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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.

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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