

I have accepted my anxiety. I have accepted the bad days, the panic attacks and the constant worrying, but I never let myself forget that this too shall pass.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this feature you can contact Pieta House 24/7 Helpline 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans Helpline 116 123.

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by

Whether you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or depression, dealing with the symptoms of a mental health issue is a daily struggle. 

Trying to keep your stress levels down can be a challenge in itself, especially when much of it comes our normal daily routines. 

Here's some of the most common habits that could contribute to low mood levels. 

Drinking too much caffeine

Whether it's your go-to morning coffee or a relaxing cup of tea in the evening, a lot of us rely on caffeine to get us through the day.

However, it might be time to cut-back on the flat whites as studies have shown a link between excessive caffeine intake and depression, moodiness and anxiety.

Try replacing one cup a day with a caffeine free alternative. Your energy levels may still benefit from the placebo effect, but you'll be doing your mental health a huge favour.

Avoiding exercise

The amount of physical activity we get each day can have a huge impact on our mood.

Research has suggested that regular exercise could even ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Start small. Set aside 20 minutes a day for a brisk walk and you'll be amazed at how quickly your mood will improve.

Constantly checking social media 

Comparing yourself to others on social media is a slippery slope that rarely leads anywhere good.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that all your school mates are living extraordinary lives, but guess what, they're not .

Sure, maybe Sarah from the Gaelteacht is off raising baby elephants in Thailand for a month, but just remember that social media posts of just the 'highlight reel' of other people's lives.

Staying indoors

Underexposure to natural daylight can wreak havoc on our mental health.

Apart from the natural calming effect nature has on our minds, vitamin D, which is only produced when the body is exposed to sunlight, has been shown to protection against depression.

Overloading on carbs

Simple carbohydrates such as sugary, processed foods are broken down rapidly, providing the body with a quick source of energy.

Eating these types of foods on a regular basis can result in mood swings caused by fluctuating blood sugars.

Instead, try eating more complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and legumes.

Working too hard

This one is a bit of a no-brainer.

It's important to take a step back from your working life in order to focus on yourself.

So, turn off the work e-mails and go visit an old friend or family member – you'll be shocked at how relaxed you'll feel afterwards.

 

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Pieta House are calling on clubs, companies and individuals to do something that makes them “FeelGood” and create a positive atmosphere inside and outside the workplace this October to raise vital funds for the charity. Last year over 200 participants took part in ‘FeelGood with Pieta’. Participants raised funds and created awareness by organising yoga classes, lunchtime walks, with some people going the extra mile and tackling the 500km Camino Walk across Spain and France, all in support of ‘FeelGood with Pieta’.

The funds raised for ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ have a direct impact on the service users, as they help ensure the doors remain open and the services provided by Pieta House remain free. ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ ambassadors and well-known household names for the campaign include chef, Derry Clarke, international rugby players, Jack McGrath and Hannah Tyrell, and actor, Moe Dunford.

‘FeelGood with Pieta’ ambassador Derry Clarke, said; “I am delighted to be taking part in ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ again this October. It’s all about taking the time and reminding yourself how good you can feel, reaching out to others and enjoying time together.”

This year, ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ is expanding its outreach across two weeks from October 14 to 27 to encourage people to create and register their own style of event, by doing something that makes them “FeelGood”. Pieta have outlined three pillars to use as inspiration for ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ events:  

Connect – Focus on making time to re-connect with friends and family. Alternatively, make an effort to meet new people in your community/workplace. Organise a coffee morning in aid of Pieta House and invest time in building on existing relationships or creating new ones. 

Be Active – Get yourself moving. Go for a run with a friend, get out of the office for an hour and enjoy a lunchtime yoga class. Getting active doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Something as a simple as a lunchtime walk or organising a steps challenge amongst peers is a certain way to create healthy competition and get a daily dose of exercise, while having fun!

Feel Good – Organise an event that will help you and friends feel good. Host a movie night with close friends, suggest a ‘Raffle an annual leave day’ competition to your boss. Hold an event that will instil positivity and a feeling of contentment amongst colleagues and friends. 

Speaking about the fundraising initiative, Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta House, said; “The ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ campaign is an amazing opportunity for people to get active and take small steps towards improving their own mental health as well as raising vital funds for Pieta House to keep our doors open and services free for all. ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ is about taking the time to reconnect with friends, work colleagues or family members in a fun and uplifting way. We are extremely grateful for all donations and hope that the ‘FeelGood with Pieta’ initiative will encourage people to get out, have fun and spread awareness for an important cause.”

EY Ireland, which fundraises for Pieta House on a year-round basis, believes that employee wellbeing is crucial to the health and happiness of any workplace. Following the launch of the campaign, Ian Collins, EY’s Health & Vitality Partner Sponsor since 2018 said: “At EY, we place the health and wellbeing of our employees at the centre of our business. They are our greatest asset and we are committed to continually striving to improve their experience as employees so that their physical, mental and emotional needs are factored into everything that we do, and each of the supports that we provide.”

Since 2006, over 48,000 people have been through the Pieta House doors in a state of crisis, and with over 80% of funding coming from the public, support is vital to help continue this lifesaving work. 

Pieta House, which started as a small, Dublin-based charity in 2006 with just one centre with four staff, has now expanded to 15 centres employing over 270 therapists and administrative staff nationwide. From day one, all of the services it provides have been offered completely free of charge.

For more information and for tips on how to host your event, and turn it into a fundraiser, go to www.feelgoodwithpieta.ie .

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