What Is A Healthy Support System?

What Is A Healthy Support System?

Even the most independent people benefit from human interaction, and having a support system to encourage and guide you through emotionally-tough times can be crucial to your mental health. However, cultivating this support system doesn’t happen on its own, and if you aren’t sure what to look for, you may struggle to seek help when life challenges arise. Read on to learn more about some of the defining traits of a healthy support system.

What Can Support Systems Look Like?

Support systems can take a number of forms and may include family members, friends, physicians, therapists, or counselors. Support systems can also include strangers or acquaintances you meet through church, a support group, an online community, or in just about any other context that provides you with encouragement and accountability. Don’t feel as though your support system is limited to those who are close to you; seeking out support from those outside your inner circle often provides a different, and helpful, perspective on whatever challenges you’re facing.

What Traits Define Healthy Support Systems?

Not all support systems are necessarily the healthiest for those they support, so knowing the foundation of a good support system can be a useful first step in determining how you can improve or boost your own.

Some traits that accompany a healthy support system include accountability, fellowship, the sharing of common experiences, and a sense of purpose.

Having a support system provides a level of accountability to help you achieve your goals or triumph over adversity. Whether someone is attempting to kick an addiction, lose weight, finish a college degree, or just push forward through a particularly difficult phase of life, a healthy support system won’t allow you to give up, and won’t encourage unhealthy or self-harming behaviors. Furthermore, a support system that provides regular accountability checks can operate as a constant cheering section.

Fellowship, or the sharing of common experiences, is also important. This is why support groups tend to be so helpful for those dealing with an addiction or psychological issue. Simply sharing stories and hearing others’ experiences can be cathartic and will bring you closer to others in your group.

Counseling and therapy can always be a valuable component of a support system. While friends and family may be well-meaning, they might not always have the emotional tools you need to help guide you through tough times, and working with a talk therapist or cognitive behavioral therapist can give you an unconditional level of support.

Finally, your support system should imbue you with a sense of purpose.

How Can You Improve Your Own Support System?

If you’re struggling to define your own support system and are facing a potentially life-changing issue like an unplanned pregnancy, Avail NYC can help. Our compassionate advocates will work with you to explore your options in a peaceful, non-judgmental environment, and can offer everything from free self-administered pregnancy tests to pregnancy and after-abortion support.

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

Can I Finish High School While Pregnant?

Can I Finish High School While Pregnant?

If you recently discovered that you are unexpectedly pregnant, you may be doubting whether it’s possible to complete high school or even whether you need to throw our all of your academic ambitions altogether. Read on to learn about some options available for student parents in NYC, giving you the opportunity to achieve academic success starting with your high school diploma.

Can You Finish High School While Pregnant?

The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes.” New York City already has some programs in place to assist student parents. One program, Living for the Young Family through Education (LYFE), is focused on supporting student parents’ transition into parenthood by providing high-quality early childhood education, supportive counseling, academic guidance and advocacy services, all while keeping you on track to graduate or a achieve a high school diploma equivalent. Enrolling in LYFE can be a simple process, and doing so as soon as you learn you’re pregnant can ensure you’re well-prepared for the changes that await you.

The NYC Department of Education’s Referral Centers for High School Alternatives can help pregnant students or student parents who are being bullied, who are having academic issues or are otherwise facing problems in their home school and who want to transfer to a different school or take a semester off before returning. They can help students make a personal education and career plan by assessing their academic and social needs and linking them to the best options matched to their needs.

LYFE centers, which are located in each of NYC’s five boroughs, offer a variety of referral services and can even help you access free or low-cost childcare for after you’ve given birth. Because these childcare providers may have waiting lists, it’s important to get your name on these lists as soon as possible so that you’ll be well-positioned to take advantage of these low-cost options.

Where Should You Begin?

Becoming unexpectedly pregnant can turn your world upside down, and you may be wondering where to turn for support. Whether you’re interested in taking a free, self-administered pregnancy test, want to think through your options in a supportive, confidential environment, or are looking for pregnancy support services, Avail NYC can provide you with the services and support you need. Contact us today to hear more about our free, confidential services that can help you make a confident decision about your future.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

When to Take a Pregnancy Test

When to Take a Pregnancy Test

Sooner or later, most women find themselves testing for pregnancy. Whether you’re actively trying to expand your family or are taking birth control to prevent pregnancy, your first missed period or pregnancy symptom can send you to the store to purchase a test. Testing can be exciting or terrifying, depending on the result you wish to see or when you don’t know what to expect.

Knowing when to test, however, can be easier said than done. A test at the wrong time can lead to a false result while testing correctly can give you plenty of time to make a decision that’s right for you. Here’s when you should take the plunge with a pregnancy test.

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When You Miss Your Period

A missed period is often the first sign of potential pregnancy, even in women taking birth control. While not all women have predictable periods, with cycles varying by days or even weeks from one month to the next, a period that doesn’t come is a good indicator that a test is necessary.

Women can have missed periods for other reasons as well, so an absent Aunt Flo doesn’t always mean pregnancy. Stress, weight loss, and hormonal shifts can all affect your menstrual cycle.

The Two-Week Wait

The period following ovulation is often known as the two-week wait, referring to the average length of time between ovulation and the change in hormone levels that results in a positive pregnancy. If you have a predictable cycle and believe you might have had intercourse during your time of ovulation, two weeks after the date of ovulation is the best time to test.

When You Begin to See Signs

Numerous signs often accompany the early stages of pregnancy in addition to a missed period. If you experience any of the following symptoms, taking a pregnancy test may be appropriate.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Heightened sense of smell
  • Pale pink spotting

Pregnancy Test Tips

When you take a home pregnancy test, it’s best to do so first thing in the morning as this urine will have a more concentrated amount of the hormone hCG, providing more accurate results. Time your test according to the instructions on the box – not all makes and models use the same schedule. Most kits come with two tests, as well; take both to avoid a false initial reading.

Support from Avail NYC

Taking a pregnancy test alone can be very overwhelming, especially if you weren’t planning on getting pregnant anytime soon. If you want support in your journey, Avail NYC can help. With free, self-administered pregnancy tests available, you can confidentially verify your pregnancy. And if positive, one of our client advocates can provide you with the information and support you need to make a decision about how to move forward.

Avail NYC provides a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our client advocates or learn more about our free, confidential services.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.