Friday, 21 November 2014

Exam De-stress programme: therapies, support & advice


The Exam De-stress programme provides plenty of low cost destress therapies
for students and staff, including massage, reflexology, shiatsu, Indian Head Massage, Acupuncture and much more. For details check out  Exam De-Stress Programme

As well as the exam distress programme there is plenty of other ongoing support networks on campus for you. Below is info on the support being provided by The Chaplaincy, Exam Support Team, Student Health Unit, Student Counselling and Student Services Health Promotion.  

Chaplaincy
As normal, the Chaplains are available to meet with students, and contact can be made through the Chaplaincy Office, Distillery Rd., by phone or by email. In addition, during exams they offer the following:
·        Pre Exam De-Stress Retreat will take place on Sunday, 7th December 4 - 6pm in the Chapel. Light supper available afterwards.
·        Monday Evening Meditation Group, 5.30pm in the Chapel Common Room.
·        Taizé Society Prayer Time, Mon. 1st Dec., 7-8pm in the Chapel Common Room.
·        Pre-Exam Mass & Breakfast: Mon– Fri. will take place in the College Chapel at 8am every morning, followed by a take-away “Breakfast-in-a-bag”, beginning 8th Dec. until 19th Dec.
·        The Exam Support Team supports students in distress at the main examination centres (they wear a blue 'Exam Support' T-shirt). If you, or a friend, feel stressed, ill, need to talk to someone, arrive at the wrong venue, forget your pen, calculator or the like, then the Exam Support Team is there to help.  The role of the Team is to offer practical support to students, liaise with the invigilators on your behalf and refer students to other Support Services.
·        The Chapel, the Chapel Common Room and An Gairdín Sosa (beside the chapel) are places where you can pray, relax or study before or after an exam. During exam time they are open every day from 7.45am till 10pm. For further information or support, contact the Chaplains at chaplains@nuigalway.ie or 091 495055

Student Health Unit: The Student Health Unit is located upstairs in Áras na Mac Léinn beside the Student‘s Union and operates a walk-in service where students are allocated a time on a first-come, first-served basis. Its hours are 9.15 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. , Monday to Friday. 

Student Counselling: Counselling is available to all students. Drop in appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, weekdays between  2.15 p.m. and 4.15 p.m., at 5 Distillery Rd. 

Health Promotion: For a consultation about any aspect of health and wellbeing, email cindy.dring@nuigalway.ie. Or call in to the Wellness Centre to browse a range of  wellness resources. 

For more on support and therapies check out Exam De-Stress

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MANAGING EXAM STRESS: 8. A FINAL WORD

Plan how to get to the exam, remember that several hundred students will be traveling on the same
route, get an early bus or see if you can walk to the exam hall. Don’t rely on vague offers of lifts; make the best arrangements that will work for you. If you sleep it out or have an accident on the way to the exam come in anyway and report to the exam hall. The invigilator will advise you on the best course of action. On the exam day the student union and the student advisers will be present to offer support outside the exam. Once the exam has started, if you are not able to control your anxiety after ten minutes, call the invigilator to your desk.

If your stress has recently increased significantly because of circumstances outside your control (e.g. family problems, accommodation problems, death in the family), see a student advisor, counselor or your academic year co-coordinator to discuss the impact on your exams.


This article was written by Cindy Dring ofStudent's Services Health Promotion. If you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at cindy.dring@nuigalway.ie or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh.

MANAGING EXAM STRESS 7. Anxiety Management Techniques


a) Thought-stopping technique
When we become anxious we begin to have negative thoughts (‘I can’t answer anything’ ‘I’m going

to panic’ etc) If this is happening, halt the spiraling thoughts be mentally shouting ‘STOP! Or picture a road ‘STOP’ sign or traffic lights on red. Once you have literally stopped the thoughts, you can continue planning, or practice a relaxation technique
b) Creating a mild pain.
Pain effectively overrides all other thoughts and impulses. Even very mild pain – such as lightly pressing you fingernails in your palm – can block feelings of anxiety. Some people find it helpful to place an elastic band around one wrist, and lightly twang it when they are becoming anxious.

c) Use a mantra.
Derived from meditation, a mantra is a word or phrase, which you repeat to yourself. Saying something like ‘calm’ or ‘relax’ under your breath or in your head, over and over again, can help defuse anxiety.

d) Bridging objects. It can help to carry or wear something with positive associations with another person or place. Touching this ‘bridging object’ can be confirmation in its own right; then allow yourself a few minutes to think about the person or situation, which makes you feel good. This can have a really calming effect.

e) Self-talk
In exam anxiety or panic we often give ourselves negative messages, ‘I can’t do this’ ‘I’m going to fail’ ‘I’m useless’. Try to consciously replace these with positive, encouraging thoughts: ‘this is just anxiety, it can’t harm me’ Relax, concentrate, it’s going to be OK’ ‘I’m getting there, nearly over’ 





 

This article was written by Cindy Dring ofStudent's Services Health Promotion. If you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at cindy.dring@nuigalway.ie or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh.

MANAGING EXAM STRESS: 6 In the exam

IN THE EXAM


Here are some tried and tested remedies to the ‘I can’t answer anything’ feeling and other worrying thoughts about exams. When you get into the exam room and sit down, the following approach can help settle your nerves:

Focusing

·         Take a deep breath in and a long breath out

·         Breathe in again and straighten your back – as if someone were pulling a lever between your shoulder blades. Look straight ahead at something inanimate (the wall, a picture, the clock) and focus your mind on the positive thought ‘I CAN DO this exam’ as you breathe out.

·         Take another deep breath in and a long breath out. Then breathe normally.

·         Read the paper, do so thoroughly. If you begin to feel panicky again, repeat the focusing exercise.

Panicking will stop you reading carefully so it is important to keep yourself focused and positive. Read the whole paper once, then read it again and mark the questions you think you can answer. Then read those questions carefully – make sure you understand what is required – and select the ones you are going to answer. Decide on the order in which you’ll answer the questions. It is usually best to begin with the one you feel most confident about. Think about how you will plan your time and stick to your plan. Plan out your answer for each question as you go. If you find that thoughts or ideas about other questions come into your head, jot them down on a separate piece of paper – don’t spend time thinking about them now. If your concentration wanders or you begin to feel panicky, you could try the focusing exercises again, or use one of the following techniques to help you overcome anxious thoughts. If you are worried that you haven’t got time to spare on this, remember that taking 5 to 10 minutes NOW may save you spending the rest of the exam in a state of panic.






This article was written by Cindy Dring ofStudent's Services Health Promotion. If you have problems or worries you feel you would like to talk about confidentially, contact Cindy at 091-492048. Alternatively e-mail her at cindy.dring@nuigalway.ie or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh.