Tag Archives: self love

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.

Setting and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries


Boundaries are absolutely vital for healthy relationships- most importantly, your relationship with yourself.  It is a way to maintain balance in your life by learning, acknowledging and holding others to your personal limits.  This supports positive self-image and healthy self-esteem.  For most of us, it is not a skill we were taught, rather, through experience and watching others, we determine what is- and is not- acceptable for each of us.  As this skill can be challenging to develop and maintain, below are some tips from Dr. Dana Gionta for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries (courtesy of Psych Central article, 10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS):

  1. Name your limits.

You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. So identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits, Gionta said. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.  “Those feelings help us identify what our limits are.”

  1. Tune into your feelings.

Gionta has observed two key feelings in others that are red flags or cues that we’re letting go of our boundaries: discomfort and resentment. She suggested thinking of these feelings on a continuum from one to 10. Six to 10 is in the higher zone, she said.

If you’re at the higher end of this continuum, during an interaction or in a situation, Gionta suggested asking yourself, what is causing that? What is it about this interaction, or the person’s expectation that is bothering me?

Resentment usually “comes from being taken advantage of or not appreciated.” It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty (and want to be a good daughter or wife, for instance), or someone else is imposing their expectations, views or values on us, she said.

“When someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a cue to us they may be violating or crossing a boundary,” Gionta said.

  1. Be direct.

With some people, maintaining healthy boundaries doesn’t require a direct and clear-cut dialogue. Usually, this is the case if people are similar in their communication styles, views, personalities and general approach to life, Gionta said. They’ll “approach each other similarly.”

With others, such as those who have a different personality or cultural background, you’ll need to be more direct about your boundaries. Consider the following example: “one person feels [that] challenging someone’s opinions is a healthy way of communicating,” but to another person this feels disrespectful and tense.

There are other times you might need to be direct. For instance, in a romantic relationship, time can become a boundary issue, Gionta said. Partners might need to talk about how much time they need to maintain their sense of self and how much time to spend together.

  1. Give yourself permission.

Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls, Gionta said. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member. Many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” We might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.

Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.

  1. Practice self-awareness.

Again, boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, Gionta suggested asking yourself: What’s changed? Consider “What I am doing or [what is] the other person doing?” or “What is the situation eliciting that’s making me resentful or stressed?” Then, mull over your options: “What am I going to do about the situation? What do I have control over?”

  1. Consider your past and present.

How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. If you held the role of caretaker, you learned to focus on others, letting yourself be drained emotionally or physically, Gionta said. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.

Also, think about the people you surround yourself with, she said. “Are the relationships reciprocal?” Is there a healthy give and take?

Beyond relationships, your environment might be unhealthy, too. For instance, if your workday is eight hours a day, but your co-workers stay at least 10 to 11, “there’s an implicit expectation to go above and beyond” at work, Gionta said. It can be challenging being the only one or one of a few trying to maintain healthy boundaries, she said. Again, this is where tuning into your feelings and needs and honoring them becomes critical.

  1. Make self-care a priority.

Gionta helps her clients make self-care a priority, which also involves giving yourself permission to put yourself first. When we do this, “our need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger,” she said. Self-care also means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them. These feelings serve as “important cues about our wellbeing and about what makes us happy and unhappy.”

Putting yourself first also gives you the “energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there” for them.” And “When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.”

  1. Seek support.

If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, “seek some support, whether [that’s a] support group, church, counseling, coaching or good friends.” With friends or family, you can even make “it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together [and] hold each other accountable.”

Consider seeking support through resources, too. Gionta likes the following books: The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time and Boundaries in Marriage (along with several books on boundaries by the same authors).

  1. Be assertive.

Of course, we know that it’s not enough to create boundaries; we actually have to follow through. Even though we know intellectually that people aren’t mind readers, we still expect others to know what hurts us, Gionta said. Since they don’t, it’s important to assertively communicate with the other person when they’ve crossed a boundary.

In a respectful way, let the other person know what in particular is bothersome to you and that you can work together to address it, Gionta said.

  1. Start small.

Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Gionta suggested starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”

“Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support,” Gionta said. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.

Source:  https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

Self-Care in Minutes

Self-care is an intentional activity meant to support your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.  It is often overlooked, but is vital for a healthy relationship with yourself.  Self-care strengthens self-esteem, the experience of positive feelings and self-confidence, and allows you to maintain openness to positivity from others.  Self-care will also help you to have the energy to get through work and personal commitments.  It can look a lot of ways, like asserting boundaries, saying “no”, asking for help, forgiving yourself, and taking a break.  Self-care does not require grand effort or lots of money; below are some examples of what you can do to take care of yourself:

5 minutes-

  • Drink a glass of water or a cup of tea/coffee/cocoa
  • Text a friend
  • Stretch/take deep breaths
  • Meditate or say a prayer
  • Listen to a motivational song
  • Watch a cute animal video

15 minutes-

  • Write in your journal
  • Make a grocery list or menu
  • Go for a walk
  • Have a dance party in your jammies
  • Change your sheets
  • Phone a friend

30 minutes-

  • Take a bath
  • Exfoliate/apply a face mask
  • Engage in a hobby
  • Take a nap
  • Cook/enjoy a favorite snack or meal
  • Exercise

1+ hours-

  • Give yourself a mani/pedi
  • Watch a favorite movie/show
  • Curl up in a blanket, and listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Attend a therapy session
  • Have a video call with family/friends

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: 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

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: Eating Disorders

thyTip of the Week: Eating Disorders

While some people may see eating disorders as simply a phase to lose weight or a media glamorized fad, eating disorders are in fact recognized as a mental disorder. It affects you not only physically, but psychologically, and socially. The impacts can be life-threatening. The three main types of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (limiting your food intake), Bulimia Nervosa (consuming large amounts of food in a short time followed by purging), and Binge Eating Disorder (consuming large amounts of food in a short time without purging). No matter the type of eating disorder you or a loved one may experience, it is critical to learn the alarming symptoms and seek help.

You or a loved one with an eating disorder may experience:
-Extreme weight loss or gain
-Depression and/or anxiety
-Social isolation
-Hyperactivity or impulsiveness
-Low body temperature and sensitivity to cold
-Water-electrolyte imbalance and dehydration
-Brittle nails, dry skin, and dry hair
-Irregular or absent menstruation
-Dizziness and fainting
-Headaches
-Fatigue

You may not experience all these symptoms for the disorder to become life-threatening. Help is available! For more information, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
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
Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website for more information or chat online with a trained specialist: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support. You can also call their helpline Monday- Thursday from 9am-9pm EST and Friday from 9am-5pm to speak with a trained specialist: 1-800-931-2237.

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: Anxiety

Anxiety can be very hard to deal with on your own. School, finances, or job duties can cause anxiety. It can begin to take over everything, making it difficult to enjoy good moments. Talking to someone or getting help is a great way to manage or overcome your anxiety.
To learn more, go to https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety#disorders or submit a report for help at https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/program/index.html – click on “make a report”

 

Multitasking Stressed Business Woman in Office Work Place. Vector illustration