Tour guide Aengus Mac Grianna at Knowth archaeological site. Photograph: Tom Honan

The pandemic changed how we work, but it might be changing why we work too

The pandemic strengthened many people’s attachment to their pets. Photograph: iStock

Pet owners who stage funerals can be the target of mockery, but ceremony can help

Around 14,000 Ukrainian refugees of working age have come to Ireland so far out of a total number of more than 27,000 arrivals, according to Department of Social Protection figures. Photograph: Getty Images

Lack of childcare, unstable accommodation and unrecognised qualifications hit refugees

Those who face the most adversity can be least likely to have the resources to build resilience.

Having a good level of resilience can impact our education, work, and recovery from illness

The pandemic has completely changed the way we work, so will we ever return to the office en masse?
Photograph: iStock

Work has changed forever as employers focus on flexibility and retention of staff

People-pleasing is draining and can cause anger and tension to mount

Neglecting our own needs to do things for others can affect our wellbeing

‘It’s actually quite difficult for people to say sorry,’ says psychotherapist Mary Lynn.

There is great power in apologising – but only if it is done correctly

John Geraghty with his dog Meeka. He is hosting a  Ukrainian family in a downstairs section of his home in Newcastle, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Alan Betson

Offering a home to fleeing refugees is rewarding but a lot goes into making it work

Toxic positivity is when we dismiss or suppress any uncomfortable emotions

Acknowledge and express your emotions instead of pushing them away

Being mindful helps us to slow down. This can put us in a better position to decide on a course

Turning something over in our heads incessantly can add to the stress

Green MEP Grace O’Sullivan outside her retrofitted home in Tramore, Co Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

MEP Grace O’Sullivan has finally retrofitted the home she once couldn’t afford to heat

Urban sprawl is destroying hedgehog’s habitat, and traffic is killing them

A lawn like Wimbledon means no love for the hedgehog. Wildlife love lazy gardeners

December was the most popular month for weddings in 2020. Photograph: iStock

Post pandemic delays mean intending couples can’t tie the knot ... for love nor money

Getting into the flow in an open-plan office may be impossible for you. It could be something that comes more easily at your desk at home. Employers allowing the factors that help us experience joy is important.

Find work that plays to your talents, seek allies at work – and blame your boss

Tess Cuffe with her daughter Moira  at their new shared home in Clontarf, Dublin. Two ground-floor bedrooms to the side of Moira’s cottage were repurposed to create Tess’s new home, including an open plan living area with French doors to a patio. Photograph: Alan Betson

Granny flats can be modern and stylish as well as letting residents keep independence

Your vacant property or spare room could change a life

Give money to the Red Cross, open your home – maybe hold off on loading up a van

Being passive about finances frequently leaves women worse off. Photograph: iStock

Invest instead of saving, ask for a raise, and other ways to ensure you have a nest egg

Narcissism spells trouble for the narcissist and everyone around them.

They can drag you down and destroy your self-esteem, but only if you let them

Forgiveness is associated with higher levels of wellbeing

There’s a difference between decisional and emotional forgiveness

Of 173,000 private landlords, 121,000 rent out just one property. Small landlords house the vast majority of Ireland’s renters.

Numbers don’t add up for small landlords who are exiting the market

Crowded public transport, constant chatter, ringing phones – what was normal pre-pandemic may feel like sensory overwhelm

Trepidation is normal and returning to the workplace is an adjustment for everyone

Mark Costello: ‘The misconception somehow is that if you stop fishing, you are reducing fish catch, but actually the population gets bigger and you have a much more stable catch afterwards.’

Wild Geese: Norway-based marine ecologist Mark Costello says the West is slow to appreciate the need for sustainability

The past two years has highlighted how we all rely on having at least one person to talk to. Photograph: Getty

Mental health professionals say many of us are hurting badly from the Covid-19 pandemic

The baby is the star but don’t forget the parents

When visiting, don’t ask “what would you like me to do?” Be proactive instead

Some of us are not routine learners, some of us learn in spurts

It is important for parents to assess what is really going on in order to help students

Photograph: iStock

Women councillors on gender imbalance in local politics and why this has to change

The method is about experiencing more calm by living with less

‘You don’t need to keep everything for memories. The memories are within us’

Workplace bullying is often part of a wider organisational dynamic

They can have a split personality: seeming virtuous, but vindictive and self-righteous

Simon Lenihan with one his Swedish stallions which he uses to   extract timber in an environmentally friendly way

Wild Geese: Simon Lenihan’s ecological logging company has impressed environmentalists and royalty

‘Everything in the frame is going to appear in your photograph, so be aware of the background.’ Photograph: iStock

Use the shortcut to the camera, don’t chop off limbs and keep your focus

Waking in the night is normal, but if you are awake for more than 20 minutes, get up

Covid has seen a 40% increase in people with insomnia, according to one sleep clinic

