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Revive to Survive

“What do you mean the summer is over??!”

If you’re like me, you galloped towards the mid- year point with an equal measure of frenzy and excitement as the children finished school. The summer was a cocktail of work commitments, play dates and a fantastic but ‘intense’ overseas holiday. We’re now at the end of August, on the verge of the autumnal transition, immersed in the hive of activity that is back to school, more work deadlines and let’s throw in a bit of home decoration for good measure!

The dawn of a new season can often feel like an opportune time to trial and embrace new routines and habits, that will boost our resilience for the invariable hustle and bustle that this time of year brings. I read recently, that “what we think, we become”- if that’s the case, this ‘busyness epidemic’ is preventing us from taking a leap or doing something differently. By missing out on pausing, we are missing out on the opportunity of getting ‘unstuck’! By ‘stuck’, I mean immersed in that task list; the one that features, the things we ‘have’ to do, the things we ‘need’ to do and of course, the things we ‘should’ do.  Do you ever find yourself saying “There’s just not enough hours in the day” or “I need space to think!” or even” I need a break!!!”

Here are my tips for new habits to embrace to help you revive and survive (and they don’t involve a sun lounger!)

  1. Change your Routine– be proactive and look at clawing back nuggets of space in your day. Would you consider getting up an hour earlier? Wouldn’t an early morning walk or a cup of tea in peace where you have time to think be blissful before the carnage of the day?! See my previous blog for more on this:
  2. Switch off and reconnect– enforce a digital detox for a morning/ afternoon or a day if you can manage it! A conscious decision to put away your phone and tablets because you want to be more present and engaged with yourself/ your family / friends can be both empowering and transformative. Our connection with ourself and our closest relationships are key in surviving life’s challenges.
  3. Do less to achieve more– multitask less – experience has taught me that this is an incredibly ineffective way to function. When we multi task, we ‘skim’- we cover quantity and not quality, and our mind is always on the next task. Slowing down can be challenging but is key to nourish and replenish yourself.
  4. Get creative– the change of season often inspires and the benefits of engaging our creativity are well documented and include relaxation and escapism! Don’t worry- you don’t need to be arty, it could be crafting, photography or anything else! Last week, I took the children to the local beach where we picked stones and painted them! (see pic. at top of blog)
  5. Declutter – for some, decluttering a space can be enormously cathartic/ therapeutic. Pick a cupboard, start small. You’ll soon see the benefits of these teaspoon size changes.
  6. Practise gratitude – helps to refocus especially if you’re feeling a little frazzled or stressed. Distill your thoughts and focus on 3 things that you are grateful for (perhaps buy a gratitude diary to write in a few times a week) This helps to cultivate a positive outlook and reminds us that all is well in our very busy world!


Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer and is founder of Change Grow Succeed. For further information, please contact her on


Building Resilience

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I have wanted to write a blog on ‘Resilience’ for a few months now. I threw the topic “out there” with friends and colleagues and what became apparent is that this is a subject matter that seems to attract lots of different viewpoints and opinions.

I asked, “WHY do we need resilience?” Again, the response was varied as we all face and experience different stressors in our day to day, but it did come down to one thing: survival.

  • How do we survive our day to day without feeling overwhelmed?
  • How do we survive the chaos that is being a working parent?
  • How do we handle rejection? (this could be the job seeking process or a child who no longer wants your help!)
  • How do we manage tricky relationships (personal or professional) or even some challenging behaviours?
  • How do we deal with bad news?

There is no doubt that reminding ourselves on how we can build resilience will benefit us all.


Developing resilience involves 5 key areas:

  1. A mental shift in attitude and outlook. Changing how we think about a challenging task or situation can optimise our resilience- perhaps you’ve come across the saying “it’s not the issue but how we view the issue that can be the problem.” So, instead of sighing “why does this always happen to me”, reframe with “this is not personal, I can move on from this…”


  1. Adapting to your environment and being flexible. Consider a bamboo tree- even in the strongest wind, it will bend but not break. It’s deeply rooted but flexible enough to deal with adverse weather conditions. Being able to “go with the flow” while facing life’s challenges is important in building resilience.


  1. Sometimes, resilience is all about the recovery– how do we recover when we fall off track? Resilience comes from our ability to learn from “the fall”, restore ourselves and renew. Growth is the core message in recovery. Empower yourself. Ask yourself- what is your healthy way of coping? Make a list and review when needed!


  1. Ask for help!! Having awareness around when to ask for help is important in building resilience. “A problem shared is a problem halved”- who is the person that you turn to? Is it a friend? A sibling? A Partner? Maybe it’s your Life Coach or GP?


  1. Healthy body = healthy mind. A good diet and exercise will help to build your resilience. Patrick Holfords book “The Feel Good Factor” offers a useful breakdown of food groups and how they can benefit us. Of course exercise feeds both the body and mind, so try to get that blood flowing- there no excuse now that there is a stretch in the evening!


The 5 key areas listed above are my tips but I’m sure it’s not definitive, get in touch and let me know what boosting resilience means for you! Let’s share the message and stay strong for ourselves and each other!


Gillian McGrath is a Life and Business Coach and Trainer and founder of who resides in Cork. For more information, please contact her on