Thursday, 23 October 2014

Samhain / Halloween – Darkness & New Beginnings

There is a moment, every year, in the darkness between the evening of October 
31st and the morning of November 1st when according to tradition the gap 
between our world and the realms of other beings - whether the immortal siĆ³g 
or Christain saints or the long gone dead - suddenly are as close a breath or a 
blink; when in a moment we mere mortals can experience great and terrifying 
revelations. It is a time of shudders and creaks, of dark tales and guises. It is a 
time when old Celtic year gives way to the new and an infinity of possibilities lies
before us. It is a time we celebrate as Samhain or Halloween.
In ancient times Samhain was a time of feasting, judgement, law making and the
settling of disputes, but it was also “a time of danger when the magic of the 
druids was required to control the hostility of the Otherworld beings by chanting 
and by sacrifice, spells and apotropaic formulae’ to ward off evil [Ross, Anne,
 ‘Ritual and the Druids’ in Green, Miranda J. (ed.) The Celtic World (London, 
There are many things to fill us with dread at this time of the year, not just the 
supernatural. Dark evenings and cold wet days can dampen our moods, make it 
harder to cope with all those day to day things we have to deal with;relationships,
work, money and studies. The shortening and darkening days can make it seem 
so much harder to cope and keep going on. But the magic that brings darkness 
also brings great healing and hope.
The very darkness, dampness and cold awakens a need to draw closer to friends
and love ones, which in turns has great benefits  for our health, resilience, 
confidence and optimism. The season has it’s an uplifting incredible beauty: 
Barna woods, my favourite haunt, looks the very picture of an Otherworld at this 
time of the year. The leaves carpeting the ground are a myriad of colours: the 
gold of pirate treasures, mixed with rubies and emeralds from a dragon’s lair, with
here and there patches as dark as old blood or a yellow as the sun in summer.
And that long relaxing walk in the autumn landscape, is not only wonderful for 
socialising and taking in the beauty of the world, it is also one of the most 
important forms of preventative medicine available. So if you are thinking of 
making any unbreakable oaths at this time of the year, you might want to think 
about regularly getting out for a walk with a friend (regardless of whether they are
human, canine, zombie, living dead or other). You never know you might just find
yourself transported into a whole other realm.
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For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your life as a student at NUI Galway check out Student's Services Health Promotion
Keep up to date by following this blog on twitter and Facebook
Enjoyed this article, you might want to check out:
Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health
 Long Walks Benefit Mind and Body 
Useful links:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

‘Dealing with jealousy in a relationship’ and lots more advice from Go Ask Alice

Here’s the latest Q & As from Go Ask Alice. Topics covered below include ‘Dealing with jealousy in a relationship’, ‘Team sports shy’ and lots more…

Click on the links below to read more about subjects that interest you. And remember if you find the articles useful feel free to tell your friends or retweet this blog.

All Go Ask Alice articles are written by Columba University.
Copyright (C) 2014 Columbia University. All rights reserved.
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Remember, if you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer for NUI Galway at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh.

For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your life as a student at NUI Galway check out Student's Services Health Promotion

Keep up to date by following this blog on twitter and Facebook

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

FREE Lunchtime Mindfulness Meditation

 FREE Lunchtime Mindfulness Meditation
Every Wednesday with Martina Coyne  (Mindfulness Facilitator)
 (However, please note there is no meditation Oct 29th)

No pre booking required
1.10pm - 1.40pm
For staff and students
Venue: Psychology Dept. room GO66

In a relaxed and supportive environment you will be introduced to mindfulness and the basic mindfulness practices of sitting meditation and body awareness exercises. These practices will enable you to focus and steady your mind. You will explore grounding your attention and awareness in the present .This is a workshop with an emphasis on reflection, relaxation and self-compassion.

Everyone welcome!