Wellness at Work PDST Wellbeing Newsletter #3

Welcome to the third edition of the PDST Wellness at Work newsletter, designed to help you to support your wellbeing while working from home. This week, remember to prioritise your health and wellbeing as you take a well earned break!

Relax, Refresh, Recharge, Rest

Easy Easter Simnel TrayBake

This is a tray-bake version of the traditional Easter Simnel cake. Simnel cake is a light fruitcake formerly eaten during the pre-Easter period but has become a traditional cake for Easter Sunday. It is distinguished by two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top. This tray-bake version can be cut into bite size pieces so that we don’t overdo it. After all we don’t want the buttons on our jeans socially distancing from each other!

Ingredients: 175 g soft margarine or butter, 150 g soft light brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 175 g plain flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. mixed spice, 350 mixed fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, cherries, mixed peel), Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, 150 g homemade or bought marzipan/almond icing, cubed,

Method: 1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm tin. 2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar, until very pale and fluffy, around 5mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice. Fold in the remaining ingredients, except the marzipan. 3. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Sprinkle half of the marzipan over the top, followed by the remaining cake mixture. Spread evenly then dot over the last pieces of marzipan on top.

Bake in oven for 40-45min until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5min then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 pieces to serve.

Thank you to Marion Flanagan and her trusted assistant for the gorgeous photo of her freshly baked Easter Simnel Tray Bake. Send your photos to us and we'll include a selection of them in an upcoming newsletter!


Ingredients: 500g plain flour, 250g salt, 250ml water.

Method: Mix the flour and salt then add the water. Mix into a dough. Roll out onto flat surface into desired shape about 1-1.5cm thick (remember to sprinkle some flour down to prevent sticking). Place on a baking tray. Make hand imprints (as deep/clear as possible). Place in the oven on the lowest heat possible and leave for 3-4 hours or until completely solid top and bottom. Check the bottom is rock solid before you take it out and make sure you have it on the oven's lowest heat or it will burn instead. Alternatively you can leave to air dry for a couple of days in a cool dry place. Paint with your choice of paints/colours. Seal with any kind of varnish or sealer to preserve it. e.g. varnish, or a PVA and water mix. Do not eat!

Wellness at Work Video Series - 10 Minute Neck Exercises

If you would like to suggest a topic for the Wellness at Work Video series, contact us!


A huge welcome to all who joined the Fit from Home Club and contributed to our group last week. Sharing and trying out new ways of being physically active while working from home is a most beneficial way to begin or end the day and bring a smile to our faces!

This week in Fit from Home Club we will focus on foods and recipes that nourish the active person, cool down stretches, couch to 3k plan (week 2), movement challenges and much more. New members are very welcome to join. Giorraíonn beirt bóthar!

If you would like to join the Fit from Home Club, follow the instructions in the original email to login to the Google Classroom. Alternatively, send Kate or Margaret a message at the addresses below.

kateoneill@pdst.ie margaretfoley@pdst.ie

Whether you join the Fit from Home Club or not, you might like to keep track of your movement and progress using the PDST Activity Tracker. Click on the button below to download your copy.

Click here to access 15 workouts that you can do at home instead of the gym.


Our bodies are made up of 55% - 60% water, and we lose 2-3 litres per day through the skin, lungs and gut. Water is one of our most important nutrients. Getting the right amount of water has a huge effect on how you feel, think and function during the day. Watch this video to find out why.

smart, simple ways to increase your daily water intake

Set a daily goal. Keep track, and set reminders!

Drink a glass of water before every meal, and after every toilet break.

Drink one glass per hour at work.

Eat more foods that are high in water. Click here to find out more!

Flavour your water! Click here for 8 delicious infused water recipes.

STEP OUTSIDE. Turn your face towards the sun. take a deep breath. REPEAT OFTEN.

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day, is the rest we take between two breaths.

Facing the challenges together

Social distancing is difficult. Missing your family and friends is difficult. Taking care of loved ones while working from home is difficult. Remember you are not alone in feeling this way. This is a challenging time for all of us. There are lots of supports available for you to call on, that might support you in easing these difficulties.

The Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Service (Inspire Wellbeing) is a free confidential service for teachers, accessible by means of a free phone telephone helpline available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing counselling on a range of personal health and wellbeing issues given by qualified clinicians. Up to 6 face-to-face counselling sessions are available to provide supportive and solution-focused care based on an individual’s clinical needs. The service also provides specialist information, support and advice in relation to family, financial, legal, work-related and consumer information services as well as providing management support.

Phone 1800 411 057

Visit the Health and Wellbeing Resources Portal for links to a wide range of support materials and free resources that you can use to support your mental and physical wellbeing, any time.

Download the Calm Mental Fitness Training Guide to help you to strengthen your mind and thrive. Let go of each breath and greet the next.

Click here to access these free guided meditations, movement exercises, sleep stories, calming music and mindfulness resources.


Click here to learn more about the Mental Health Ireland 5 Ways to Wellbeing initiative
“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere” - Séamus Heaney
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, restful, energising Easter Break!
We love hearing from you

Send us your suggestions and wellbeing tips, and share your experiences with us by contacting any member of the Primary Health and Wellbeing Team here. You can find all previous editions of the Wellness at Work Newsletter on the Teacher Wellbeing section of the PDST website.

Created By
Ciara Delaney


Created with images by Dawid Zawiła - "untitled image" • Boba Jaglicic - "Colorful" • Melissa Walker Horn - "untitled image" • Melissa Askew - "My family was enjoying some time on a hike in a wooded area. The way the light was coming through the trees and across the grass and daisies was making me itch to capture the moment. I got down on my stomach in the grass to capture this photo of my daughter Ellie. All I had with me that day was my iPhone X which was still a champ for captuing the moment perfectly. I just love the way the end of the day sunlight was making her glow. To me this photo perfectly captures summer, childhood, and my sweet girl, who shines brighter then the sun." • Kenrick Mills - "untitled image" • The Enlight Project - "Waiting for you" • Flemming Fuchs - "untitled image" • Annie Spratt - "Chocolately goodness in a crispy shell!"