Mental Health Week is here and I’m a very happy bunny. There is a real sense of ‘normal’ taking hold in Ireland and this is incredibly heartening! We are finally “getting” that not feeling OK is OK, that asking for support is OK. We are fostering a ‘knowing’ that we have worth and that change is possible.
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
So the results are out!
For many, I hope, today brings a sense of relief, achievement and celebration.
But for some there is mild to utterly devastating disappointment.For some, the LC results bring a sense of relief, achievement & celebration. Yay! But for others there is mild or utterly devastating disappointment. How to cope: #leavingcert18 #parenting share with another LC student or parent
I was talking my niece who lives in Australia last week. We whatsapp regularly which is great, but we have only small windows during which we’re both awake and alert enough to be super witty and entertain each other – or indeed support each other as the need arises. (We’re only 8 years apart for anyone who might be concerned I’m leaning on a child for my entertainment and emotional needs!)
Just hours to go guys! (Like you don’t know…)
I’ll keep this simple and not link to supporting evidence – but, as with my last on Leaving Cert tips, know that I have it if you’re interested:)
1: Read the question (practice HOW here – that will make sense when you open it!) – you’ll know you understand it if you can rephrase it.
2: Underline key words.
3: Draw out a plan for your answer – scribble any names, dates, formulae you’ll need immediately.
4: Think of the invigilator as a helper, not a disciplinarian. Their job is to assist you in doing your best.
5: Think of the person assessing your paper as trying to help you get the best marks, not take them away from you. These people want you to do well. Help them to help you by being clear and simple.
6: Avoid the temptation to discuss the gory details of each paper afterwards, especially with the ones mentioned in that last piece.
7: Eat in between exams. Even if you’re nervous and feel a little – eating will help.
8: If you feel a panic coming on try this:
Squeeze every muscle in your body including your face all the way to your toes.
Hold tight for 3 seconds, and then flop eveything.
Place a hand on your tummy and take a deep breathe into it, past your chest, so your hand moves. Keep your shoulders low. Breathe until your breath has slowed to a speed in the gif below
Then do the squeeze again, hold for three, and flop.
This will help calm you down so that you can carry on. Don’t worry about other people seeing you do it. Firstly it’s discreet, secondly, they won’t be looking at you, you are the last thing on classmates’ minds right now, and that’s normal!
9: Reread all your answers and make any changes or additions necessary.
10: Check that you have answered as many Qs as required in each section.
When you’re done, pat yourself on the back knowing that you’ve just done one of the most difficult things in your life and that you’ve done your best.
That’s good enough!! (Yes it is!)
Good luck to you all – I wish you the very best that life has to offer – and that’s loads!!
It’s nearly mid May already and we all know what that means…
It’s an incredibly stressful time for students. The reality is hitting – no doubt bashed in by the orals and practicals – and the panic will be well and truly setting in for many of you this week. Oh how I don’t envy you..
“Are you f*&king serious?” she asks me, looking at me in that angry / scared / amused way that only teens can do. I like this girl, this young woman. She’s valiant, honest and has a righteous rage.
I am serious I tell her. Really serious.
Moments earlier she’d whipped out her phone to show me an article that she read on the way to my office. The grim headline read: Ireland has the highest rate in Europe for young girls taking their own lives
And I had asked her why she thought this was the case.
I have a friend – well, I know and admire a woman who might yet be a friend – and this morning I woke to find an email from her in my inbox, with a recording attached. She’s a journalist and normally an email from her means she’s writing a piece and is interested in my professional opinion on the topic. We’ve been back and forth-ing for a couple of years and, as you do, we’ve been rearranging the boundaries a little more each time.