Week 5: Self-care and new challenge

The theme for Week 5 of our series ‘Creating Hope and Staying Positive while facing Covid-19’ is ‘Self-Care and new challenge’.

Check in every day as we explain through our podcast, audio, recipe, and a reading, with with further practical advice, why it is important to take time to look after yourself and to take on new challenges.

Listen to our Podcast

Sile Tracey is joined by Area Co-ordinator Emily Grufferty and GROWer Andy to discuss self care and taking on new challenges

Week 5: Self-Care and new challenge

There is a lot to think about at this time but we have to remember to look after ourselves to maintain our mental and physical health.

There are a number of ways we can do this, including challenging ourselves to set targets physically but also mentally so that could be trying something new – in the kitchen, the garden or going online to learn a new skill.

Always remember the GROW wisdom – sufficient care, sufficient risk.

Self-care is also vital at during these challenging times so make sure you create a little bit of space for yourself to get away from it all – whether that is taking a quiet walk, having a bath, reading or a bit of relaxation etc.

Give yourself time for escape as you don’t have to listen to the news all day. Unfortunately there is very little that is positive and reports in the media can add to our anxieties. It is important to keep informed but you don’t need to be tuned in 24 hours per day. It is also vital to get your information from trusted sources – national media, Government, HSE, WHO – as opposed to relying on social media.

Wellness and GROW

If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly for a start and while we are improving:

While keeping the routine of what we need to do, try new challenges to keep things fresh and add variety. The thing you fear unreasonably becomes your master.  


Rearrange a room, write a poem or a story, draw a picture, laugh out loud, read to yourself or to somebody else out loud, try a new walk or new exercise. Learn to play an instrument.

 GROW Audio: Self-Care & Hobby

Caroline Crotty, GROW Mental Health Recovery Area Co-ordinator, looks at the importance of looking after yourself and having a hobby during the Covid-19 restrictions.



The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” — Michelangelo.


Imagine that we had to travel a long journey, say from Ballincollig to Belfast, we would not just sit into the car and start driving in any direction – we would plan the route, think about what to pack to take with us, have an idea about where to stop off to get fuel etc.   With life, having a well thought-out plan is also beneficial – to know where we are going, with whom and what we would like to do along the way. 

To help with positive mental wellbeing and to keep us focused on our future, it is very beneficial and worthwhile to make a list of goals.  

Setting goals is a tool that helps us maintain focus on what is important in our lives. We all have something that we would like to change or to do.  Goals help improve our health and wellbeing, foster positive relationships with friends, family or work colleagues and help us feel that we are in control (because we are in the driver’s seat) and that we are getting the most out of life.   

Because goals can vary from being short term (shopping list) to lifetime goals (career or education) setting goals helps us to remain focused and goal-orientated. 

Set realistic attainable goals.  Setting the goal of winning the lottery for example is not realistic.  If we are not inclined to regularly exercise then setting the goal of becoming an Olympian is highly unattainable. Goals should be something that you consider to be within your power, achievable and realistic.   

Instead of setting the goal that to run a marathon, we might instead set the goal of going for a brisk walk every second day. 

Goals are important because they give us the direction to make positive changes in our lives.  I am not saying that we should not be happy with our lives right now but in my experience planning through goal-setting is beneficial.  

Ask yourself what you would like to achieve.  Be specific.  Think of changes that you would like to make or something you wish to attain.  I may have a goal to declutter my bedroom and you may have a goal to start your own company. 

Goals are self-challenges – we need them to work for us – so set goals that are neither too easy nor too demanding.  If we set goals that are too difficult it can be very discouraging for us and make us feel like we have failed.

Challenge: Set yourself three goals and write them down.  Writing is beneficial as it helps crystallise your thinking around goals.  Be very precise and set yourself dates, times, amounts and a time-frame in relation to each goal because this will help you monitor your achievements.  

Be as specific as you possibly can and give yourself enough time in which to achieve your goal. 

Once you have set your goals, constantly monitor your progress. Regularly review and update your goals, adding to your list as you progress.  You can expand from short term goals to a list of one month / six months / one year / two years etc. 

We cannot control every eventuality and life can get in the way of us achieving our goals. Reappraise and adjust goals as life dictates.

When you achieve a goal, reward yourself and acknowledge your achievement and praise yourself for how well you have done. 

Your list of goals is endless and profoundly personal.  Keep motivated. Setting goals promotes long term vision and is a worthwhile investment in your future.


                  – Caroline Crotty, GROW Mental Health Recovery Area Co-ordinator


GROW Recipe

Fruit-on-the-bottom Chia Pudding – kindly provided by RéNua Natural Health

Brief: Food-something fun, new ingredient, try out something different

Suggestion: A breakfast or snack dish using a new ingredient, Chia Seeds in this case, lovely colours and textures.  Possibly out of the chef’s comfort zone yet highly rewarding.  Can be repeated.  Still edible if all goes wrong. The chef can be creative and artistic with this one.

Recipe: Fruit-On-The-Bottom Chia Pudding


  • New ingredient, Chia Seeds, high in omega 3 (anti-inflammatory), something we are familiar with yet may not have tried or do not know how to use them
  • New process – soaking overnight, observe change in seed texture. Again, a new process for many with a high reward.  Served in jam jars for a bit of fun
  • Berries and sweet fruits are delightful yet healthy
  • Visually pretty and appealing, allows for plenty creativity
  • If it all goes belly-up, no loss, still edible and tasty
  • Nutritional Profile
  • Excellent source of soluble fibre, omega 3 and calcium
  • Good source of vitamin C, anti-oxidants and magnesium

             – Excellent source of soluble fibre, omega 3 and calcium

             – Good source of vitamin C, anti-oxidants and magnesium

The Weekly Takeaway

As part of The Weekly Takeaway, members from the North East and East under the guidance of Area Co-ordinator Louise Carroll, have posted such inspirational, uplifting, honest, funny and heartfelt takeaways.

These posts are being shared to inspire, and to help people enjoy and learn from everyone’s experiences. Members are happy to share and let their learning help others.  In helping others we help ourselves – GROW program.

Info Line

Contact our info line on 1890 474 474 for a friendly and trusted voice if you need to discuss any issues.

Quick Link Menu