Some things

​to think about

How to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year”

Tis the season for celebrating… or so they say.

From getting enough Halloween candy to making it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, the next three months are some of the most demanding of the year. Sure, the most fun and festive too, but all that holiday bliss comes wrapped in some serious stress.

Your to-do list seems to grow a mile high overnight, outlining everything you need to should do. Soon, you feel like the star of a holiday movie trying to pull off a picture-perfect celebration on little sleep, no energy, and an empty bank account.

If that scenario sounds all too relatable, consider this your invitation to skip the stress, bypass the chaos, and kick the holiday expectations to the curb this year! It’s time to break free from these self-imposed holiday demands and embrace the season with open arms. 

Here are three positive mindsets that can help you let go of holiday expectations and rediscover the magic of the season.

1. I will do my best, and that will be enough.

If you find yourself falling to a comparison trap this season, take a step back and analyze your triggers. Was it the incredible holiday light display in your neighbor’s yard? Maybe the flawless dinner spread you saw on Instagram is leaving you second-guessing your Thanksgiving tableware? 

Whatever the cause, it’s essential to watch out for comparison traps during the holidays that can sap the joy from your festivities.

2. I will spend money wisely.

Gift-giving is a wonderful tradition, but it shouldn’t empty your wallet or max out your credit card. Instead of dwelling on luxury, think about thoughtful, sentimental gifts. A homemade craft or a meaningful card can mean more than any expensive gadget. Giving during the holiday season (or any time of year) can significantly benefit your mental health.

When you give, you shift the focus from your concerns to the well- being of others, which can create a sense of purpose and fulfillment. The act of giving releases endorphins, which can elevate your mood and reduce stress. It also strengthens feelings of empathy and connection, enhancing your overall emotional well-being. There are so many reasons to give that have little to do with how much you actually spend.

3. I will protect myself from burnout.

It’s the season of invitations galore, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) kicks in big time. But remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’ when you’re overwhelmed.

Prioritize self-care and quality time with loved ones. No one’s keeping score on your holiday party attendance record! Make a promise to yourself to avoid burnout this year by doing what you can, when you want to, and on your terms.

Remember that it’s perfectly fine to have moments of stress or sadness during the holiday season. It’s natural. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come your way, and remember that it’s okay to take a break and practice self-care when you need to.

We'll get through this together!

As you navigate the upcoming holiday season, remember that you don’t have to face challenges alone. Therapy is a valuable resource that can provide support, coping strategies, and a safe space to explore your thoughts and emotions during this potentially stressful time.

Our team is committed to your well-being, and we’re here for you wherever you are. Whether you’re celebrating at home or traveling, our online therapy services make accessing the help you need convenient.

Let this season be one of self-care, resilience, and personal growth. Reach out to us, and let’s work together to make your holidays a time of healing, growth, and joy.

The Sneaky Creep of Depression

Feeling down or unmotivated lately? Notice a shift in your mood?

COULD IT BE MORE THAN JUST A BAD DAY?

Depression isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s more commonly a slow, gradual process that starts with subtle signs and symptoms that, if overlooked, can develop into a more debilitating condition. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to those early warning signs so you can get the help and support needed to prevent depression from taking over your life. 
 
Some subtle signs can indicate when someone is slipping into depression. Understanding these early warning signs of depression can help you recognize potential mental health issues and take steps toward seeking professional assistance when necessary. The following five common signs of depression and how they may manifest in our lives can help you better understand if depression could be affecting how you feel right now.

YOU'RE OVER OR UNDER-SLEEPING.

Have you noticed significant changes in your sleep patterns lately? Depression often disrupts your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. Some individuals may experience insomnia – struggling to fall asleep or waking up frequently at night. 

On the other hand, oversleeping or feeling excessively tired despite getting enough sleep can also indicate hypersomnia, another sign of depression. Paying attention to your sleep habits and any significant changes can be a valuable clue.

YOUR ENERGY IS LOW.

