Some things

​to think about

The best New Year’s resolution: Telepsychiatry

A new year, a new you! A new chapter! A clean slate! A fresh start!

However you phrase it, the new year offers a symbolic opportunity for renewal and self-refection. It’s a time to nurture our aspirations and set new goals.

The idea of a clean slate sparks optimism, motivating people to leave behind challenges or disappointments of the past and embrace the possibilities that the future holds.

Studies show that about 43% of people give up on their resolution by the end of January, and only 9% of people see it through the entire year. But you can set yourself up for success in 2024 and beyond by making a resolution that enhances all areas of your life — improving your mental health.

And the best  news is that insurance-covered telepsychiatry makes keeping your resolution simple, affordable, and accessible. Aka sustainable. 

From navigating the complexities of your career to improving connections in your relationships, telepsychiatry can help improve your daily experiences and enhance your overall wellness. Here are a just a few reasons telepsychiatry in 2024 is the best resolution you can make.

Restore your work/life balance.

Gone are the days when your work desk has to double as a stress chamber. With telepsychiatry, you can free yourself from those lunchtime anxiety spirals and check in with your doctor instead. Virtual appointments help you declutter your mind, improving focus and boosting productivity. This newfound work-life harmony won’t let deadlines dictate your mental state. You can regain control, prevent burnout, and find a renewed sense of clarity with the help of bonmente‘s telepsychiatry team.

Build relationship resilience.

Prioritizing your mental health with telepsychiatry can address emotional challenges, communication issues, and interpersonal dynamics from wherever you are. It provides a safe space to address concerns, improve communication, resolve conflict, and build bridges. As easy to access as your Maps app, telepsychiatry is like your relationship GPS for a smoother journey.

Gain parenting patience.

Raising tiny humans, especially if they’re miniature versions of yourself, isn’t for the faint of heart. But telepsychiatry can help you build your parenting playbook. It offers a judgment-free zone to discuss the challenges and triumphs of parenthood. From overcoming tantrums to maintaining your sanity during the chaos, virtual therapy sessions help equip you with the skills to be the parent your kids (and you) need.

Enjoy some stress-free socialization.

If you don’t have a little social anxiety after all that pandemic induced isolation, count yourself as one of the lucky ones. Social anxiety can make leaving the comfort of your bubble seem way too not-worth-it, but with telepsychiatry, you can learn strategies to navigate awkward silences and networking nightmares and start enjoying the perks of human connection again. 

Rediscover your hobbies and interests.

Remember those hobbies you pushed to the back burner because you got too busy to actually do the things you enjoy doing? Telepsychiatry is just the permission slip you need to dust off that hobby box and get back at it. Free up some space for creative endeavors and passion pursuits by addressing mental roadblocks. Whether it’s painting, writing, reading, traveling, or rock climbing, virtual therapy can help fuel your creativity and rekindle your zest for life.

Improve your sleep health.

One night of bad sleep is enough to affect how you think, how you manage stress, and how you regulate your emotions. A week of “enh” sleep, and you’re on the path to a waking nightmare. Telepsychiatry is a low-stress way to explore sleep issues and trial different interventions to see what will work for you.

“A good night’s sleep acts as the body’s nightly rejuvenation session,” said Catalina Villa, a psychiatrist at bonmente. “Adequate and quality sleep is as important to your life as food and water.”

Build lasting resilience.

The reality is, life is going to keep happening in 2024, bringing its usual twists and turns and ups and downs. What can make this year better than others is investing in a mental resilience umbrella through telepsychiatry and turning challenges or uncertainties into opportunities for growth.

Telepsychiatry can your anchor in 2024, helping you weather the storms and savor the sunshine this year. Getting support from the team at bonmente can be the secret ingredient that enhances every aspect of your life, turning the simple things into the extraordinary. Book an appointment today.

Work Stress? Unlock Your Resilience Potential

Imagine resilience as a muscle – the more you work on it, the stronger it becomes. In a world and workforce filled with challenges and stress, resilience doesn’t just help you withstand difficulties; it helps you bounce back stronger than before!
With 83% of US workers feeling the weight of work-related stress and a quarter of them deeming their job the ultimate stressor, it’s time to equip ourselves with resilience and take charge of our mental health. Read on to learn how to flex those mental muscles with three practical ways to boost resilience at work.
Build Resiliency At Work


We all have that inner critic who loves pointing out our flaws and mistakes. But would you criticize and put down your best friend during tough times? Absolutely not! Self-compassion is the key to building resilience, so treat yourself with the kindness you’d show to your closest friend. This isn’t just some fluffy self-help mumbo-jumbo; it’s backed by science! Self- compassion reduces stress, helps you navigate tough situations gracefully, and fosters a positive outlook. Self-compassion is acknowledging that everyone makes errors and faces setbacks — part of being human.

