It’s been a rough year for all of us. As the evenings draw in and the weather gets cooler, it’s still vital that we stay active. Particularly as we’re all staying home more due to lockdown.
Whether it’s taking the kids to the park, getting a morning run in, or even a lunchtime walk, the benefits to mind and body health are proven. For now you’re limited to a 5km radius of your home, but we’ve assembled some resources to help you out.
Healthy Ireland – Keep Well
We’re having quite a year, and we all need a little help to get us through. Starting with a plan to do one small thing that will keep you well is a great way to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Find ideas from all our partners on what you can do and what’s available in your local community.
Why spending time outdoors improves our mood and brains
Think about how you feel when you go out for a walk. You look around and feel the movement. Being outdoors feels good, especially now in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is not surprising that we are made to be outdoors. Our ancestors moved around much more than us and our bodies maladapt to the sedentary modern life.
Down by the Secret Garden – Blessington Basin
On the south side, the secret garden was always the Iveagh Gardens. But in recent years music, comedy and food festivals have meant that that garden isn’t so secret anymore. So these days to find the city’s true secret garden, you have to head north side. Up O’Connell St, then North Frederick, cross Dorset and on up Blessington until you come to the black wrought iron gates. In you go. And you’re there.
Mentions of Dublin’s Canals, both the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, pour aplenty through Irish poetry and song. To each canal, a poet’s statue: The Royal has Brendan Behan, turned to look at you if you sit beside him; Patrick Kavanagh is on the Grand Canal, arms crossed and pensive. To each canal, a lyric: the passionate ‘Auld Triangle’ for the Royal; the contemplative ‘Canal Bank Walk’ for the Grand. They are the arteries running through the heart of Dublin unfurling into the countryside. The Grand bracing the city on the southside, stretching west 144km to the Shannon river and The Royal, on the northside, winding 146km to the same river. Yet despite their romantic depiction in poem and song – and perhaps as a result of their everyday lunch-breakiness – they’ve tended to get overlooked. All that is about to change. A small steady ‘friends of the canal’ movement is gaining momentum and these waterways encircling our city may soon be the focus of artful appreciation once more.
Most people who visit Bull Island from week to week probably don’t realise that it’s part of one of the biggest biospheres in Europe. So, what’s a biosphere?
Quite simply, a biosphere is an environment where people, nature and culture connect and co-exist. Imagine the biosphere as the perfect cup of tea, with people as the water, nature as the tea-leaves, and culture as the milk. The tea-leaves are rich and unique, but need the water to be hot so they can release the flavour, while the milk is added to make it more drinkable. In the same way, nature and culture within the biosphere can add value to people, but only where it is protected and sustainably managed
The people, mammals, places and things that make Dublin special.
A gang of lads.
Shy, reserved, quiet.
Just chewing the cud.
Sure, every now and again there is a bit of jostling.
Just like you would expect from a group of healthy young males.
But there’s one thing you would not expect.
And that’s the complete lack of interest in the women across the way.
It’s almost like an old country ballroom.
Men on one side.
Women on the other.
But come September, that will all change.
Scents will be donned. Fights will be had. Women will be chased.
Another generation will be born.
Perhaps you seek refuge from the clamour of the city? Then head away from Stephen’s Green. Walk up Harcourt Street. Take a left. And approach the gates at the end of Clonmel Street. Enter. And breathe. Around you are green lawns. Trees, Fountains. Statues. A rose garden. A maze. A grotto. An elegant promenade. And, crucial to our purpose here, not very many people. Indeed, mid-afternoon of an autumn’s day you may very well have the place to yourself. The place is Iveagh Gardens. It’s a Victorian park. So is Stephen’s Green, of course. But the difference in the atmosphere is pronounced – a direct result of its history.