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Relentless hours impact high performance




By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Many of us are on the brink of burnout…. close to exhaustion daily, no longer able to enjoy life and constantly overwhelmed.


We know that exercise, good sleep, good food, time for our hobbies, time with friends, meditation, laughter, proper time off to name a few, are essential for a good life, good health and preventing burnout.

Since coming back out of lockdown I’ve noticed a trend. All those things we swore we’d never do again are back and worse than ever. We promised we’d make the time for each other. We swore that we’d take time out in nature and never ever take that stillness and calm for granted again.

What I am seeing more and more of in the past few months is people cramming things into the day.

Working longer hours, meeting up with people more often, going out more and essentially making up for lost time. This is all great and understandable, but what is obvious is that people are getting to a state of burnout, trying to do too much in shorter pieces of time. This is not sustainable.

As the well-trodden quote goes: “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness”.

This isn’t to scaremonger, but it is about looking up and taking stock of what’s important, and making the time for yourself and your well-being.

Working harder, constantly “on”, checking emails, answering calls, running from meeting to meeting - does this sound like you right now? It's pretty joyless, right? The impact that this relentless style of living and working has on health, stress levels, energy, eating habits, relationships, in fact life in general, is enormous.


Many of us are working like this and it seems that the new norm is to be working all through our waking hours. The concept of work/life/balance or the newer work life integration, was surely meant to reflect that we could do work anywhere thanks to technology, however for many of us, it has meant that we do our work everywhere for much of our waking hours, far longer than is healthy. Many of us are on the brink of burnout, skating a thin line between being always on and absolute body and mind exhaustion. I hold to account organisations which think that this is how ‘high performance’ translates itself, they have a huge gap of understanding to close, starting with how to reflect a more modern progressive true high performance culture which places people’s well-being as the most important strategic priority.

Relentless hours are not conducive to high performance, good leadership skills, being able to think clearly, being empathic or having good decision-making skills - working like this blunts all of our leadership characteristics and will eventually lead down the road to ill health and burnout.

Burnout is very hard to come back from. Mental and physical health can be seriously adversely effected when the body is burnt out, but even if it doesn’t get to that, that’s no way to live and work. So what you can do to find time for some personal strategies and habits to protect you from burnout and to have a more fulfilling engaged life with a decent work life balance?

Rather than dumping all the good habits to keep you healthy and well, find time every day for things which will help you to look after your health - physical and mental.

Breath work

My good friends at Nave Yoga often practice two-minute breath work. Perhaps you could take some classes to learn how to connect with your breath?


Take 10 minutes outdoors, away from the desk, this will help to rejuvenate the mind. Preferably longer but sometimes the deadlines are looming. We are blessed here in Killarney with trails to walk, use them!


Reclaim lunch and have a screen free eating break

Constantly working through lunch is a recipe for lacklustre job performance, low energy for life and work, plus is pretty damn depressing. Many of us eat in front of our computers during lunch. This keeps cortisol pushed up and will exacerbate feelings of stress. Take even 15 minutes to eat without keeping your screen open and you will help reduce stress in the body.


Daily exercise is essential for our overall health and well-being. When it’s mad at work, try not to dump the exercise, perhaps get up 15 minutes earlier and do a short workout at home. Can you get out to exercise a few evenings a week?

Good sleep habits

Close your devices an hour before sleep and set them aside.

These are just short term strategies – in the end you need to have proper rest and down time, there is just no other way to be happy and healthy and ensure you can buffer the effects of stress in the body.



Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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