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Picturesque spots to walk during self-isolation in Ireland

As we continue to self-isolate, our limited time outside is becoming more important than ever. Being outside in the fresh air helps boost your energy and restore focus, whilst eliminating any cabin fever you may be feeling from being stuck inside all day. If you are residing in Ireland, here are 5 picturesque spots to walk and enjoy the fresh air. 

  • Mangan’s Loop, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow
  • Portumna Forest Park – Rinmaher Walking Trail
  • Killeshandra loop
  • Lough Easkey
  • Raven’s Point Loop, Co. Wexford

Mangan’s Loop, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow

This 5 km looped trail will take you through quiet country lanes, forests, and mountains. Tinahely is a small village nestled in the Derry River Valley in the Southern reaches of Wicklow Mountains. From the trail head, you can choose 3 looped trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. Before deciding to take on this 90-minute trek, be aware that parts of the trail will require mountaineering equipment. 

Portumna Forest Park – Rinmaher Walking Trail

If you love to explore nature in it’s natural habitat than the Rinmaher Walking Trail is perfect for you. This 10 km loop is for those looking for a slightly longer walk as it will take approximately 2 hours to complete. With views of Lough Derg and signs providing information about the local fauna and flora, this trail is perfect for a picturesque walk after work. 

Photo by  John M

Killeshandra loop

The Killeshandra loop offers a chance to walk through unspoiled Cavan countryside. Surrounded by dense forestry, broken up by streams, this trail offers 2 hours of complete serenity in nature. Surrounded by nothing by coniferous and broadleaf trees, this is the perfect trail to lose yourself in and forget about the stresses of coronavirus.

Photo by Liz McCabe

Lough Easkey

Travel the 6 km shores of Lough Easkey on this trail, taking in the peaceful and serene lakes, surrounded by beautiful forestry. On your route, you will come across the blanket bog, a special conservation area that boasts rare types of moss and threatened bird species. Be sure to wear appropriate hiking boots when taking on this walk as some areas can become soft and boggy. 

Photo by Oliver Dixon 

Raven’s Point Loop, Co. Wexford

Take in the sea breeze whilst exploring the forest at the Raven’s Point Loop. Observe the Raven sand dunes that have been forming since the 1600’s, whilst admiring the trees that were planted in the 1930’s to avoid coastal erosion. Wonder beyond the forest and to the adjoining fields where a population of wild geese roam. This trail provides a combination of beach and forest which is perfect for fully relaxing before heading back inside. 

Photo by Nigel Mykura 

After exploring the wonderful trails that Ireland has to offer, get your hiking clothes dry-cleaned using our services. Visit the Laundryheap website or download the Laundryheap app to book your slot. 


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Self-isolation activities for Easter weekend

We will all be spending this Easter weekend in self-isolation. But that does not mean that we can’t have a fun-filled Easter. Here are 10 fun activities to do in self-isolation this Easter weekend. 

  • Hold an Easter egg hunt 
  • Decorate some eggs
  • Make Easter nests 
  • Play Easter bingo 
  • Finger paint Easter bunnies 
  • Make an Easter piñata 
  • Take part in some Easter games 
  • Make Easter cards
  • Make Easter masks 
  • Watch Easter films

Hold an Easter egg hunt 

Easter egg hunts are an Easter weekend staple that doesn’t have to stop because you’re in self-isolation. Whilst shopping for your essentials, pick up some Easter eggs of varying sizes. Utilise the space that your home has to offer and hide them in new and inventive places- think inside a plant pot, hidden under a lampshade, etc. If you have a garden, utilise that space as well.

To make the hunt more interesting why not make it themed? Or leave clues scattered around your home that hint to where the eggs may be. You can even video call your friends and family and get them involved. 

Photo by Cyndy Sims Parr

Decorate eggs 

Egg decorating is just as fun for children as it is for adults. Plus, decorating eggs provides you with colourful new Easter decorations for your home. Either hard boil or poke a small hole into the bottom and top of an egg to drain all of the liquid from inside of it. Grab all the crafty things in your home together- pens, paint, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, anything at all- and let your imagination run wild.  You could even make this activity into a game and award a prize for the most inventive egg decoration.

Make Easter nests 

Easter nests are easy to make and come with the added bonus of being edible.

You will need:

  • 150g of cereal- shredded wheat is suggested
  • 250g of chocolate
  • 3 tbsp of golden syrup
  • Small chocolate eggs for decoration.
  • Cake cases for serving

Begin by melting your chocolate either in a saucepan or in the microwave- make sure to keep a close eye on it to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate is melted stir in 3 tbsp of your golden syrup and your cereal of choice. Stir the mixture well to make sure that ALL the cereal is covered in chocolate. Spoon your mixture into cake cases and complete your birds’ nest with a sprinkling of chocolate eggs. Leave them to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes before digging in to an eggcellent Easter treat. 

Play Easter bingo 

Bingo may come with connotations of pensioners but Easter bingo is fun for all ages. It’s much the same as normal bingo, but instead of calling out numbers you call out Easter related words. You can even make the game more interesting by including Easter themed images. If you head over to Pinterest, there are an abundance of free Easter bingo print-outs you can use, or you can spend an afternoon making your own before settling down for a night of friendly Easter competition. 

Finger paint Easter bunnies 

Get messy this Easter and finger paint your own Easter bunnies. All you need is an array of colourful paints, plain paper and your own fingers. This activity is perfect for keeping your children, and your inner child, entertained for an afternoon. Just make sure that all hands are washed before they touch anything other than their canvas. 

Make an Easter chick piñata

Who said that Pinata’s had to be saved for birthdays? Why not get creative and make your very own Easter chick piñata?