Instead of dwelling on self-criticism, remind yourself that setbacks are growth opportunities. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take short breaks throughout the day to recharge. Enjoy self-care activities like walking, enjoying your favorite snack, or practicing mindfulness.


Remember the last time you got stuck working on a high-priority project, juggling various tasks, and working long hours to meet a tight deadline? When facing this mountain of work, you felt immediate relief when you reached out to a coworker who offered a listening ear and sound advice. That’s the power of social support–a major resilience booster!

“Reach out to colleagues, friends, or family members who understand your work challenges,” said Ana Jimenez, PA-C. “Engage in open conversations with them, sharing your experiences and listening to theirs. Sometimes, knowing that others face similar situations can be incredibly reassuring.”

Additionally, participate in team-building activities or social events with your colleagues. These interactions foster a sense of camaraderie, enhancing workplace relationships and morale. Having a resilience tribe can provide emotional support, different perspectives, and valuable advice during tough times.


We all had those “I-can’t-deal” moments at work, right? Stress is inevitable, especially in a fast-paced or mentally-taxing work environment. However, learning to manage stress is vital for building resilience. 

While we can’t eliminate all stressors, we can control how we respond. Start by identifying stressors within your control, then focus on what you can change, letting go of what’s beyond your influence. Embrace problem-solving strategies to tackle challenges step-by-step. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe deeply and regain your composure.

Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, exercise, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy because holding onto stress only depletes your resilience reserves. And if it helps, picture stress as that old, outdated fashion trend from the ’80s – it’s time to bid it farewell! By letting go of unnecessary worry, you free up mental space to tackle issues effectively and better care for yourself.


Remember, resilience isn’t necessarily an innate trait but rather a skill you can develop. By treating yourself with kindness, building a strong support system, and managing stress proactively, you can improve your ability to handle challenges at work and promote better overall mental health.

As you move forward, armed with these practical strategies to boost resilience, face each day confidently. Embrace difficulties as opportunities for personal growth and keep that resilience muscle strong. And if you ever need extra support on your journey to resilience, don’t hesitate to reach out to our mental health professionals at bonmente, who are here to guide you.

The Importance Of Self-Love In Therapy

Everyone is talking about self-love these days. It sounds great, but truly loving yourself and practicing self- compassion is something that takes time. And effort.

The truth is, when it comes to striving for mental wellness and managing life’s struggles without faltering (hello, resilience), our self-perception makes all the difference. So, let’s change how we think and tap into the power within by cultivating more self-love.


Self-confidence is often key in healing and therapy. Believing in yourself can be the difference between stumbling blindly through the process or taking control and empowering your journey. No matter what you’re struggling with, if you can boost your self-esteem and adopt a positive attitude, you’ll be
shocked by how much easier it is to find success. Believe it or not, studies have shown that those who emphasize their self-confidence usually make more progress during therapy than those who don’t.


Our self-esteem is shaped by our life experiences and those we interact with. It can grow, shrink, or shift as new or difficult realities emerge or through meaningful relationships with family and friends. But while our self-esteem may be capricious, our belief in ourselves – namely, our self-confidence – is something we can actively nurture to cultivate true empowerment and transformation.

Through practices like self-love and positive reinforcement, we can build the strength necessary to overcome whatever roadblocks stand in the way of our mental wellness. From mental hurdles to mood hurdles and feelings of shame or regret that affect our self-esteem, self-love helps us build the self-confidence necessary to heal and recover.


It’s easy to forget how deeply intertwined mental health and self-love are – but understanding that connection is crucial in helping create lasting change.

“Self-love isn’t just feeling good about yourself. It requires us to delve into uncharted territory and untangle the complexity of our emotions,” said Teri Arana, LCSW, at bonmente. “Self-love is ultimately knowing that you have worth, even when it might not seem obvious.”

