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Exercise and my mental health

Oct 04th 2019
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I naturally lead a very busy and active life. From time to time, I have a check in with myself to see where my head space is. I compare myself to a smartphone with all the applications open all the time. When I have my check in with myself from time to time, I realise that I need some ‘charge the battery time ' . This is where I allocate time and space to relax and switch off completely. It’s like hitting a reset button. I find that this really works for me in supporting my own mental health. For me, maintaining positive mental health is all about connections. If I can't exercise, here is a list of things I do to support my mental health:-

  • connect with friends over coffee/lunch/ brunch
  • spend time with family and play with my niece and nephews
  • walk the Prom in Salthill with friends
  • go for a dip in the sea
  • connect with a book that I had been looking forward to reading
  • listen to an interesting sports podcast
  • go to a rugby game with friends
  • watch sport on the television
  • help someone else
I think it's important to mind your mental health as mental health is connected with your physical and emotional health. If one of these areas is out of sync, it will have a knock on effect on the others. We can have all the plans in the world but without positive mental health you can't carry them out. I think that positive mental health has a massive impact on my training. No matter what obstacles I have faced or injuries I have picked up (and I have had a lot of injuries/ setbacks), I have always believed in myself and my ability to do whatever I set my mind too. This positive mind-set has helped me achieve lots of physical goals like completing the Half Ironman during the summer in Denmark and doing the solo cycle for 2500km on the Wild Atlantic Way in 2018. Because I believe in myself, I feel that I will achieve any physical goal I set my mind to. If you would like to learn more about how you can support your own mental health, visit ww.jigsawonline.ie The funds raised from Revolution X Jigsaw go directly to support the ongoing development of www.jigsawonline.ie

What One Good Adult means to me….

Sep 20th 2019
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Why do you feel youth mental health is important?

 I feel that positive mental health is important because it gives young people the skills to cope with any challenges they face and also gives them the best chance to reach their full potential in the future. If our young people feel unsafe/lost/disconnected etc ,  it is our role as adults in their lives to work hard to promote their mental, emotional and social well-being . 

When you were younger did you have a supportive adult in your life? What difference did they make?

If I was to pick a supportive adult in my life , it would have to be my mother, Cathy. She has been my number one supporter in my life. No matter what mad challenge or travel plans I have set up over the years, my mother is  there waiting in the wings. She thinks I'm absolutely mad at times but she has always been there and there is no better cheerleader for me when I achieve my goals. 

Have you had a ‘One Good Adult’ moment since captaining a Revolution team? Tell us about it. 

When I think of 'One Good Adult', my first thought is my role as a teacher in a secondary school and the impact that I have on the students in my school. Since I became Captain of the Revolution cycling challenge, I've found that I've been playing the role of ' One Good Adult' to some of the cyclists of all ages.  My 8 year old nephew is taking part and I regularly touch base with him about his cycling experiences. If I'm being really honest about it though,  I feel like I've become the ' One Good Adult' for some of the grown ups taking part too. It made me think that everyone regardless of age needs ' One Good Adult' to help steer them through whatever challenge they face.  I seem to have become their 'One Good Adult' for cycling and fundraising advice and I am more than delighted to take on that role. 

How I set my goals…

Sep 06th 2019
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As someone who leads a very active life, I have found goal setting to be very useful. I think that it's important to set targets as it gives you a focus going forward which enhances your chances of achieving your goals. However, as I've found out over the years, it's important to set realistic goals within a realistic time frame (something I haven't always done). Once you have a goal, you can try to break the goals down into weekly targets.   One of the biggest factors which helped me achieve my goals over the years was to have a few friends who are on the same journey. Joining up with people or signing up to events with friends is the best way to set a goal. You'll have great fun together and the support through all the ups and downs will get you through.  In the past sometimes due to injury or life in general getting in the way, I've had to adjust my targets on certain goals I set. This year one of my goals for a triathlon was about improving my times in each of the disciplines. The race took place in May. A couple of injuries/ setbacks later, my goal changed to getting to the start line in one piece and getting over the finish line in one piece- all my plans for good times in the race went out the window when faced with obstacles. Sometimes you have to move the goalposts on your goals when things get in the way. 

Hi, I am Stef and my journey starts here…

Aug 19th 2019
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My name is Stefanie Carr and I am a Revolution x Jigsaw Captain! As a secondary school teacher, I have always been aware of and have seen firsthand the good work that Jigsaw do for Youth Mental Health in Galway. As a cyclist, I was always on the lookout for cycle events. Through some friends, I found out about the Giro D’Jigsaw in 2017, so I was delighted to participate in this great event for the past two years. I have so many positive experiences since I started fundraising for Jigsaw through cycling. Cycling with the group during the Giro was so much fun but for me the best part is the friendships I’ve made along the way. Knowing that together we are fundraising for such a worthy cause that will make a positive contribution to youth mental health in Ireland is very special too.   Revolution x Jigsaw is something everyone can take part in, regardless of your fitness level. Pick a suitable challenge (Mine of course!) and get on board with family and friends. There are so many positives with taking part in this challenge- a healthy fitness challenge for the next few months, something you can do with your family and friends, great support network for all participants andfinally, raising funds for Jigsaw.  We all will have our own individual challenges and targets so I would advise everyone to start small and take things day by day. Use the support network that will be there for all participants. You will be surprised what you can achieve if everything is broken down into smaller targets.  Join my team, take my challenge… Stef

For all the latest, from Stefanie’s journey, visit...

Stefanie’s iDonate Page
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