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Your handy guide to minding yourself this St Patrick's Day

Put down that green face paint and read this.
Mar 9th 2016, 9:53 AM 26,583 12

AH, ST PATRICK’S Day, right on time.

There are plenty of different ways to spend your St Patrick’s Day, not just the big parade in Dublin.

St. Patrick's Festival, Dublin Source: Miguel Mendez

For the lucky among us, it represents a glorious day off work. Elusive free time, at last. But what to do with it?

Here’s our one-stop guide on how best to spend this little oasis of freedom in the middle of the week.  Oh, and make sure to add your own suggestions in the comments section.

1. Culture vulture

It’s easy to forget how much culture surrounds us on this little fair island. From music and opera to writing workshops and art openings, there’s always something going on no matter what corner of the country you’re in. You can check out websites like Culture Fox to help you find something cool in your area.

Here are just a few examples of upcoming cultural events going on in each province:

2. Up and at ‘em

Going for a nice, bracing walk is good for your body and mind. It’s rare that we get the time to enjoy the beautiful scenery we’re lucky to be surrounded by in Ireland. Why not check out some hill walks, forest trails, looped walks or cycling routes near you?

And sure for the day that’s in it, those of you reading this in the West of Ireland could even give climbing Croagh Patrick a go…

Croagh Patrick Source: IrishFireside

3. Home is where the heart is

And it might seem like a no-brainer, but why not support your local parade with the family? That said, if it ends up not being a nice day outside (in like a lion and out like a lamb as they say), there are plenty of rainy day activities to enjoy with the kids. You could try some of these arts, crafts and games ideas based around St Patrick’s Day/games for kids, or else follow this recipe to make the amazing cookies below.

potof Source: Pop Sugar

4. Nice to be nice

Supporting and helping others is a simple way to make you feel better about yourself. Volunteer Ireland offers a search engine where you can search for volunteering opportunities based on your area of interest, field of experience and location in Ireland. You could use your spare time figuring out what you could be giving back to your local community.

Volunteer Ireland host regular fundraising events and volunteer fairs where you can speak to current volunteers about the causes they care about. Sign up to their festivals and events newsletter here. 

Check out the Harbour2Harbour walk in support of Aware or the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt in support of Barnados for just a few examples of some events on the mailout.

vol Source: Volunteer Ireland

5. Time out

A bank holiday offers us time that we don’t normally have to pause and assess where we’re at. It’s therefore an ideal time to take stock of your mental health and make sure you’re taking time to make sure everything is OK. Your day off could be the ideal time to check out SOS’s online Wellness Workshop – accessible to everyone around Ireland at any time.

If you’re in the south-east region, consider attending Waterford’s safeTALK’s programme. The 4-hour session is designed to help participants increase their ability to promote the immediate safety of someone who may be at risk of suicide and provide links to further help. There are also upcoming dates in Wexford, Clonmel and Kilkenny.

For more information on future mental health events in your locality, click here.

Reach out Source: jean--

6. Stronger together

There’s strength in numbers. A bank holiday is ideal time to see a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while – or just send a Facebook message to catch up with an old friend from school even.

You could reach out by phoning an elderly relative or knocking into a neighbour who lives alone too. Make sure to make time for friends and family.

how

The #LittleThings campaign from yourmentalhealth.ie is a national effort by the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention and scores of partner organisations and support groups to bring information, awareness, advice and support around mental health for you and your loved ones. 

No matter how you spend your bank holiday, try to do something with others – and remember that there’s strength in numbers. 

Helplines:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

For information on what to do or where to go, please see yourmentalhealth.ie.

Have you got any suggestions for unique ways to spend our national holiday? Leave them down below.

Now read: “Problems feel smaller when you share them” – if you’re not feeling OK, let someone know>

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