Do you feel like you’re dragging yourself through the day? Maybe those simple tasks that used to be a breeze now feel like tasks you’d rather avoid? It could be a sign of depression. This sneaky condition drains our energy levels and blurs the line between being physically tired and feeling persistently drained. 

Plus, we mentioned how it messes with your sleep patterns, which can affect mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Suddenly, things that you used to enjoy can seem like total buzzkills. While we all have days when we feel tired, depression-related fatigue is a different animal entirely. So if you’re feeling unmotivated, consistently fatigued, or unable to find joy in activities you once found fun, it may be time to talk to someone.

YOU'RE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP... WITH THE BASICS.

Depression can zap your energy and motivation, making it difficult to keep up with basic tasks and personal hygiene. If the schedule you used to maintain without a second thought starts to feel impossible, it may be time to take a little personal inventory. Or if you’re skipping things like brushing your teeth, showering, or fixing your hair, depression may be settling in for a visit. 

“Depression can seriously mess with your concentration and focus, making even the simplest tasks seem impossible to complete,”
said Claudette Banda, PMHNP.
“This often results in a noticeable drop in productivity at work or school, leaving you frustrated and defeated.”

Remember, a slip in hygiene or function is not a reflection of your character or worth! Rather, it’s a symptom of depression affecting your behaviors and daily functioning. 

YOU'VE BEEN SOCIALLY ISOLATING.

When depression hits, you might feel like you can’t handle being around other people. Socializing can feel like a burden, so you cancel plans, skip out on social events, and start avoiding your friends and family. But here’s the thing: isolating yourself can make your depression even worse.

If you’re noticing a big dip in your social life or going out of your way to avoid being around others, that’s a sign that you might be dealing with depression.

YOU'RE MORE ANXIOUS AND IRRITABLE LATELY.

Have you been feeling more anxious lately or overly frustrated with small things? Well, it’s not uncommon for anxiety and depression to tag-team or for depression to show up as aggravation. But don’t worry; discussing your experiences with a healthcare professional is crucial. Since the symptoms overlap, they can help you figure out whether it’s depression, anxiety, or both and then provide the right kind of support.

DON'T GUESS... GET DIAGNOSED!

If you or someone you know is struggling with these warning signs, the mental health professionals at bonmente can provide a proper diagnosis, guidance, and treatment options.

At bonmente, we understand the challenges of living with depression and are here to support you. With our convenient and prompt telepsychiatry services, you can access professional help from the comfort of your own home. Our experienced team of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and therapists provide personalized care to address your unique needs.

Remember, the sooner you address your mood, the better. Early intervention increases the odds of early remission, so if you’ve noticed any of these early warning signs, reach out to bonmente  today and take the first step toward reclaiming your well-being. You deserve support and the opportunity to live a fulfilling life free from depression.

Treating ADHD The Ethical & Thorough Way

When you have ADHD, getting through the day can sometimes feel like you are wrestling a mythical beast. And if simple tasks disguised as Herculean feats weren’t enough to contend with, finding an ADHD treatment that works for you can leave you feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. That’s because many medical professionals take an inflexible approach to treating ADHD that is NOT tailored to your individual symptoms or history.

BUT YOU ARE NOT JUST A NUMBER.

You have special strengths and powers waiting to be unlocked by a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

At bonmente, we believe it’s time to move beyond ‘one size fits all’ solutions. We explore conscientious ways to treat ADHD through comprehensive assessments and tailored treatments the thorough and ethical way.

WHAT IS ADHD? AND WHY DOES ASSESSMENT MATTER?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition often linked to genetic factors. And while the exact origin may be unknown, proper diagnosis plays an integral role in safe and successful treatment. For this reason, it’s crucial to obtain an accurate evaluation from qualified providers who can understand your personal history and determine whether any other causes are potentially responsible for your symptoms.

During the assessment process at bonmente, we will gauge how long you have been dealing with symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness, how much interference they cause in everyday life, and how best to target intervention with individualized strategies.

