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Tips on how to avoid stress at exam time

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As students all across Ireland are set to sit their Leaving and Junior Certificate exams the HSE is encouraging them to spot the signs of stress and to know how to manage anxiety related to their exams.

Stress levels can be higher than usual around exam time. While a bit of stress can help you to stay motivated and focused, too much can be unhelpful.

Mark Smyth, Senior Clinical Psychologist, HSE says, “Exam time can be an anxious, stressful and potentially overwhelming experience. Remember, test taking anxiety is normal, and because anxiety is an emotion it will pass if you give it time. The more you fight it the longer it will last. As the phrase goes, "If you see a wave coming, grab a surfboard.”

He has also provided some tips on how best to manage exam stress:

Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do to help you perform well in exams and stay focused during study. Try to wind down before going to sleep. You don't go from fifth gear straight to first gear when driving a car; your mind works similarly and needs time to slow down before sleep.

Eat: Try to eat regularly and stay hydrated. Continuing the car analogy, a car won't run without petrol. Eat regular meals and eat well: this will help your ability to think, concentrate and last the distance.

Exercise: Regular exercise can help to relieve some of the stress build-up and improve your mood. Build it into your plan: walk the dog, go for a swim or cycle or anything that gets you active.
Downtime: Make time for some fun, it's not only allowed, it's recommended. Schedule things you enjoy doing at weekends or during breaks between exams.

Try to keep some perspective: Ask yourself the question: In 10 years’ time are you likely to remember what grades you got in the exams?" It's unlikely.

Post-mortems: Dwelling on what has already happened will only mess with your head. It doesn't help because you can't change the past. With social media and instant messaging there's a temptation to take the post-mortem online, and this is also unlikely to be helpful. Try to leave the last exam behind you and focus on what you can do, which is the next exam.

Exams don't define you as a person: We're all more interesting and important than a grade on an exam.

The HSE is also urging parents and family members to be aware of potential stress during exam time and to support their child/children as best they can and has provided parents with some tips to help with stress during exam time:

Try and encourage your child to eat well.

Remind them of the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Be flexible (household chores can wait).
Talk to you child about exam nerves.

Encourage exercise.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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