Tip of the Week: Red Flags within a Relationship

Do you know the expression “love is blinding”? This is a true statement. Even when your gut is telling you that something is wrong, you often ignore it. However, your gut is never wrong. Here are some red flags to look out for when in a relationship:
• Blames others for own faults
• Drug/ Alcohol use/abuse
• Explosive temper
• Extreme jealousy or insecurity
• Fascination with weapons
• Strong gender stereotypes
• Difficulty with authority
• Cannot express emotions verbally
• Treats partner like property/possession
• Isolates you from friends and family
• Blows up about little things
• Thinks it’s okay to resolve conflict with violence
• Checking emails, cellphones and social media without permission
• Constantly insulting or putting down partner and/or humiliating partner in public or in front of loved ones

If you or someone you know sees the warning signs in their relationship, then remember you are not alone and that you have the option to seek help. You can always reach out by contacting NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) directly at nova.sas@nvcc.edu or 703-338-0834.
https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/sas/dating.html
If you would like to learn more about this topic, join us for our Red Flag Campaign on Monday, March 2nd from 11am to 2pm in the LC Café on the Loudoun Campus. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/166424331470492/

Tip of the Week: Staying Healthy During Flu Season

With cold and flu season swinging into full gear, it can be hard to make sure your immune system is keeping up with your everyday life. Here are a few tips that will help you stay healthy:
• Eat More Protein: Diets with low protein can lead to a weaker immune system so make sure you are incorporating protein into every meal!
• Try to be in the Sun: Vitamin D is a great way to help fight off a cold. If you believe you are not getting enough sunlight in your life, try to find foods that are high in Vitamin D like orange juice, cheese, tuna, and egg yolks!
• Drink Some Green Tea: Green tea has been known to be associated with good health because of its high levels of antioxidants, so skip the coffee and drink some tea!
• Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Your body will be susceptible to a cold if you are running on a couple hours of sleep every night. Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential tool to keep your immune system strong.
• Drink Lots of Fluids: Staying hydrated is an easy way to ensure your immune system is strong so make sure you drink lots of water!
• Practice Good Hygiene: Limiting your exposer to germs is essential to staying healthy. Try to take showers daily, wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing!

For more tips about staying healthy throughout the semester, visit http://www.ulifeline.org/stay_well

Visit the NOVACares Resources page for more info: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: Time Management

With the semester starting to pick up and midterms around the corner, managing all your assignments and responsibilities can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to manage your time the most effective way:
• Make a Daily To-Do List: With everything going on it is easy to forget an assignment. Make a daily to-do list to prioritize what needs to be accomplished in that day. That way you can use your time efficiently and not be overwhelmed!
• Establish a Routine and Try to Stick to It: You will be much more productive if you stick to a routine and are less likely to mess around when you first wake up.
• Try Not to Multitask: Dividing your time and energy between multiple things will take you twice as long to accomplish both things. Set up blocks of time to do each individual activity. That way you are fully engaged at each task at hand!
• Believe in yourself: Having a lot of assignments can make you feel overwhelmed, but if you believe in yourself that you can get the work done, then it is bound to happen!

For more information about stress management go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: Self-Love

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, there is a lot of talk about love. However, the most important love is self-love!

Here are some tips to feel good about yourself:
• Surround yourself with people who bring you up
• Take time for self-love
• Avoid spreading negativity
• Don’t compare yourself with others
• Spread kindness and optimism
• Appreciate what you have
• Be thoughtful of others
• Compliment a stranger
• Get more sleep
• Be open-minded
• Believe in yourself
• Don’t dwell on the past
In celebration of Valentine’s Day NOVA SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES (known as “SAS”) will be visiting the NOVA Annandale, Loudoun, MEC, and Woodbridge campuses to share information on Healthy Relationships. Stop by our table where you can gather information on HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS and create your own handmade Valentine’s Day Cards for family, friends or that special someone in your life for free! Hope to see you there and bring your friends!
Annandale- Monday, February 10th from 11-2 – CA 3rd Floor
Loudoun – Tuesday, February 11th from 11:30-1 – LC Cafe
Medical Education – Wednesday, February 12th from 11-2 – 1st Floor
Woodbridge – Thursday, February 13th from 11-1- WS Lobby