Fertility has become a booming private industry in Ireland

The first trick to controlling your spending is to analyse your bank statements

The first trick to controlling your spending is to analyse your bank statements

‘We sit together and share nice food and mulled drinks and sing some songs, celebrating that we have reached the turning point of the year’

Winter solstice is about celebrating return of the light after a time of increasing darkness

Cold water can be a welcome discomfort

Keep your swims short: time flies when you are having fun, but hypothermia isn’t fun

Embracing your grey will release you from a war of attrition you can never win. It will also save you money and hours of salon time

A good hairdresser looks at things afresh each visit. The best helps you spend less

If your family are foodies but it’s nuggets or nothing for another kid, know before you go. Choose a companion who has spent time in your home and knows the drill

Your rules might be too lax or too strict for someone else, so talk to the parents before travel

Watch out for “dog face” – people who make a beeline for you and their look says, “Yes, I’ve got a dog too. I love dogs”.

Pay attention to what’s going on around you and obey public space rules – and pick up the poop

Rising prices: The property market is shining on sellers right now, meaning the outlook is a bit more challenging for buyers. Photograph: iStock

Selling before you buy, saving a deposit, finding a new home: moving up is not easy

Road rage is a sudden, uncontrolled anger provoked by the actions of another driver. Photograph: iStock

Road rage more likely if you drive in already heightened state so be prepared

Put your phone in the other room, leave it in the car. Removing it will help you change your behaviour

The key to habit change is to replace problematic behaviour with a positive routine

Ask a therapist to explain their approach before choosing

Be clear about what you need, and check they are accredited by a recognised body

Ardclooney, Killaloe, Co Clare: Bidding opened at €225,000, property sold for €237,000 (BidX1)

First-time buyers drawn in by prices on online property auction sites must be good to go

Expert answers to every day questions

Being asked to do something you don’t want to do can create internal conflict

Psychologists recommend dipping back in slowly, gradually exposing yourself to people

Aerial view of Olcovar

Ground-floor apartment may appeal to downsizers or young families

Energy bills for everyone are set to soar this winter. Photograph: Getty

Horror heating bills can be reduced - a little - by some simple steps

Room to expand: this home, designed by Plan 8 Architects, was built in the garden of another house in Bray, Co Wicklow

Sell a site, develop it yourself or gift it to family: How to monetise what you have

If you are party-bound, bring an alcohol-free alternative as a statement of intent

Double the hangover-free bonus by booking something for the next day

The brain is designed to look for problems before it looks for solutions

Tell them what you are looking for but find out what’s of value to them

With great power comes great responsibility. Being the WhatsApp group administrator is like being the host at a party.

When our heads and our handsets start to bulge with messages, it’s time to say goodbye

In the war on cold in a period home, the door is a big target. Photograph: iStock

What do people need to do to bring their homes up to standard? Here's our guide to an energy-efficient home

It’s common to feel awkward and nervous, but it’s important to be honest and clear. Photograph: iStock

Avoid the ‘big awkward talk’ approach and tell the truth in an age-appropriate way

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin: ‘We really shouldn’t be leaving it up to private industry to tell you what the best thing is for your child.’  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Just 37% of Irish mothers breastfeed, while baby formula sales are booming

Free fees (but only in some cases) and online banking are about as much as the banks can muster. All the more reason  for students  to swot up before choosing a bank. Photograph: iStock

Compared with the UK, offers from reducing field of players here lack the same pizzazz

Don’t dodge the conversation, but avoid cliches and don’t attempt minimise the loss

Describe your own feelings and stick to the facts, says Mary Johnston from Accord

When helping a teenager through exam disappointment, ‘let them lead your response,’ says one expert. Photograph: iStock

Don’t deny the person their feelings, let them lead you in your response

Photograph: iStock

Avoid cliches, use the ‘soft start-up’ method and allow for their anger

Problem drinkers are astute at keeping people away from their drinking. File photograph: Getty

‘Drinking is a problem for a person if it’s affecting the important people in their life’

It is estimated that a parent of a primary school child will pay €1,186 to get them in the school gate this year. Photograph: iStock

Joanne Hunt: Some six in 10 parents say preparing for return to school is a financial burden

Focus on yourself, on your contribution and what you need to do. Don’t issue an ultimatum unless you are prepared to walk.

Expert answers to everyday questions

It’s natural to want to protect your children from distress, but sometimes we step in too quickly.

Childhood tiffs are common but bullying is another matter, says author Stella O’Malley

The rollout of smart electricity meters should reduce such bill shock. File photograph: Getty

Half of electricity and gas consumers surveyed say they have never switched

If they want to leave the whole kit and caboodle to a goat sanctuary, that’s their right

Your goal should be to support your parents in their wishes. It is their money, not yours

You could end up spending more for the same car depending on how you pay for it

Complain discreetly, with minimum fuss and with as even a tone as you can muster.

How do I complain and feel satisified? Experts answer everyday questions

Donal Griffin says it’s possible to die a happy rich man; the trick is not to leave it too late, to be more present to acknowledge the truth of the past and to forgive everyone, including yourself.

