Friday, January 21

Today is Friday, January 21, 2022.  Watching a duck diving in Lake Michigan, oblivious of the chill.

A quote by a Lupita Nyong’o, “What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and those around you.

Photo of Lake Michigan Sand Dunes and Coastal Marsh in Winter by Nicole Siparsky, MD

With the launch of the New Year, for the month of January, we focus on clarifying and connecting with our vision for 2022. 

A vision that shows you the future you want, can recharge your hope and excitement when you tap into it.  It can provide you with encouragement to achieve goals, offer something to cling to when you experience fear, and provide a sense of pride when you see your vision manifest. This month, we enhance our vision for our personal life and our relationships.

For those challenging moments, return to a library of inspiration.

    • Collect and add to a list of inspirational quotes.
    • Create a scrapbook of photos that remind you of your vision.
    • Keep a record of moments that count towards your vision to remind yourself of your progress.
    • Organize an activating music playlist.
    • Make a commitment to your vision and share it with a trusted person to share the journey with.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

    • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
    • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
      • When you inhale breath in your vision.
      • When you exhale, exhale out the obstacles to your vision.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my vision, courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, January 14

Today is Friday, January 14, 2022.  Reflecting on the gifts a balance point can bring.

A quote by Nido Qubein: “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go.  They merely determine where you start.”

Photo by: Deniz Altindas

With the launch of the New Year, this January, focus on clarifying and connecting with your vision for 2022. 

A vision that shows you the future you want, can recharge your hope and excitement when you tap into it.  It can provide you with encouragement to achieve goals, offer something to cling to when you experience fear, and provide a sense of pride when you see your vision manifest. This month, we enhance our vision for our personal life and our relationships.

Let’s spend this week reflecting on our vision of health for 2022. Consider the following journal prompts:

    • The most important thing for my health right now is:
    • 5 reasons I want to focus on my health:
    • What activities make me feel alive?
    • What can I do to integrate enjoying life and promoting my health?

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

    • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
    • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
      • Massage your left hand starting with your palms, then work your way to the ends of each finger.
      • Massage your right hand the same way.
      • Clasp your hands together, then release and shake out your hands and let your hands be loose.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my vision, courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, December 31

Today is Friday, December 31, 2021. Enjoying quiet time this morning to reflect and dream.

A quote by Goran Persson, “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”

Photo by Moritz Knöringer

We close the year with December Delights. This December we focused on gifts of Love and Joy- to self and others.

Take a moment to reflect on the past year and write down everything you are proud of, happy about and satisfied with for the past year. Looking back at a calendar may help remind you of all the people, the events, the good stuff to include.

Next, write down notes about what you have learned this past year. Include some lessons learned from the mistakes, the unexpected events, or the tough times. Be kind to yourself as you reflect.

Finally, think about your dreams for the next year:

      • Who do you want to be in your life? Why?
      • What do you want to be a part of? Why?
      • What can you do to move forward towards your dreams? Then break it down into smaller chunks: What can I do in the next month? What can I do in the next week? What can I do in the next day? What can I do now?

Review your list of the good stuff and continue to add to it as you remember more of the wonder of the past year.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
      • Breathe in through your nose. Then, pause.
      • Slowly, breathe out through your mouth…and pause.
      • Repeat 3 times and with each breath out, release what you need from 2021 to start the next year fresh and renewed.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 29

Today is Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Walking the unknown trail, grateful for those who have gone before me.

A quote by Holly Branson, “Just imagine how different the world could be if we all spoke to everyone with respect and kindness.”

Photo by Daniel Schuh

We continue with December Delights. This December we focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to self and others.

Take a moment this week to appreciate someone who has knowingly or unknowingly contributed to your life- maybe making your life easier, more wonderful and/or more meaningful. Let that person know with a written note that can be reread over and over.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
      • Breathe in through your nose. Then, pause.
      • Slowly, breathe out through your mouth…and pause.
      • Repeat 3 times.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, December 27

Today is Monday, December 27, 2021. Chilly outside, warm inside.

A quote by Goldie Hawn, “To me, it’s that incredible sense of belonging and peace within your own self and heart that really is joy.”

Photo by Baciu Cristian Mihai

December Delights is here. This December let’s focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

Find ways to include others.

    • Invite someone to join you for a walk.
    • Introduce a new coworker to others at work.
    • Host a virtual gathering and personally reach out to invite those who have not attended an event before.
    • Connect people with common interests.
    • Create opportunities for people to meet and learn about each other with a group activity like a book club.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
      • Breathe in through your nose. Then, pause.
      • Slowly, breathe out through your mouth…and pause.
      • Repeat 3 times.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, December 10

Today is Friday, December 10, 2021. Enjoying a quiet moment to rest and reflect on the beauty of each day.

A quote from Carolyn V. Hamilton. “Documenting little details of your everyday life becomes a celebration of who you are.”

