A unique event launches in Letterkenny this May to shine a light on the many services in Donegal that promote positive mental health.

The ‘Self-Care Wellness Fair’ is being organised by Claire Coughlan on 28th May from 1pm – 4pm at the Silver Tassie Hotel. The event is free entry, with donation boxes for Jigsaw Donegal if attendees want to contribute.

Claire’s aim is to gather together people from local services that are offered in our own county to help people on their own self-care journey and with their own struggles, may it be anxiety, depression, disconnection, feeling lost and general mental health issues. See the bottom of this article for a list of exhibitors.

“I hope to help people that may be struggling by making them aware of what’s available to them,” she said.

Stalls and onstage talks have been arranged to guide people on their personal journeys. Guests will hear from Blogger Maria Rushe, Presenter Nadine Reid, Psychotherapist Gabrielle McGee, Physiotherapist Lorraine Boyce and Melissa & Scott Devenney from Hot Fox Studio and Suzanne O’Donnell, life coach and transformational healer of Faith & Feathers. There will also be a segment with local travel influencers on the benefits of spending time outdoors, with Sinead McCahey from Sinead’s Adventures, Paddy Browne of The Viking Dippers, and Kevin Dooher from The Wild Atlantic Traveller and Micheal Brennan, aka Donegal Daddy. They will highlight what’s on our own doorstep and how the outdoors can help our mental health. There will also be music by Kelli McGrory.

Claire has plenty of organising experience to draw from as she plans the day. She currently works as a visual merchandiser in Penneys and previously worked in marketing in hotels. It was the concept of a wedding fair that inspired her to bring local services into one room.

Claire Coughlan

Claire has been exploring the holistic care world for the past few years.

She said: “Over lockdown I feel we all struggled with having so much time and not being able to see our friends and family so I dived into mindfulness and meditation, I would walk for hours every day in nature and find somewhere beautiful to meditate and practice gratitude. I felt that I learned how to really quieten my mind and found what worked for me. 

“I created a home retreat for my friends one day over lockdown and planned out the events for the entire day on a word document and thought to myself. “Imagine putting a retreat into a box for people”, like a self-care box. I created some self-care boxes that helped friends with gratitude and relaxation. 

“Since then, I did a mindfulness and meditation course and a chakra healing course and I continue my research into the holistic world through reading and visiting local practitioners.”

The goal of the Self-Care Wellness Fair is to have a welcoming space for people to gather and meet service providers and get a taste of what they offer.

Claire explained: “At present I have an array of stalls booked, lots of different services around Donegal. These include mindfulness practitioners for children and adults, therapists, yoga teachers, personal trainers, motivational speakers, life coaches,  reiki healers and many more. I have scheduled talks throughout the three hours from many wonderful people, who I am extremely grateful to them for offering to help me. The Silver Tassie Hotel is a wonderful family run hotel and I feel that it will be a lovely afternoon for families, couples or individuals to come out and peruse what services our county has to offer and to hopefully help even one person towards a journey of selfcare and happiness.”

The event will also be raising support for Jigsaw Donegal, which provides a free and confidential support service for young people aged 12–25 on Pearse Road in Letterkenny.

Buoyed by the early interest in the fair, Claire is hoping to make it a yearly, or even twice yearly gathering.

“I would also like to bring it to other parts of Donegal and possibly further, showcasing services that can be of benefit to people. 

“I am hopefully going to put a class together where like minded people can come together and just reset and recharge. I want it to include gratitude, journalling, self-love and breathwork and allowing us all to become present and reset the nervous system. It’s so important, most of us are in fight or flight mode and we all need to take care of ourselves more. 

“I need a few more self-confidence meditations myself to move forward with this but I’m hoping I will create it very soon. I love sunrise sea swimming and hopefully I will organise some gatherings for that too.”

The Self Care Wellness Fair takes place in The Silver Tassie Hotel, Donegal, Sunday the 28th May 2023 from 1pm to 4pm

Follow @selfcare_withclaire on Instagram for updates.

List of Exhibitors:

  • MindingMelk
  • Gavin O’Donnell, life coach
  • Hot Fox Yoga Studio
  • Atlantic Acupuncture
  • Integral Therapy
  • Down Below Physio
  • Tracy McKeague Counselling
  • Rushe Fitness
  • Patricia Swann
  • Yoga Kindly
  • Aileen, Amelia, and Dea Designs
  • Cosimac
  • Mind Over Matter Mindfulness
  • Relax Kids Donegal
  • Rosalynn Doula Donegal
  • Emma at celk.ie
  • I Am Selfcare
  • Aoibheann Walsh
  • Reiki and Wellbeing by Chantel
  • Lorraine Griffin Reflexology
  • Medical Skin Clinic
  • Reflexology by Olivia
  • The Natural Way
  • Nutrition Worx, Adam Graham PT
  • Donegal Handmade Treats
  • Wholistic Haven Northern Ireland
  • Angel Cove @ Donegal Mindfulness
  • Mama Placenta Remedies
  • Raw Wellness Beauty
  • Seascape Spa