If you are interested in uplifting songs that inspired this post:
Surfaces- Sunday Best
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt3m04Tscc8
Lizzo- Good as Hell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuq-VAiW9kw

For more tips about staying in a positive mindset, visit http://www.ulifeline.org/stay_well
Visit the NOVACares Resources page for more info: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Healthy Relationships Week Is Coming to NOVA

In celebration of Valentine’s Day NOVA SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES (known as “SAS”) will be visiting the Annandale, Loudoun, Medical Education, and Woodbridge NOVA Campuses to share information on Healthy Relationships. Stop by our table where you can gather information on HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS and create your own handmade Valentine’s Day Cards for family, friends or that special someone in your life for free! Hope to see you there and bring your friends!

Annandale- Monday, February 10th from 11-2 – CA 3rd Floor
Loudoun – Tuesday, February 11th from 11:30-1 – LC Cafe
Medical Education – Wednesday, February 12th from 11-2 – 1st Floor
Woodbridge – Thursday, February 13th from 11-1- WS Lobby

Tip of the Week: Feeling Unmotivated?

Tip of the Week: Feeling Unmotivated? Coming back from winter break can make it hard getting back into the flow of the new semester. Here are a few tips on how to get back on track:
1.) Stay Organized: Keep all your papers, books, and assignments organized which will make your life so much easier. If you are organized and know where everything is, you will be more motivated to do your work rather if you know you have to look for it before you even begin.
2.) Create Goals: When you have a lot of assignments due, they can be overwhelming to think about let alone do. If you create a set of goals you want to achieve each day, it will make you feel less overwhelmed and feel even better once you cross them off your list.
3.) Take Breaks When Needed: If your body is screaming at you for a break, you should listen to it! Take a fifteen-minute walk outside or listen to music for thirty minutes. Allowing your mind to re-energize is a great way to come back and be even more motivated than before.
4.) Get a Good Night’s Sleep: You will not get anything done if you are running on a couple hours of sleep every night. Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential tool to keep you motivated throughout the day.
5.) Treat Your Self: There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a reward after finishing a hard assignment. Having something to look forward to after your assignment is a great way to motivate you to keep going and finish!

For more tips about staying emotionally healthy throughout the semester, visit http://www.ulifeline.org/stay_well

Visit the NOVACares Resources page for more info: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with Your College Kids Over the Holidays. Shared by our friends at “This is My Brave”.

Five Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with your College Kids Over the Holidays

Five Ways to Start a Mental Health Conversation with your College Kids Over the Holidays

Hayley B. Sherwood, Ph.D.

Articles in the news media and online are aplenty during the holiday season, full of advice for coping with stress, difficult relationships, grief, and a host of other challenges. For parents with college students, the next several weeks is often one of the few times of the year that their children are home for an extended period of time. According to statistics on ActiveMinds.org, 39% of college students experience a significant mental health issue, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among this population.

As college students wrap up exams and return home, the long holiday break can be a good time to open up a discussion about mental health. Here are several ways to start a conversation:

1. Ask questions (without badgering!). Find time to inquire about self-care habits. How much sleep are they getting and how well are they sleeping? How is their diet? Have they gained or lost a significant amount of weight? Are they improving or at least maintaining their grades? What are they doing to relax? Are they managing their time well? Are they feeling connected to roommates and classmates? Is exercise part of their routine? Are they participating in any clubs or other extra-curricular activities?

2. Be honest. As your children reach young adulthood, share family mental health histories with them. Just as we discuss our family’s physical issues, like cancer or diabetes, many older teens need to hear about family addiction, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and other issues for which they might be at risk. These conversations can be uncomfortable. However, young adults in their late teens and early twenties are most vulnerable to serious mental illness, especially when those related to them have been diagnosed. For example, informing your children that addiction runs in the family might just alert them that excessive use of things like alcohol, drugs, video games, porn, or spending could lead to more self- destructive choices or long-term consequences down the road. Talk with your children about more adaptive ways of coping with stress.

