Switching Off

Switching Off

Switching off  – switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature and relaxation can help your mental health and wellbeing.

Switching off and giving some time to yourself to do the things you enjoy doing is so important in looking after your mental wellbeing. Simple activities like being creative, learning something new, spending time in nature or practising relaxation, can help to restore and revive our spirits and help us to keep ourselves well.

  • Turn off – have a certain time everyday to check your social media and the latest news as relentless checking can lead to increased anxiety and stress. Ensure that you rely on trusted sources for information such as the HSE and the Department of Health, as rumour and misinformation can cause undue distress
  • exercise – exercise is great to relieve stress and improve your mood. We’ve got some great tips here
  • practice some relaxation techniques
  • read a book or listen to a story – You can join the library online at libraries.ie and download e-books to read on your own device
  • do something creative
  • do an online yoga class
  • FaceTime a friend for a chat
  • watch a funny film or TV show
  • YouTube offers a huge variety of tutoring videos for all sorts of interests from cooking to playing guitar, and is a great resource to get you started doing something you enjoy
  • if you would like to get more into cooking or baking, following your favourite TV chefs on social media is a great way to find new and exciting recipes for you to try out and wow the whole family
  • libraries also have a huge variety of magazines that can be downloaded digitally through their RBDigital app, and you should be able to find one to match your particular hobby!
  • if sport and exercise are more your thing, contact Sport Ireland or your local sports partnership for advice and ideas

There is a strong connection between being creative and improved mental wellbeing.

Now that more of our time will be spent at home, it is a great opportunity to pick up an old hobby or start a new one. Doing something creative can not only help you to develop new skills but can also improve your self-esteem and social connections.


Creative Ireland is working with Local Authorities to offer localised creative initiatives in their areas. These initiatives may include:

  • engaging with historical laces and sites in their locality
  • live, mobile, and pop up entertainment in various settings
  • creative photography
  • utilisation of spaces and places for Arts

The Design and Crafts Council Ireland YouTube channel has many step-by-step interactive workshops and short video tutorials in their Get Ireland Making Programme.

On this channel you can:

  • draw or paint
  • learn a new song
  • do an online dance class
  • try knitting and sewing
  • cook or bake


Reading and writing stories

Reading and writing stories is a great way to distract yourself from all that is going on around you. Immersing yourself in a story, or creating a story of your own can help you to relax and de-stress during these challenging times.

  • read a book or listen to an eAudiobook – You can join the library online at LibrariesIreland.ie and download e-books to read on your own device
  • if you’re thinking of writing some stories of your own there are many helpful tips and guides online to get you started. Libraries Ireland also have over 50 free online courses on creative writing
  • Fighting Words have some great resources to support creative writing during COVID-19 for both primary and post-primary students
  • the Museum of Literature Ireland offers Bright Sparks Creative Bursts, which are a series of writing games and prompts for children created by the award winning children’s writer Sarah Webb.

Rewarding reads is a new campaign from Libraries Ireland and Creative Ireland that is celebrating irish writers and encouraging people of all ages to discover the joy or reading. Libraries have a wealth of books for all ages and interests as well as online library services including free access to eBooks and audiobooks. Join online at librariesireland.ie/join or by contacting your local library.

Monaghan County Libraries

Contact details for branch libraries in County Monaghan.

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