Photos by Dan Deziel, “Wisps” & “Purple Haze”2021.12.10.Deziel.Purple Haze

December Delights are here. This December let’s focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

Begin or return to your journal.

    • When you start, let go of judgements. Write what you really feel. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar.
    • A journal does not have to contain written words, perhaps you prefer to draw or doodle, cut out pictures from a magazine, or clip articles from the newspaper.
    • Schedule journaling time into your day.
    • If you typically write in your bed or office, try to write outside or in the kitchen.
    • Keep a list of journal prompts in your journal to turn to when you are not sure what to write about

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale. 
  • Lean and rest your head towards the right shoulder and hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch. Then, repeat on the left side. Feel a gentle stretch.
  • Bring your chin to your chest and look down. Hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch.
  • Lace your fingers behind your lower back and gently lift your chin and look up. Hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch and then return to neutral & roll the shoulders back and down. Smile.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner strength, I can absorb and magnify the love and positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

 

 

Wednesday, December 8

Today is Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Spotting a Cardinal (bird in picture) in nature can have many meanings. Among them: Love, confidence, balance, loyalty, luck, and a sign that someone who has passed is watching over you.

A quote from Coco Chanel. “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

Photo by: Ray Hennessy

December Delights are here. This December let’s focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

Surround yourself with beauty.

    • Set up your home, work, or study space to include your favorite colors.
    • Place beautiful photos or art so you see it frequently.
    • Add plants inside to bring nature indoors.
    • Listen to favorite music in the background.
    • Stimulate your senses with aroma therapy simmering cinnamon, using essential oils, candles, or potpourri.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • Lean and rest your head towards the right shoulder and hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch. Then, repeat on the left side. Feel a gentle stretch.
  • Bring your chin to your chest and look down. Hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch.
  • Lace your fingers behind your lower back and gently lift your chin and look up. Hold for a count of 3. Feel the gentle stretch and then return to neutral & roll the shoulders back and down. Smile.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner strength, I can absorb and magnify the love and positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Rush University   

http://www.DailyGiftOfVitality.com

Friday, December 3

Today is Friday, December 3, 2021. Finishing the work week, planning recharge time.

A quote from Princess Diana, “Every one of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”

Photos by Nicole Siparsky, MD

December Delights returns. This December let’s focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

Focus on your daily self-care routine:

    • Upon waking, rehydrate with a glass of water.
    • Start your day watching the sun rise.
    • After waking, do some gentle yoga stretches or go for a morning walk.
    • Listen to uplifting music.
    • Pack your favorite lunch.
    • Buy yourself pretty flowers.
    • Enjoy some aroma therapy.

2021.12.03.collage

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • For a calming lift, try Bumble Bee Breathing.
    • Continuing to Belly breath, inhale through your nose, cover your ears with the palms of your hands.
    • Exhale making a bumble bee buzz, continue to exhale for as long as you can. Repeat this cycle for at least 3 breaths.
    • When done, check in with your body and notice the calming response.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 1

Today is Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Appreciating the beauty and joy of the birds sitting outside my window.

A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

Photo by Nicole Siparsky, MD: Wicker Park Fall

December Delights returns. This December lets focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

You can use positive affirmations throughout the day to honor your life’s path.

  • Post positive affirmations on sticky notes and place them where you will see them often: on your computer, the refrigerator, the mirror; in your car, your wallet, your calendar.
    • I believe in myself.
    • I deserve to be happy.
    • Everything is temporary.
    • I accept all of me with Love.
    • I am growing wiser each day.
    • I honor my life’s path.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

  • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
  • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
  • For a calming lift, try Bumble Bee Breathing.
    • Continuing to Belly breath, inhale through your nose, cover your ears with the palms of your hands.
    • Exhale making a bumble bee buzz, continue to exhale for as long as you can. Repeat this cycle for at least 3 breaths.
    • When done, check in with your body and notice the calming response.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, November 29

Today is Monday, November 29, 2021. Reflecting on personal growth over the years.

An inspiring quote from Viktor Frankl, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Photos by Dan Deziel: Autumn Shroud, Morning Sparkle

This November, it’s about novelty for personal growth and confidence, for opportunities to interact with new people, and for play.

Explore a new culture or religion.

    • Check out a library book.
    • Spend some time with someone from a different culture or religion.
    • Explore a new community or neighborhood—visit museums, parks and restaurants.
    • Try new spices and recipes.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind:  

    • Straighten your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down, smile to yourself, & relax your jaw.
    • Take slow deep belly breaths, allowing your stomach to rise with each breath in and relax with each breath out. You may find that each breath gets better and better. Allow your shoulders to relax on each exhale.
    • For a calming lift, try Bumble Bee Breathing.
      • Continuing to Belly breath, inhale through your nose, cover your ears with the palms of your hands.
      • Exhale making a bumble bee buzz, continue to exhale for as long as you can. Repeat this cycle for at least 3 breaths.
      • When done, check in with your body and notice the calming response.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP