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.
The NOVACares Office is proud to announce that the NOVACares Mental Health Provider Search Database (“NOVACARES Counseling Referral System”) has been upgraded and updated for a more productive search for local mental health providers. The NOVACares Office has personally contacted the 157 providers, as of this writing, in the database to verify their license to practice and requested that they update their profile to include changes in insurances accepted, sliding scale/reduced fees for NOVA, waiting time, accepting new patients, and if they are offering telehealth services. Our listed providers include providers that service Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and beyond. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use the database to locate providers matching their search criteria. The NOVACares Office is still recruiting providers to be listed in the database and will conduct an extensive outreach campaign over the summer and fall.
To start your search for a mental health provider visit: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/index.html
NOVACARES COUNSELING REFERRAL SYSTEM
If you are at risk in anyway (e.g., considering suicide or at risk of other physical harm) please dial 9-1-1 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. You may also visit the your nearest emergency room or contact NOVA police at 703-764-5000. If you would like additional non-emergency support for yourself or another student that you are concerned about, please file a NOVACares report at www.nvcc.edu/novacares.
The providers participating in the database supply their own information about their services. We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information provided. We are also unable to endorse any particular provider that is listed. It will be important to verify information with the provider that most interests you, including fees and other arrangements. Contact your insurance company if you need to ensure that the clinician you select is a participating provider.
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:
- 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
- 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
- Take a bath
- Exfoliate/apply a face mask
- Engage in a hobby
- Take a nap
- Cook/enjoy a favorite snack or meal
- 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
COVID-19 is a huge anxiety producer – here are some tips to help you recognize and manage your anxiety.
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Depression is a very scary word. An official diagnosis of depression is not needed to know you have experienced depression at one point in your life. Clinical, major, postpartum, seasonal, or situational depression are all very real types of depression you may face in your daily life. This disorder can make a trip to the grocery store seem like you are attempting to climb Mount Everest. It is important to understand the warning signs and seek help. Depression may look like, but is not limited to the following:
– Excessive crying
– Social Isolation
– Insomnia or the need to excessively sleep
– Lack of concentration or being sluggish
– Excessive weigh gain or loss
– Thoughts of suicide
NOVA is here to help! If you are dealing with depression and need help please visit https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
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:
- Block any and all suspicious users
- Do not add or accept users that you do not know
- Do not respond to private messages to anyone you don’t know
- When posting, do not share specifics about your location.
- Do not share your last name, phone number, or email on online dating sites until you have met in person.
For additional resources visit:
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:
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
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 email@example.com