Stress Archives - Jigsaw

Issues facing young people who are immigrants

It’s not easy being an immigrant in Ireland. Some people had never heard of Ireland before they moved here, others knew very little about it. Even what language was spoken.

It can be very difficult landing in a country when you don’t know much about it.

This article covers:

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A parent’s guide to Leaving Cert stress

It’s a nail-biting time watching your young person prepare for the Leaving Cert. In 2021, students were given the choice between sitting the exam, receiving an accredited grade, or both. Approximately 58% of students chose to sit the exam in some capacity.

2022 sees the Leaving Cert return to a more traditional format, while incorporating more choice for students. This document has the adjusted assessment arrangements for taking state exams in the 2021/22 school year. These adjustments are designed to take account of the disrupted learning experienced by students during the pandemic.

We asked Jigsaw clinicians how they support and advise parents and young people finding it hard to cope with Leaving Cert stress. They suggested the following strategies and tips to support your young person and cheer them up. They also advised how to keep yourself and your home calm during these challenging times.

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Why do people self-harm?

Self-harm is when someone intentionally damages or injures their body. Also known as self-injury, it can take on many forms, such as cutting, burning, hitting, or scratching.

Risky behaviour that can be harmful is also considered self-harm behaviour. Binge drinking to the point of blacking out or vomiting regularly, restricting food intake, or overeating could be considered risky.

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Feeling down

We all feel down now and again. We can feel tired or listless or just ‘meh’ about everything. With the effects of the pandemic still around, it’s understandable to feel down at the moment. 

Feeling low or feeling down is not pleasant, but it is very common. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons young people come to Jigsaw.

In this article, you will find:

 

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Dealing with self-criticism

Too many of us are quietly, privately, hard on ourselves. We walk around with an inner critic, telling us we’re not ‘good enough’ and never amount to anything.

Sometimes we feel so much pressure to achieve, self-criticism seems like a necessity. Lockdown has kept us cooped up and in many cases with more free time. We may feel especially guilty if we’ve not been ‘productive’.

We’ve all seen people who ‘achieved’ despite the difficulties of the pandemic. Marathons run in backyards, new languages learned, what seems like hundreds of books read. It’s difficult not to compare ourselves and put pressure on ourselves too.

There’s a myth we can hang on to that a harsh inner critic is useful to get where we want in life.

In this article, you will find:

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How to deal with anger

Anger is a feeling we all experience. It’s an emotional state that comes with thoughts and often physical feelings as well.

Anger can usually be summed up with the expression ‘that’s not fair’. It comes with a sense of injustice. Maybe you feel you or someone else has been treated unfairly. Anger can be a great motivator, prompting us to make changes and tackle inequalities.

The past year has been challenging for many, and can cause a lot of anger. We often feel angry when we have no control over things. We can feel stressed, or under a lot of pressure.

There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It is our response to feeling anger that can cause problems for us.

Why we feel angry

Feeling angry often comes with physical sensations. Things like our heart beating faster, feeling hot or clenching our fists.

Anger can be difficult to express and manage. Particularly because a lot of us have been taught not to show it. We can be made feel guilty or ashamed about being angry, despite it being a necessary emotion.

This is unfair as well, and can further sustain feelings of anger. Until we learn how to manage it a different way, this keeps going in a circle.

We learn a lot about how to express emotions from our family. Think about the habits you may have picked up over the years. Do people close to you release anger in a healthy way?

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Amy’s story: Living in a high-risk household

Amy, 22, a Jigsaw volunteer from Limerick shares her experience of the pandemic.

My experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been somewhat different to that of my peers, as I am living in a high-risk household. A member of my family is currently undergoing chemotherapy which compromises their health immensely. Because of this, myself and the other members of my family are not only responsible for our own health, but for their health too.

The feeling of responsibility for someone else’s health is a difficult feeling to put into words. I did not feel much pressure and frustration during the first lockdown as everyone was in the same boat. I oddly felt safer and more relaxed knowing that everyone was undertaking the necessary precautions.

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