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
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.
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/
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.
As finals approach, stress can begin to rise. There are small things you can do to reduce your stress, such as trying to stay organized, plan ahead so you can manage studying with other life events, get 7- 8 hours of sleep each night, eat healthy (not processed food!), and turn off social media! These are all great ways to be prepared for those exams and papers – and to stay healthy as well! Sometimes, however, stress can be overwhelming. You don’t need to deal with it on your own. There is help for you! For more information, go to https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
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