Practicing self-love through acts of kindness and taking the necessary steps to care for your mental health, such as checking in with your emotions and going to therapy, are foundational to building stronger self-esteem and self-confidence and increasing overall happiness. Investing time into loving ourselves despite our flaws, regrets, mistakes, or fears is the first step towards reclaiming our power and gaining greater control over our lives.


Mental health and healing is an ongoing journey for many of us, and self-love and self-care are key to positive progress. Self-care isn’t just about luxury spa treatment or having a ‘me day’. Self-care is about teaching our minds to be more kind, understanding, and forgiving. By taking proper care of your mind, you will be able to create lasting habits that help manage symptoms.

Ready to learn how self-love can enhance your experience in therapy? Rediscover the joys available in reclaiming yourself and your well-being with something seriously practical – telepsychiatry.

At bonmente, we strive to make accessing self-love and therapy easier than ever. But it’s up to you to take the first step. After all, self-love is what you give to yourself when no one (or nothing) else will. It’s like being able to reach into your own pockets and surprise yourself with presents every once in a while!

So, why not reach for your phone and book an appointment with us? Show yourself some real love!

Does It Feel Like Everyone Is Sick Right Now?

Fever, cough, colds, the flu, why does it feel like everyone is sick right now? Even though we’re on our third ‘post-covid holiday’, there’s still so much going around that can make staying home seem like the best option. This early rush of winter illnesses can make navigating the holiday season even more complicated. Here are some tips from our expert team that can help you prioritize your wellness and enjoy all the holiday season offers.

Prioritize Nutrition

Holiday party foods, cocktails, and cookies are all part of what makes December the most wonderful time of the year. Even though it’s ok to treat yourself every once in a while, it’s important to focus on proper nutrition every month of the year. “ Sugar produces the “feel good” neurotransmitters that temporarily boost our
energy levels and enhance our mood, said Amanda Zapata, PA-C. Refined sugar can cause brain inflammation, cognitive decline, and a number of other health problems.”

Find More Ways To Move

Shorter days, increased periods of darkness, and cooler temperatures can zap motivation. Instead of getting overwhelmed by starting a new workout plan, focus on quick, manageable goals that get you moving. For example, go for a walk on your lunch break—practice yoga before bed. Find ways to incorporate movement into your day to benefit your mental and physical health.

Embrace Telemedicine

Telemedicine gained popularity during covid, and now it’s here to stay! From convenience to accessibility, Telemedicine has many benefits that help people prioritize their health and wellness from the comfort and safety of their homes. Check with your medical providers to see if Telemedicine is an option for your next appointment so you can stay home and stay healthy.

Protect Your Mental Health

We know how busy this time of year can be for you and your family. But, despite the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s essential to make time for your mental health. At bonmente, we offer technology-forward psychiatric care for all mental health conditions. Our providers will develop a treatment plan uniquely customized just for you. Now you can receive care from your home with convenient appointments that work with your schedule.

Reach out to our team today to put together a plan that can enhance your mood this holiday season and beyond.

The Seasons Are Changing, But Your Mood Doesn’t Have To

Have you noticed that beautiful sunset you enjoyed all summer now takes place around 6:00 PM? The season of sunshine is slowly slipping away, trying to sneak off without us noticing. It’s dark when you wake up and dark when you get out of work. Your brain and body can’t seem to figure out what time is it again? The temperatures are cooler,  and this lack of sunshine can really impact the way you feel.


“Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 15 million adults or 7.1% of the U.S. population,” said Ana Jimenez, PA-C, of bonmente. “You don’t have to live in sub-zero climate to experience symptoms of SAD. It can happen right here in sunny California.”


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression closely linked to changes in the seasons, and it can make you feel like you’re in a constant state of gloom. But there’s no need to let your mood take a nose-dive just because the seasons change. There are ways to overcome SAD and keep your spirits high all year.

If you feel down or depressed for no apparent reason during the fall or winter months, you may suffer from seasonal affective disorder. While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is believed to be related to a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm – the natural 24-hour cycle that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.

People with SAD may have difficulty adjusting to shorter days and less sunlight. For this reason, SAD usually hits people the hardest in the fall as the days get shorter and continue into the winter. For some people, SAD can also occur in the spring or summer, although this is less common.


There are a few key signs that you might be suffering from SAD.