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT VS. OUR APPROACH

We understand the temptation to reach for stimulant medications when faced with an ADHD diagnosis. They work. But they can also lead to dependence, increased anxiety, and heart problems. Our top priority is your well-being. Instead of automatically handing out prescription drugs as a solution, we’ll take time to review your situation and consider more holistic approaches.

Our mission? To find what works best without compromising safety or putting you at risk.

So, in addition to lifestyle changes and routines such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management, we encourage our patients to explore options like therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically, shows tremendous promise in helping ADHD patients restructure their thought processes to manage their symptoms better.

And while optimal treatment for ADHD is usually a combination of therapy and medications, holistic approaches like these can get to the root of troubling symptoms in a way that medications cannot.  By leveraging the power of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), patients can take steps to break free from a lifetime of self-critical thinking. CBT can help by replacing harmful cognitive distortions with healthier ones that pave the way for more positive emotions.

Bottom line: If you have been treated for ADHD before, we’ll thoroughly review your history, symptoms, and medical records to find what works … (and what doesn’t.)

GET THE HELP YOU NEED.

Living with ADHD can feel like you’re living in a never-ending obstacle course, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary, always a challenge. But with the right combination of treatments crafted just for you and your unique brain, you can harness your ADHD brilliance, unlock your special strengths, and build resilience. 

If you are seeking ADHD treatment in Long Beach, CA, contact bonmente today.

How To Navigate Holiday Stress & Family Conflict

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, love, and peace. But for many of us, the stressors of the holiday season get in the way of merry making. 

From buying gifts, attending holiday parties, and dealing with family conflicts, the holidays can be tough to get through unscathed. We don’t have the official handbook on navigating holiday stress (and family drama), but these tips from our team can help you manage holiday stress without losing your mind.

CREATE A BUDGET... AND STICK TO IT.

There may be many things we want to do and people we want to please around the holidays. But when it’s all said and done, our bank account doesn’t give a hoot about the holiday spirit. So how do we manage our financially-triggered holiday stress and stay within our budget?

“Before filling up your holiday calendar or shopping cart, sit down and create a budget you can stick to,” says Rachel Jumonville, PA-C, a bonmente provider. “Following a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on gifts. It might mean being mindful of spending, getting creative with gifts, or scaling back on some of your party plans.”

And if you’re feeling guilty about saying no to people or not buying a gift for your great-uncle Bob, don’t worry! Putting your needs first during the holiday season is okay, and the people who love you will understand. 

TAKE PLENTY OF MENTAL BREAKS & ME TIME.

One of the best ways to manage holiday stress is to take regular mental breaks. Step away from the holiday bustle for a few minutes here and there to clear your head. These little check-ins help you decompress and offload some of the chaotic energy that comes with the season, making you better equipped to handle stress when it comes. 

If you’re feeling especially stressed, take a quick walk or do some simple exercises to get your blood flowing. It’s amazing what a few jumping jacks can do… If the family conflict starts to heat up, give yourself permission to walk away and take a few deep breaths. 

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS & BOUNDARIES.

The holidays are a time when family dynamics can come into sharp relief. If you dread spending time with certain family members or friends, set some expectations and boundaries. For instance, if you know that nosy Aunt Susie will pry into your love life or that Uncle Bob will have one drink too many and talk politics with anyone who will listen, mentally prepare yourself ahead of time. Then, communicate your needs and limits clearly and firmly.


This doesn’t mean you have to create a big drama – in fact, setting boundaries can help everyone enjoy the season with less of it. And that’s something everyone can be thankful for. Set realistic expectations to avoid feeling overwhelmed and disappointed. And by maintaining boundaries, you can protect your time, energy, and generosity before other people or triggers have a chance to take advantage of it.

REMEMBER, YOUR MENTAL HEALTH TEAM IS JUST A CLICK AWAY.

Telepsychiatry is a flexible and convenient option if holiday stress or family conflict is becoming too much to handle on your own. At bonmente, our team is experienced in helping people healthily manage their stressors and other mental health concerns that can be especially triggering this time of year. For this reason, we offer extended hours and Sunday appointments so that you can get help and support when you need it. We’re here for you.

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