February Artist of the Month

MSAA’s Artist of the Month features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Carmella Certion as February’s Artist of the Month. Carmella is from Philadelphia, PA.

Reine du Carnaval by Carmella Certion
“Reine du Carnaval”

About the Artist – Carmella Certion

I am an artist, gerontologist, and marriage and family therapist currently living with MS. It all began with a simple painting of a cat for my granddaughter’s room, after I gave it a mini-makeover last summer during the pandemic. I mostly paint abstracts, land, and cityscapes and I’ve only taken one class. My studio is located in my Philadelphia, PA bedroom where I mostly paint in bed due to a plethora of health challenges. I find painting relaxing and it also helps ward off depression and anxiety, which I suffer from periodically. I love to use bright colors, geometric shapes and texture in my work and my philosophy is simple: Art should be fun!”

To see more about Carmella and the rest of our artists, please visit our Art Showcase. 

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Self-Care in the New Year

As the New Year approaches, setting resolutions becomes a common topic in everyday conversation. Making drastic, transformative resolutions can cause us to feel overwhelmed at the start of a new year. Instead, focusing on self-care and making small changes in our routine can lead to big changes down the road.  Setting smaller goals have a higher chance of being successful – and more satisfying – than striving for larger and more challenging goals. Making small changes in your daily routine can help enhance your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Here are a few goals for the new year that would help support self-care practices:

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A New Beginning

The new year brings forth hope for the future. It motivates us to start the year with renewed zeal and enthusiasm. It is time to make resolutions and prepare for the exciting adventures and challenges ahead. While focusing on the resolutions, it is important that we set realistic expectations and remember to be kind to yourself while trying to achieve something.

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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.

Every January, most of us ask ourselves and those around us, “What is your new year’s resolution?” But why is this a thing? Is this simply a tradition, or is January truly the ideal time to establish goals for the rest of the year?

New Year’s Day serves as a clean slate. It is such a popular time of year to evaluate our goals because it represents a reset button, a fresh start that has the potential for greatness. My personal new year’s anthem is the song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Regardless of the intended meaning of this song, the lyrics speak to me around this time of year.

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Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Happy New Year!  Here is a delicious healthy side dish to make with any meal.  Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese is a favorite in my house. You can make it as crispy as you like. I like to add the extra breadcrumbs on top to fill in all the little spaces in the broccoli.  Yum!!

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Looking at the Lighter Side of the New Year

By Susan Courtney

So here we are in mid-January… long past New Year countdowns and the making (and breaking) of resolutions. Although it is different for me now, when I was younger, New Year’s was the grand finale to 365 days, worthy of much celebration.  

I can still remember my first and only formal New Year’s party held in a glamourous ballroom. My husband and I were in our 20s and completely inexperienced with swanky affairs. Soon after arriving, I proudly stood in my evening gown alongside my husband in his borrowed tux as he uncorked the first bottle of champagne at our table. I can still see the cork shooting from the bottle and hitting the woman on the other side of our table smack-dab in the center of her forehead. Fortunately, my New Year celebrations are much quieter now – and much safer for those around me! 

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Tracking Symptoms and Treatments with Compassion and Encouragement

By Stacie Prada 

With each new year, I think about what’s ahead, what I can control, and what will make the next 12 months fulfilling for me.  Instead of pushing myself to do more or be better, my approach this year for health management is to track what helps me manage my health with methods that are easy to use and visually informative.  

Knowing what my body needs is an ever-changing puzzle, and tracking provides clues for what could be the cause or remedy for things contributing to health challenges. Add aging and menopause to living with Multiple Sclerosis, and knowing how to best manage my changing body is not easy.  

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New Year, Same MS

For most, the new year comes with excitement of what’s to come. For those of us who battle MS, the new year comes with its fair share of worries, challenges and anxious thoughts of what the new year may bring. We reflect on our past year, perhaps your MS got worse, and you’re worried it won’t get any better, or maybe you are finally considered “stable”, and you’re concerned it is too good to be true and you will get worse. However you choose to look at the new year, we all worry one way or another. I am here to tell you that you are not alone.  

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There is No Timeline for Taking Care of Yourself

By Diana Cruz

It’s the start of a new year; a fresh new calendar with 12 empty months waiting to be filled with the dates of all your dream vacations and the goals that are itching to be accomplished. Although it is a great time to kick start your journey of new beginnings and aspirations, it is not necessary to associate the new year with restarting.  

If you are in the midst of figuring out what you want out of life, it is okay to take your time in continuing to do so. Enjoying the journey of trial and error is what allows for a more positive experience and long-lasting results. I encourage you to take your time in pursuing your dreams and being patient in figuring out what that looks like for you.  

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Hope Angel – January 2023 Artist of the Month

MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Hope Angel as the January Artist of the Month. Hope is from Seattle, WA.

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