3. Be a resource. Let your child know you support them in finding mental health help in college and in the college community. Most colleges have counseling and/or learning centers that offer individual and group services for a range of issues. Offer to assist in identifying mental health resources online, as well as on- and off-campus. If your child is struggling academically or has a history of receiving school-based support prior to college, consulting with staff in their college Office of Disability Services could lead to accommodations in the classroom. As legal adults, college-aged children must take the lead in seeking out these services, but parents can also encourage their child, along with track down paperwork or reach out for guidance from therapists or other professionals who may have supported their child in high school.

4. Equip. Think about offering your college students free or inexpensive apps that help ease stress and/or cope with a variety of mental health conditions, including Happify, Insight Timer, Calm, Breathe2Relax, Sanvello and What’s Up, as well as MindShift (anxiety), Recovery Record (eating disorders), Panic Relief (panic disorder), Twenty-Four Hours A Day (addiction) and eMoods (bipolar disorder).

5. Keep in touch. As your children prepare to return to college, especially if they are struggling with a mental health issue,
establish a plan for staying in regular contact. Setting aside time for a call or Facetime, not just texting,
allows parents to hear their children’s voice, which is a better way to see how they are feeling.

Taking the time to connect and engage in these vital conversations over the holidays can make a huge difference in how your young adult learns to prioritize and manage their mental health.

About the Author:

Dr. Sherwood is a Board Member of This Is My Brave, as well as the Owner and Clinical Psychologist of Oak Hill Psychological Services, PLLC, in Herndon, Virginia. She specializes in adolescent, women’s and family issues.

Tip of the Week: Choosing a Major

Tip of the Week: Choosing a Major

As the semester is coming to an end, many are faced with the approaching decision of choosing a major. This decision can be a stressful and scary one. Let’s reflect on a few tips to help you in this decision process:
1. What are your interests? Take some time to think of what sparks joy in your life and what you are good at! We are more likely to succeed and excel in our careers if we have a passion for it driving us.
2. What values and beliefs are important to you? Working in a field that reflects your core values and beliefs is a vital factor to your overall happiness. Take time to write down important values that are essential in your career path.
3. Ask for help. It is always okay to ask for help. Ask your academic advisors, family, and friends their advice. Those who know you know well are there to help inspire, and motivate you to find your academic passion.
4. Use your electives to spark interest. Take advantage of your electives to find your areas of interest. Taking a wide variety of electives can help you narrow down your field of interest. You never know until you try it!
5. Volunteer in your community. Taking advantage of volunteer opportunities in your community is a great way to network and familiarize yourself in different lines of work. Not to mention it will look great on your college applications and resumes!
Choosing a major can be a difficult decision but there are resources out there to help you right here at NOVA! Visit the Advising and Counseling page at https://www.nvcc.edu/advising/index.html for counseling support for career, transfer, retention (academic success) and disability issues.
Or email AcademicAdvising@nvcc.edu (emails are answered within 24 hours).
Or chat online directly with the Live Chat link to talk with a viral advisor here: https://www.nvcc.edu/virtualadvising/index.html

Tip of the Week – Self Harm

Tip of the Week: Self Harm

When you hear the term “self-harm,” what comes to mind? Typically, the main type of self-harm we think of is cutting one’s self. But, the term holds much more dangerous behaviors as well. In addition to cutting, one who self-harms may also partake in other risky acts such as:
• Burning themselves
• Pulling their hair and sometimes even ingesting their hair
• Banging or hitting themselves with objects to the point where they become bruised or bleeding
• Carving symbols or words into their skin
• Rubbing their skin excessively, pinching, ripping or tearing at skin sometimes with foreign objects to create a burn mark
• Not allowing their wounds to heal
An average of 20% of female and 14% of male college students report that they have self-harmed in one type of form. The first step in getting treatment for yourself or a friend or family member is to start talking. Help is out there and YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Talking about it is the first step to end the negative mental health stigma. “What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close

NOVA is here to help! If you or a loved one are dealing with self-harm and need help please visit https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html and click on Mental Health
Or
Dial 211 on your phone 24/7 to be connected to a highly trained specialist to help you access the best local resources and services available to you.
Or
Text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support from a trained Crisis Counselor 24/7.