Wild Geese: Dubliner Donal Griffin helps clients in Australia with ‘pre-nups for families’

Enabling employees and company leaders to connect is vital in the new working world.

Top 1000: Many companies are moving to remote working on a permanent or hybrid basis

For businesses taking their impact on society seriously, environmental and social governance is a critical yardstick.

We talk to two Top 1000 companies on how they are getting these strategies right

An artist friend designed the logo that is stencilled on to Darragh McGrane’s bar in Ratoath, Co Meath. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Save on babysitters and taxis with a professionally installed set-up or home-made hut

Fionnuala O’Sullivan: ‘Seattle is an absolutely beautiful city’

Wild Geese: Fionnuala O’Sullivan

A converted stone barn which sleeps six people at Grove House, Toe Head near Castletownshend, is among the properties maintained by Beacon Properties.. Photograph: Anne Minihane

For owners revisiting their properties after lockdown, some surprises may await

Relationships already under strain hit breaking point under lockdown

Consultant plastic surgeon Nora Nugent says that working in the NHS, things are sometimes “more structured with more formalised processes” than with the HSE.

Wild Geese: Plastic surgeon Nora Nugent, Sussex, England

Irishman Eoghan O’Sullivan, who has settled with his family in Switzerland. “We have some Swiss friends and we are making an effort to get involved in local life. It really feels like home”

Wild Geese: communications consultant Eoghan O’Sullivan lives with his British wife outside Geneva

Eamonn Murphy: “It’s a fantastic environment . . . Despite it being a megacity, everything is very convenient and easy.”

Wild Geese: Eamonn Murphy, Tokyo

Prices in Dublin, which had been declining, rose by 1.1%  year-on-year, according to CSO figures, but prices outside of Dublin have risen by 4%

Prospective homebuyers may be raring to go, but house price predictions can be misleading

If the property is part of a terrace without rear access, everything will have to come through the front door. Photograph: iStock

Factors such as access, layout and even tricky neighbours can all add headaches and cost

Hugh O’Donnell is founder and chief executive of Bermuda Brokers.

Wild Geese: Hugh O’Donnell, Bermuda

Michael Frain's landing workspace in a client's Dublin 12 home: ‘By putting a roof light into the landing, you are brightening the main circulation space and also carving out a little nook that can be used as a home office.’

The home office is here to stay. How can you adapt your home to make it work?

If old age is always 15 years older than you are, then you have time to plan. Photograph: iStock

Older people may like to move to a home adapted for their needs with support

Population growth means housing in Ireland will have to become more dense to meet demand. Photograph: iStock

Apartment living makes sense for many, but do your homework to avoid headaches

A new baby doesn’t mean your personal finances have to be on a cliff-edge. Photograph: iStock

Having a new baby is costly but, with proper planning, you can minimise the expense

When it comes to borrowing, not only must you prove you can pay the monthly mortgage repayment, you must show you can pay it at a stress-tested level. Photograph: iStock

How to sort the financial side and anticipate hidden costs

Mortgage lending to first-time buyers has increased by 15 per cent. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Demand, supply, mortgages, viewings: everything you need to know about the market in 2021

Pauline Turley, originally from Co Down, started interning at the Irish Arts Center in 1997.

Wild Geese: Pauline Turley is the vice-chair of the Irish Arts Center in New York

“You never want to think the relationship will break up or that one of you will pass away but from day one, you need to make provision,” says Michael Dowling of Dowling Financial. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Sharing a home without legal protection of marriage can lead to huge financial fallout

Candles are all about light and symbolism, so it’s no wonder Ireland’s candlemakers are experiencing a boom through this time of pandemic. File photograph: iStock

Scented candles are big business and small Irish makers are reaping the rewards

The tech “evangelist” from Kilkenny targeted the software sector without any coding knowledge.

Wild Geese: Rebecca Kelly’s maths degree opened many doors, including one to NYC

HaloCare is the brainchild of David Walsh and Niall Kelly, the Irish founders of global remote monitoring security firm Netwatch, and entrepreneur Johnny Walker.

Irish firm HaloCare’s software tracks and interprets movement and health at home

Prof Andrew Keane of UCD and co-founder and chief technology officer of Novogrid, and Paul Manning, co-founder and chief commerical officer

GridBoost, an initiative by the UCD spinout firm, is aimed at wind farm owners

Rejigging space for lockdown living isn’t the answer. You need to plan for the long term

Remote working, adult children at home and greater longevity – time to rethink our homes

If you don’t already have a website, it’s now easier than ever to get one. Illustration: iStock

Whether Covid-19 has closed your doors or not, make sure customers can find you online

The Department of Public Expenditure found that by 2031 more than a quarter of a million inhabitants in Ireland will be aged over 80 years. Photograph: Getty Images

August figures show 4,030 people assessed are on waiting list for support

There’s a flow of Irish emigrants house hunting back in Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Many Irish emigrants are looking to move home

More articles