Tag Archives: Help

How to Be Supportive Without “Fixing”

It is very human to want to help someone, particularly someone you care about, when you see them stressed out or in pain.  It is also very human to seek validation for your own experiences.  Can you recall a time you needed to be heard, and someone told you what you “should” do instead?  Not very helpful, huh?

As illustrated in the short video below, we can use empathy to be present for others during their struggles as to not fall into “fixing” mode- although well-intentioned, unless your thoughts and advice are requested, you should avoid giving them as to not alienate the person opening up to you, because advice may not be what they are seeking, or what they feel they need right then.  Do not assume what they may need- ask them how you can help them in the moment to support their feelings, not to fix the issue.

Be an active listener, seeking the message being sent to you, instead of thinking of what you want to say next.  You can reflect to the speaker that you heard them by repeating back in your words what they said, asking for clarification, and even just saying things like, “wow, that sounds rough,” and “what a difficult day you had.”  Doing so illustrates that you represent a safe space where the speaker can open up, instead of a person who may be judging or not understanding them.  You can also ask open ended questions, such as, “what happened next?” and “how did that make you feel?”  These invite the speaker to fully express their feelings, and helps you truly hear them.

A discussion between you and the person you care for should occur to help you both articulate the ways that you like to give and receive support in your relationship, and to create space for you both to address issues together, instead of working against each other.  This is pertinent practice for you to advocate for yourself when someone is trying to support you, and for you to know how to best assist someone when called on to do so.

For additional information on supporting and not fixing, check out the following:

It’s Not About The Nail                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

Stop Trying to Fix Things, Just Listen! https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/skills-healthy-relationships/201606/stop-trying-fix-things-just-listen

Relationship Advice: How to Stop “Fixing” and Start Listening https://www.growingself.com/stop-fixing/

How to show up for a friend without trying to fix their problems, according to a therapist                         https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/how-to-support-a-friend-without-fixing-problems/

Daily Affirmations for a Positive Mindset

Increasing expectations for productivity and perfection placed on each of us in a world of “Go! Go! Go!” can bring about feelings of frustration, failure, and negativity.  Having a rainbow of emotions is something we all experience and have to manage.   At times, feeling low or upset can make getting through the day seem impossible, and that the world expects you to ALWAYS smile through your pain.  Healthy positivity entails being honest about your feelings and expectations with yourself and others, not expecting or trying to attain perfection, and acknowledging your mood has direct implications on your outlook and output in a given day.

Reciting daily affirmations is a tool to help combat negativity.  You can try the examples below, and may enjoy coming up with your own.  Place them in locations you encounter early in your day, like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator door.  Consider using objects, like keychains, or participating in The Kindness Rocks Project . You can also utilize an app, like ThinkUp (iOS and Android devices.), to search affirmations and record your own, or put an affirmation in the subject line of your phone alarm clock.  Remember: “You are what you think!”

  • I am loved, and I am lovable.
  • I am enough.
  • I let go of past hurts as they no longer serve me.
  • I am capable.
  • I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet.
  • I will utilize my talents today.
  • I wake up today with strength in my heart, and clarity in my mind.
  • My fears of the unknown are fading away.
  • I’m getting stronger every day.
  • I can do this.
  • I have the courage to say no.
  • I will not take negativity from others personally.
  • This is my body, and I love it.
  • It is fine for me to make mistakes; I will use them to grow.
  • I will not apologize for being myself.
  • My goals are my focus.
  • Success is in my future.
  • I will not sweat the small stuff.
  • I will work smarter, not harder.
  • I will celebrate the small victories.

NOVACares does not endorse the application referenced above; it is included for illustrative purposes only.

Tip of the Week: Prevention of Cyberstalking

Tip of the Week: Cyberstalking

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn: so much of our everyday life is viral! Checking and updating our accounts daily has become a normal routine, like brushing our teeth. However, we often forget the dangers that come with our social media followers. When hitting “post” we can forget the dangers of cyberstalking. Your stalker may be a stranger or someone who has an active role in your life. Along with electronic stalking and harassment, cyberstalking can also include identity theft, soliciting for sex, slander, or gathering your personal information to threaten, blackmail, or embarrass you. Cyberstalking is dangerous and can quickly escalate. Many of us have been affected or personally know someone who has. Check out the following tips to keeping yourself safe:

  1. Block any and all suspicious users
  2. Do not add or accept users that you do not know
  3. Do not respond to private messages to anyone you don’t know
  4. When posting, do not share specifics about your location.
  5. Do not share your last name, phone number, or email on online dating sites until you have met in person.

