Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898
As the new school year begins, it’s a good time to look at skills that can reduce stress surrounding the leaving cert and other exams. How young adults manage stress at this time lays the foundations to how they will cope in the future, so learning how to manage stress and practical study habits will support good mental and emotional wellbeing for life.
Leaving Cert is a two-year cycle of study. After the freedom of transition year, the first challenge for fifth years is settling back into structured classes and a homework routine. They may not be feeling the pressure yet but, by sixth year, students are more aware of the deadlines.
There is mounting pressure to revise last year’s content, learn this year’s content and decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives? Where should they apply next year, will they get the points to be accepted and if all that works out, will they be able to get accommodation?
Encourage your children to follow their dreams, as this will boost self esteem, confidence and motivation to work hard. Stress can become debilitating for some students, so yes, encourage them to do their best, but please remember that third level education is not for everyone and Ireland has a fantastic selection of FETAC courses and apprenticeships for those students who are more practical or prefer to join the workplace.
I know it is only September but the sooner they set up good study habits and learn coping strategies the better, so here are five practical skills for managing Leaving cert study stress
1. Start with the end in mind. What is the goal? How many weeks do they have to achieve it? How much time can they study each day. Get them to be honest about what they can achieve each day or week and month and create a realistic timetable. If they still aren’t sure, coaching can help them to clarify their thoughts.
2. When we turn off all distractions, so much more can be achieved. Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20 rule is a helpful concept for life, study and business time management, as it explains how 80 per cent of our productivity comes from 20 per cent of our time. In short, make a to-do list and identify the most important 20 per cent. Doing these items first will be most productive for your day and achieving your goals.
3. Stress reduces our ability to think and retain information. At the beginning of each study session, take a few minutes to relax using self-hypnosis, breathing exercises or acupressure. State your intention and mental purpose i.e. “I want to learn and remember the information in this session so I can recall it for my exams and get the points I need to…” When your body and mind are relaxed you will be able to work to your best, be more focused and have more capacity to absorb, retain and recall information.
4. Work with your natural strengths by identifying which learning styles – visual, auditory or kinaesthetic – work best for you and tailor revision techniques accordingly. Incorporating skills like photo reading, mind mapping, recording and listening to their own notes, making a revision timetable and planning to study with others can all help. There are self-assessment quizzes online that will help to identify specific learning styles and give study ideas.
5. Being active and having fun is important. Studying, particularly if you feel you haven’t done enough, can cause foggy thinking. If stress escalates it can lead to difficulty concentrating, procrastination, anxiety, fear and panic attacks. Allocating time for hobbies and extracurricular activities, as well as getting enough sleep at night and eating nutritious foods, will all help to relieve stress, focus the mind and recharge energy levels.
Amanda Roe is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Acupuncturist, Life and Health coach. She uses a range of holistic therapies including guidance around food to improve physical, emotional and mental health. Supporting fertility and natural recover from trauma, eating disorders and other chronic health conditions. For more information or to book a session visit www.roehealth.ie or call/text Amanda on: 087 633 1898.