  1. How is your energy level? Do you feel more tired or less motivated than usual?
  2. Has your mood been shifting recently? Are you feeling more down or irritable than normal?
  3. How is your diet? Have you been craving carbohydrates more often or overeating in general?
  4. Don’t forget about sleep… Are you having more trouble falling or staying asleep?

Other symptoms of SAD can include difficulty concentrating and feelings of hopelessness or sadness. If you catch yourself nodding to any of these questions, it’s worth seeking a professional evaluation to determine whether SAD could be the cause.


Even though you don’t have to deal with the harsh winters that other parts of the country do, it’s still important to pay attention to your mental health as the seasons change. There are a few ways to help maintain a sunny mood, even when the weather isn’t.

  1. Make sure you’re getting enough daylight. Spend time outside daily, even if it’s just for a short walk around the block. 
  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. 
  3. Connect with loved ones and socialize. Just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean you have to hibernate – there are plenty of fun winter activities in Cali to enjoy with friends and family.


Some effective treatments for seasonal affective disorder include light therapy, counseling, and medication. Light therapy involves sitting near a special light box that emits bright light for 30 minutes to two hours daily. The light exposure helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and improve mood by affecting chemical changes in the brain.

Therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help people with SAD identify and change negative thinking patterns contributing to their depression. And finally, medication can help treat underlying conditions like anxiety or depression contributing to SAD symptoms.


Shorter days and less sunlight can impact your mood, even in sunny So Cal. But don’t spend your days wishing for warmer weather and suffering in the meantime.  

At bonmente, we look forward to helping you feel better – from an expert diagnosis to a customized treatment plan. With some lifestyle changes and perhaps some light therapy, counseling, or antidepressant medication, you can get through the changing seasons with your mood intact! Give us a call today!


Food is good. It tastes delicious, it anchors us socially, it inspires special memories, and our bodies need it. And, sometimes when we polish off that pint of ice cream on the couch after an awful day, we feel better. Until we don’t.

Nutritional psychiatry is an emerging area of study that evaluates the link between food and mood.

Studies around the globe have shown that eating “healthy” foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can protect mental health and that eating “junk” foods like potato chips and ice cream can threaten it. 

But how?


“The gut is full of serotonin receptors, so it’s not surprising that scientific research into food and mood is supporting what conventional wisdom has taught us,” said Mottsin Thomas, a psychiatrist at bonmente. “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, one also found in the brain, that is associated with feelings of happiness and with circadian rhythms. This chemical link, known as the gut-brain axis, offers new potential in helping people with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.”


The perfect menu has yet to be put together, but research has shown fruits and vegetables are central to a mood-improving diet.

Higher fruit and vegetable consumption has been correlated with lowering the prevalence of depression and anxiety. One interesting study from 2013 showed mood improvement the day of and the day after increased intake of fruits and vegetables among young adults.

A traditional Mediterranean diet also shows promise in mental health improvement, as does a mostly vegetarian diet and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 diet. All of these diets emphasize fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids from fish. They also stay away from processed meats, refined carbohydrates, and sweets.


So, what should you put on your plate?

There’s no doubt that ice cream band-aids and pizza binges are here to stay, but if you want to improve your mental health, they can’t be your main source of sustenance. Here are some mood-improving foods to reach for instead.

1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, is high in flavonoids, which increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and improve brain health. Talk about a pick-me-up.
2. Yogurt
Yogurt, like other fermented foods, helps sustain populations of healthy bacteria in your gut, which may increase serotonin levels. Research is ongoing, but it appears to show connections between a healthy gut microbiome and lower rates of depression.
3. Bananas
Step aside apples, it’s time for bananas to get the limelight. Full of vitamin B6, which helps with dopamine and serotonin production, bananas provide a slow sugar release and helps prevent energy dumps that can cause mood dips.
4. Nuts
2019 study over 10 years and following nearly 16,000 people found that eating nuts was linked to a 23% lower risk of depression. Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and almonds contain brain-important minerals zinc and selenium.
5. Coffee & Tea
Both coffee and tea have demonstrated an antidepressant effect, with one study of 50,000 women finding that 2-3 cups of caffeinated beverages decreased the likelihood of depression by 15%. If coffee give you the jitters or prompts anxiety, try green or black tea.


bonmente offers comprehensive treatments and guidance to manage anxiety, depression, and all other mental health issues. Schedule an appointment ​with our mental health providers today.