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Crazy in (self) love

VIGO Health nurse Robyn Taaffe tells Caoimhe Young about the importance of looking after ourselves

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Self-care is important during the stress of the pandemic.

Self-care is important during the stress of the pandemic.

Self-care is important during the stress of the pandemic.

Self-care has never been more necessary to our daily routine after more than 15 months living in a global pandemic, so we spoke to Robyn Taaffe, a nurse with VIGO Health, about simple stress-reducing tips.

She says: "If you one do one of these stress-busting ideas a day then I know it will benefit you. Give it a go. Looking after yourself benefits everybody in your life, not just you."

Deep belly breathing

Simple, but effective. Take a deep breath, placing your awareness on your belly as it rises and falls with each breath. Repeat this for a few breath cycles and let yourself relax with each exhale.

Speaking with someone

Counselling and therapy isn't just for mental health issues. Speaking to a counsellor can help us navigate through tough times, manage stress and be proactive about our mental health.

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Robyn Taaffe, a nurse with VIGO Health.

Robyn Taaffe, a nurse with VIGO Health.

Robyn Taaffe, a nurse with VIGO Health.

Movement breaks

Get outside for a walk or schedule in your favourite workout class. Movement is key to both our mental and physical health and is a great self-care activity as it helps us spend more time in the present.

Unplug yourself

Life is almost all online right now, so sometimes we can feel plugged in 24/7. Try to schedule time away from your screen or leave your phone at home when you go for your walk or workout class. Read one chapter of a book (no, Kindle doesn't count), to give yourself a break from staring at a screen and technology in general.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice that brings our awareness to the present moment. When we spend more time in the present, it relieves stress. There are lots of types of meditations that you can try on YouTube for free, for people of all levels of experience. You can also try wellness apps - I find Calm or Headspace to be great.

VIGO Health is a new health cover proposition in Ireland. For the full list of benefits and more information on how to sign up please visit vigohealth.ie

WIN A SPA BREAK

VIGO Health is giving you the chance to win an overnight stay for two in the luxurious Bellinter House, Co Meath.

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The fabulous prize includes one night B&B in the countryside retreat for two people, as well as a relaxing 40-minute back massage in the Bathhouse Spa.

To be in with a chance to win, simply send your name and contact details to competitions@sundayworld.com - and tell us why you deserve to win. Don't forget to put 'VIGO', in the subject line.

Entries close Friday, July 16. Usual T&Cs apply.

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