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Waterford coach discusses the SHED technique ahead of Leaving Cert

Waterford coach discusses the SHED technique ahead of Leaving Cert
Mary O'Neill
Mary O'Neill

SHED, which stands for sleep, hydration, exercise and diet, is a good coping guide for Leaving Cert students, according to a West Waterford career coach and trainer.

Elaine McBarron, who runs Career Compass from Lismore, spoke to WLR's MaryAnn Vaughan.

Elaborating on the SHED acronym, Elaine said leaving your phone outside the bedroom and switching off screens is good for a better sleep.

She added that water is good for concentration so make sure and stay hydrated.


Exercise and fresh air, even small amounts of it, can boost serotonin.

Elaine also told MaryAnn that while the temptation is to go to junk food, eating regular healthy snacks will help more.

In terms of study and prep, she said, "go to what your teacher guided you, practice off your exam paper. Study in the same order as your exams are coming up."

Box Breathing

Elaine uses a technique with clients, called "box breathing," a way to calm the nervous system. Elaine explains in this podcast how it works.


"It might help to generate some resilience in terms of the nervous tension that can build," she said.

She said all these techniques are useful life skills, not just for the Leaving Cert, but for driving tests, interviews and other times in life that can cause anxiety.

Avoid the "post-mortem"

Elaine said avoid the "post mortem" after the exam at all costs - "It's outside your control afterwards. There's nothing you can do to change what's written down on that paper at that point. So control the controllable."

She also spoke about how important it is to take breaks from study and give yourself time to do something you enjoy, whether that's watching your favourite TV show, or something else.

You can listen to Elaine's full conversation with MaryAnn through the link in this podcast.

For all WLR News podcasts, click here.