For additional resources visit:

Cyber stalking background with some smooth lines, 3D rendering, a red stop sign

https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

 

Tip of the Week: September 8 -14 is National Suicide Prevention Week

September 10th  is World Suicide Prevention Day! Let’s celebrate awareness! 1,100 of college students commit suicide every year, and 10% think seriously about suicide as an option. Many of us have either been personally affected by or know someone who has been affected by a suicide. It is important to remember you are NOT ALONE! If you or your friends express an interest in suicide, it is important to take it seriously! The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
• Looking for a way to kill oneself
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
• Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others; Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or feeling isolated
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Displaying extreme mood swings.
For immediate help, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or for other resources visit:
https://afsp.org/find-support/
Or
https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

TIP OF THE WEEK: Back to School Study Tips

With Fall 2019 semester now in full swing, the academic load can be overwhelming. Let’s take a moment to determine how we can make this a successful semester! Consider the following as you go about your everyday:
1. Stay Organized: Keep a detailed calendar for both your academic and social calendars and make sure they do not collide. Setting reminders in your phone and/or using sticky notes is a great method to staying on track.
2. Time Management: This may be the most important skill you master in your NOVA career and beyond. Prioritizing your work load is essential to your success! Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time for your class load each week in accordance to your work life. While you may be taking on a lot this semester, may sure you make time for self-care!
3. Don’t Cram or Over Study: As tempting as staying up until 3a.m. to study for that test may be, studies show that last minute cramming only leads to undo stress, sacrificed sleeping and ultimately poor test performance. Instead let’s practice time management discussed above.
4. Unplug & Disconnect: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great source for staying in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, however, it can be a huge distraction. In your appointed study hours consider turning off all social media accounts and focusing on the here and now.
5. Find Your Comfort Zone: It is all about finding what works for you. Whether it may be the quiet library, the busy coffee shop, or the local park with distance sounds of nature. We all operate different and finding the place to focus your mind is essential to your studying success!
6. Take a Break: Sometimes the work load can seem overwhelming. Take a break! Sometimes walking away from a tough paper you are writing or a stressful test you are studying for can give you a fresh perspective when you walk back to it. Allow yourself to clear your mind and regain focus.

We hope you can find these tips helpful in your NOVA success. Additional resources can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
If you need additional support, feel free to email us at: NOVACares@nvcc.edu

Tip of the Week: How to avoid undo stress!

Welcome to our new NOVA Nighthawks and Welcome Back to our returning students. Here is the first tip of the week for the semester: Tips to avoid undo stress!

Starting a new college semester can be an exciting time in your life, but it can also arrive with some stressful baggage. Learning to adapt to your new schedule and create healthy balances can be challenging. While acclimating to your new course load, it is important to remember to get enough sleep (ideally 8 hours per night), eat well (avoid junk food and energy drinks), exercise (just 20 minutes per day can reduce stress), and maintain your mental health (support from friends or family, and not overloading yourself). No one is immune to stress and there are resources out there to help! To learn more, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Some additional tips for those starting their college journey:
– Read as much as possible.
– Research possible college majors.
– Polish social, people and soft skills.
– Embrace time-management tools.
– Weigh getting a job.
– Know how to stay safe on campus.
– Contact professors before classes start.
– Make the most of orientation activities.
– Research ways to get involved.
– Know where to go for academic help.

If you need additional info feel free to email us at novacares@nvcc.edu

Tip of the Week: Dealing with Depression

Depression is a mental disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness, tiredness, and loss of interest. Depression affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Depression can be treated, so it’s important to seek help if you believe you may be experiencing depression. To learn more, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

 

 

Tip of the Week: Suicide Prevention Tips

Tip of the Week: Suicide Prevention Tips: Look out for your friends. If someone you know is constantly making jokes about killing or harming themselves, it actually may be a serious cry for help. Behaviors that may be suicidal indicators include increased alcohol, drug, or prescription medication use, showing a disinterest in school and/or a job, withdrawal from activities that used to interest the person, a history of mental illness, and/or a recent traumatic event. These traumatic events can include a recent breakup, divorce, failed class or classes, a suspension/expulsion notice, losing a job, a sexual assault, and/or death of a peer or family member.

PRS Crisis Link Hotline is a local hotline that helps with suicide Northern Virginia. You can call the hotline at 703-527-4077 to talk to an empathic person who wants to help you or someone you know. The professionals provide free & confidential services 24/7. The hotline can also help you find referrals to mental health and other community services.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7 across the United States. Call: 1-800-273-8255
To know more about suicide prevention, visit us online https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

Tip of the Week: 3.27.17 Counseling Referrals

Although Northern Virginia Community College does not provide campus-based mental health services for students, NOVACares has created a database of mental health professionals available throughout the Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland area who are licensed to provide psychotherapy and medication management. Our Mental Health Provider Database allows you to search for a provider by discipline, specialty, gender identification, insurances accepted, location and public transportation accessibility. The Mental Health Provider Home Page also includes information about how to choose a therapist and offers information and resources for addressing grief, substance abuse, veterans’ concerns and LGBTQ support. For more information about The Mental Health Provider Home Page, please click the following link http://nvcc.rints.com/. To find more about available NovaCares services, visit us at www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html

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