Health and Wellness

St. Patrick’s Day

Growing up in Canada I remember St. Patrick’s Day being about wearing green to school and then drinking green in college. Although most people only associate St. Patricks Day with intoxication it can have a different feeling in it’s country of origin.

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Ireland is labelled by it’s own citizens as a country of begrudgers. Complaining about the rain when it’s lashing and when the sun is out, complaining that is it too hot. On Paddy’s weekend the weather worries can be tossed aside as a great buzz fills the cities. A new found patriotism takes over which is a feeling not often displayed here. Unlike North America where inhabitants can sometimes shove the love of their country down your throat.

Here patriotism seems to be an all or nothing experience, it’s usually by the whole nation, not just at the individual level. For example, when the Irish rugby team is set to win the six nations or when a female boxer is going to win gold at the Olympics. This country of clans comes together to celebrate or mourn, depending on the outcome.

A couple videos to feel some Irish pride yourself.

There are Irish expats living all over the world and although many use this day to feel some form of pride, it is still mainly associated with alcohol. Which can make it difficult to enjoy for those who do not drink. If you struggle with alcohol infused holidays I recommend you look at a post I did a few months ago.

To enjoy this time without feeling as though you’re missing out, keep your eyes peeled for events that don’t involve alcohol. In Dublin there’s a 3 day festival for people of all ages, to see all the events look here.

I hope all you enjoy this weekend and if you are Irish spend some time getting in touch with your roots. That doesn’t have to mean enjoying a Guinness.

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” – W.B. Yeats

Holiday drinking

I was featured in The Herald today talking about my drinking habits. I explained that the way I enjoy alcohol now is different to when I was younger. As now it’s more for enjoyment and less for getting drunk.

This time of year the pressure to drink to get drunk can be overwhelming. With party after party and the 12 Pubs of Christmas there’s no avoiding the drinking push. When surrounded by all this liquid cheer there are some things to remember to keep it safe:

  • Know your limit. The holidays are a time when people who don’t usually drink may have a few. Alcohol affects each and one of us differently, trying to go drink for drink may result being left more intoxicated than intended.
  • Only accept a drink when you’re ready for one. Sometimes when rounds start there may be a drink in front of you before you’ve finished the last one. You do not have to drink that, I think even Miss Manners would understand.
  • Be respectful of those who do not want to drink. I’ve enjoyed many nights out without alcohol. What I did not enjoy was people trying to pressure me to drink. I can have fun without booze, if you cannot, maybe that’s something to be looked at.

If you want some more safe drinking tips and ideas for hosting a safe party you can read more here. If you have a past history of addiction then Psychology Today has great tips to help cope with holidays.

Alcohol can be fun, it can leave us feeling merry and full of cheer. Just remember your own limits and don’t give in the peer pressure.

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway

Can one lifestyle change make a difference?

Christmas hasn’t even happened yet and already I’ve received texts from a gym gearing up for January. The new years resolution lists are already being formulated and personal trainers are filling up their diaries.

What if this year we ignore the pressure that the media and advertisers push on us. And instead explore what it is that makes you and your body feel happy and healthy.

When it comes to resolutions many of us seem to feel like we should stop doing something, rather than starting something positive. Instead of saying you’ll quit smoking, stop eating crisps and not watch so much television. Why not decide to take up walking or meditating? 

Not that stopping smoking or eating junk isn’t a good idea. I just think we should start a new year with adding something positive to our lives.

The difference that thirty minutes of walking can make to our overall health is quite incredible. Not convinced? Watch the video below.

This is much cheaper then the gym, fresher air too.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Neitzsche