New Year, New Mindset

Dr. Michael Messina, Owner of Dr. Messina & Associates, Offers Advice on Maintaining Mental Wellness in 2023

As we begin a new year, many individuals are striving to improve their physical health, but would you agree that it is equally important to focus on mental health?

Absolutely. Mental wellness consists of our emotional, psychological and social well-being. The quality of our mind directly affects how we think, feel and act. 

Many experience seasonal depression in the winter. What are the signs and how can it be treated?

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is common in the winter and is often referred to as The Winter Blues. It is thought that less daylight during winter may trigger a chemical imbalance in the brain which leads to depression. Symptoms can look like:

·       Low energy

·       Sleeping problems or oversleeping

·       Feeling malaise during the day

·       Weight Gain

·       Lack of Interest

·       Feeling guilty or hopeless

We recommend:

·       Exercise

·       Getting sun when you can

·       Keep a healthy diet

·       Find a fun and exciting activity you can enjoy indoors

·       Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We are halfway through the school year, and our children are under increasing amounts of stress. What are some ways parents can support their children's mental health?

Over half of mental illnesses start before the age of 14. As children, our first experiences of the world shape us the most. That means it’s never too soon to start a conversation about mental health with our kids. Doing so early can set them up for success as they grow.

Heavy topics are hard to discuss and navigate with our kids. As parents, we might even strive to keep our children safe from emotionally weighted topics in an attempt to preserve their youthful innocence. While our intentions are pure, this avoidant path does a great disservice when it comes to mental health. When discussing Mental Health with your children try to:

·       Keep it simple

·       Be a role model

·       Keep it neutral

·       Listen and validate

·       Educate yourself

Tell us about your practice, Dr. Messina & Associates. What services do you provide?

We are a full-service mental health practice, with an amazing team of professionals. Our team specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication management to treat a variety of challenges, such as anxiety, depression, phobias, insomnia, panic disorders, OCD, ADHD, and child behavior problems like oppositional defiant disorder.

We also provide psychological testing and evaluation for a variety of issues, including ADHD, IQ, autism spectrum disorder, as well as academic, mood and personality problems. The team also offers individual, family, couples, and group therapy.

For more information, visit DrMessina.com.

Dr. Messina's Tips for Beginning a Healthy New Year

New Year’s resolutions help us put our best foot forward into the new year. Small, actionable steps have the power to transform our lives. With mindful New Year’s resolutions, your mental health can thrive for the better. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be complex to be effective. Committing 10 minutes a day to mindful self-care practices has the power to transform your life. You deserve to commit time, love and care to yourself. New Year’s resolutions help you become the best version of yourself, get you into a routine, and get your life where you want it to be.

1.      Move your body in a way that feels good.

2.      Set small goals.

3.      Try positive affirmations.

4.      Prioritize rest and relaxation.

5.     Surround yourself with things and people that make you feel good.

6.      Try Therapy.

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