You will need:

  • 1 balloon
  • Newspapers
  • Yellow paint
  • Crepe paper
  • Feathers
  • Orange or brown card
  • Glue
  • Easter treats to put inside

Firstly, blow up you balloon and tie off the end. Then, cover your balloon in strips of newspaper dipped in glue, 3 layers should be sufficient. Once the glue has dried, cut off the bottom so that you can insert your sweets. Mark on the eyes and mouth, before painting the balloon yellow until no newspaper is showing. Next, cut your crepe paper into 2 inch squares. You will need to completely cover the balloon, however they don’t all need to be uniform. Cover your piñata with the squares, being careful to avoid the eyes and mouth. Use your card to form a beak for your chick by cutting out two triangles. Draw on your chicks eyes, or, if you have them available, use googly eyes. For the finishing touch, cover your piñata in feathers and insert your sweets, making sure to glue the bottom of the balloon back on to seal them in. Grab your household and enjoy an Easter Fiesta!

Take part in some Easter games

Awaken your competitive spirit this Easter and host your very own Easter Olympic Games. Gather your household and set a series of challenges to be completed, each with an Easter twist. Think, egg and spoon race, bunny hop challenge, and even pin the tail on the bunny rabbit. Award each challenge with a bronze, silver and gold award, until the person with the most gold medals is declared the winner. Take your Easter Olympic games one step further by creating your own medals out of yogurt lids and string. May the best athlete win!

Make Easter cards

Another way to get your households creativity flowing this Easter is by making Easter masks.

You will need:

  • A paper plate
  • A pair of scissors
  • String
  • Sellotape
  • Any crafty materials you have around the house

Firstly, cut out two eye holes so that the mask wearer can sufficiently see. Next, think about what Easter character you want to create. Are you going to be a chicken? A bunny? Or maybe a lamb. Once you’ve decided on your character, use your crafty materials to construct your character however you see fit. Once done, and any wet materials are dried, cut a length of string that can reach around the back of your head without being too tight or loose. Use two bits of sellotape to secure each end of your string to your mask and then show off your creation to the rest of your household. 

Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels

Watch Easter films 

Sometimes the best way to spend Easter is by relaxing with your loved ones, feasting on Easter eggs and watching Easter films. There are plenty of films to be enjoyed by all the family, and plenty of chocolate to eat, so don’t forget to have some downtime this Easter weekend. 

From all of the team at Laundryheap, Happy Easter!


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The benefits of cleaning whilst in self-isolation

Self-isolation is not as easy as it sounds. Currently, it is the safest option for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be mentally and physically straining. Spending all day working, relaxing, eating and sleeping in one household can be incredibly draining. Believe it or not, cleaning your home could be the most effective way to rid yourself of self-isolation slump.

  • The physical benefits 
  • The mental benefits 
  • The health benefits 
  • The working benefits 
  • How Laundryheap can help

The physical benefits 

It can be hard to establish an exercise routine when you are confined to the space in your home. Regular cleaning is an easy and productive way to stay active without venturing outside. In addition, vigorous cleaning, such as wiping down walls and cleaning the oven, is a great way to rid yourself of any negative energy you may be carrying, due to the energy that is burnt carrying out the task. 

The mental benefits

Although it may not be the most exciting activity to do, cleaning your home comes with an array of mental health benefits. For example, when people experience high levels of anxiety, they tend to gravitate towards repetitive behaviours, such as cleaning. Carrying out the repetitive task of cleaning makes them feel in control and, therefore, decreases their anxiety level. 

It is vital during this precarious time that we all remain as calm as we possibly can. On average, people who have messy homes have higher levels of cortisol, a stress induced hormone. Alternatively, researchers have found that cleaning your home can lead to feelings of accomplishment and subsequent calmness. If you are feeling irritated whilst stuck in self-isolation a quick 15-minute tidy of your surrounding area could help reduce that irritation and make you calmer. 

In addition to keeping your home clean, it is important to keep your linens clean. A study by The National Sleep Foundation found that 75% of people sleep better when their sheets are freshly washed due to feeling more comfortable. A good night’s sleep leaves people feeling well-rested and both physically and mentally ready for the day ahead. Despite being at home throughout the day, it is important whilst self-isolating to remain in a routine, which includes getting a good night’s sleep.

The health benefits  

It’s now more important than ever to clean our homes and eliminate harmful germs and bacteria. Germs can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to becoming ill. However, regularly cleaning our homes with disinfectant can kill up to 98% of the daily bacteria we could come into contact with.

As a result of increasing the amount of time we are spending indoors, it is vital to be aware of indoor air pollution. Dust, dirt and poor ventilation are all contributing factors to indoor air pollution and can result in increasing the severity of an individuals allergens. The longer you put off cleaning your home the more polluted the air will become. Fifteen minutes of cleaning a day can sufficiently decrease the air pollution in your home.

The working benefits 

When you are working from home it can be very easy to become distracted and forget about your work. In 2011 a Princeton University study found that clutter can increase the difficulty of focusing on a task. On a subconscious level, clutter is associated with negative emotions, such as confusion, tension, irritability and worry. Decluttering your home can not only make cleaning more efficient, but can also lead to a clearer mind and heightened sense of calm. This can make it easier to focus on your tasks. 

If you ever become mentally blocked whilst your working from home try washing the dishes. A study published in the journal, Mindfulness, found that people who engaged in mindfully washing the dishes- taking in the scent of the washing-up liquid and letting the water soak into their skin- experience a 25% improvement in mental inspiration.

Photo by: peapod labs

How Laundryheap can help

If you are running low on cleaning supplies, our Essentials Pack is available across London and includes cleaning supplies, as well as toilet paper and toothpaste. Additionally, our services are still fully operational in all cities we operate in. Book your delivery slot now