Friday, July 1

Today is Friday, July 1, 2022.  Recognizing the sound of the cardinal singing cheerfully and finding the red bird in the branches.

A quote by Andre Pough Sr., “Just when you think you know exactly how it’s going, some unexpected possibility shows up and it begins to get even better.’

Photo by Jen DeVos

July is for sharing.  The act of sharing offers many health benefits.  When we give to others it has a positive effect on our brain.  Sharing allows us to connect more meaningfully and strengthens social connections.  For some, the first week of July is a holiday celebrated with friends and family.  For the beginning of July let’s explore ways to share our culture.

    • Consider researching your family tree
    • Reach out to a family “elder” to share their memories of the family or family history
    • Host/attend a family reunion
    • Take a trip to where your grandparents were born

Practice this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Thinking of your physical body as your home, where you reside, think of deep breathing as like opening the windows on a bright sunny day with a nice breeze.
    • Become aware of how every breath that fills your body is like having wide open windows, filling your home with fresh, clean air and every breath out clears out and releases so that your home is a refreshed space for you to be in.
    • Experience the happy moment of being in your clean, refreshed home.
    • Smile, knowing that you can take moments to open and be present in this space, anywhere you are. Your body is your home.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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, June 22

Today is Wednesday, June 22, 2022.  Watching the birds playing in the trees.

A quote by Danielle LaPorte, “Joy is the most magnetic force in the universe.”

Photo by Nicole Siparsky, MD. Rainbow Falls, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina (2022).

Finding Joy in June.  As we start the second half of the year let’s focus on ways we can find joy.

Practice seeing and appreciating progress for your efforts towards an aspiration or goal. This builds opportunities for experiencing joy. Examples:

    • Track the word count and watch it increase as you write something to share.
    • Mark on the calendar everyday that you take action towards your goal & relish the increasing number of days you are taking action.
    • Add a photo or other memento in a scrapbook of each mini-milestone.
    • Review your activity monitor and notice when you increase steps, distance, calories, speed, intensity, frequency of activity.
    • Appreciate every course assignment or project you complete towards a degree or certificate.
    • Celebrate every day that you stay true to your intentions.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Repeat positive affirmations throughout your day, while smiling:
      • My mind is peaceful.
      • I choose to act and react peacefully.
      • I illuminate peace around me.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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, June 15

Today is Wednesday, June 15, 2022.  Being open to seeing the beauty and joy in unexpected places.

A quote by Henri J.M. Nouwen “At every moment of our life we have an opportunity to choose joy.”

Photo by: ABGlavin

Finding Joy in June.  As we start the second half of the year let’s focus on ways we can find joy.

Organizing your home or workspace can help lower stress, clear your mind, and promote positive energy.

    • Donate old books and clothes to benefit others
    • Reduce electronic use to calm the number of brain inputs
    • Go through “old papers” and scan/file/toss
    • Organize your favorite photos and artwork in a pleasing display
    • Arrange your fashion accessories for easy access
    • Limit the number of piles in a single room
    • Put similar items together and eliminate any unnecessary excess

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Choose a centering word that is neutral to you and simple. You might choose “now” or “joy” or “peace.”
      • As you exhale, say your chosen word. Focus on the vibration of the word as you hear it. Repeat.
      • As you exhale and say your word, imagine dropping a smooth pebble in clear water and watch it settle gently on the bottom, relaxed and comfortable.
      • Finally, as you continue your deep belly breaths, notice that the ripples on the water are gently gliding out. Repeat your word on every exhale until the ripples have settled.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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 

Monday, June 13

Today is Monday, June 13, 2022.  Walking through the neighborhood enjoying the smells of fresh cut grass, flowers, fresh rain.  What smells of Spring and Summer do you enjoy?

A quote by Diane Ackerman.  “Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”

Photo by: Lisette Coullard

Finding Joy in June.  As we start the second half of the year let’s focus on ways we can find joy.

Filling your home or workplace with pleasant aromas can calm the nervous system and spark joy.

    • Burn a beautifully scented candle or incense
    • Buy flowers
    • Cook your favorite meal
    • Drink your favorite tea
    • Add cinnamon to your coffee

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Choose a centering word that is neutral to you and simple. You might choose “now” or “joy” or “peace.”
      • As you exhale, say your chosen word. Focus on the vibration of the word as you hear it. Repeat.
      • As you exhale and say your word, imagine dropping a smooth pebble in clear water and watch it settle gently on the bottom, relaxed and comfortable.
      • Finally, as you continue your deep belly breaths, notice that the ripples on the water are gently gliding out. Repeat your word on every exhale until the ripples have settled.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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 

Friday, June 10

Today is Friday, June 10, 2022. Feeling grateful for finding joy all around me.

A quote by Mark Twain. “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

Photo by chendongshan

Finding Joy in June.  For the second half of the year, let’s focus on ways we can find joy. Being joyful can extend your life, relieve stress, and pain, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Staying connected with others fosters opportunities to experience joy.

  • Organize a “pot luck” dinner with your neighbors
  • Form a walking group with your coworkers at lunch
  • Plan a regular family game night
  • Reconnect with some old classmates

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

  • 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. 
  • As you continue to Belly breath, inhale past or current joyful moments, exhale difficult or challenging moments.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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 

Monday, June 6

Today is Monday, June 6, 2022. Enjoying the sun rays shining through the tree branches.

A quote by Jonathan Lockwood Huie, “Joy blooms where minds and hearts are open.”

Photo by Fran Lee

Finding Joy in June.  For the second half of the year, let’s focus on ways we can find joy. Being joyful can extend your life, relieve stress, and pain, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Plan for Joy.  We plan for retirement, plan for health with health-promoting diet and exercise. Let’s think of ways we can plan for JOY.

    • Wake up ten minutes earlier to schedule some quite time to reflect
    • Savor the small things: the smell of tea or coffee in the morning, birds chirping, leaves gently waving in the breeze, fluffy clouds
    • Choose to think happy thoughts in the morning to start your day; end your day reflecting on all the good you experienced today
    • Journal about Joy
    • Start to plan your dream vacation

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • As you continue to Belly breath, inhale past or current joyful moments, exhale difficult or challenging moments.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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 

Monday, May 30

Today is Monday, May 30, 2022. A day of reflection, awareness and gratitude.

A quote by Thucydides, “The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage.”

Photo by Marcos Paolo Prado

Closing out May, to practice connecting with happiness, even if only for  moments at a time. Here’s a wrap up of the links to happiness practices and tips from this month.

May 2 Getting Outside

May 4 Laughter

May 6 Dance

May 9 Flowers

May 11 Connection with others

May 13 Volunteering

May 16 Star-gazing

May 18 Decluttering

May 20 Pleasant scents

May 23 Rest and sleep

May 25 Music

May 27 Happiness factors

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Listen to your breath as you continue to breathe deeply. Allow yourself to pause your activity and just listen and feel your breath moving in and out of your body.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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    

Monday, May 23

Today is Monday, May 23, 2022. Appreciating the cycles: spring blossoms spent, new greenery everywhere, sun brings new life.

A quote by John Steinbeck, “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

Photo by Gabriel Cattaruzzi

Continuing a Magical May!  This month, we explore things that can make us HAPPY.  Being happy can enhance your life, boost the immune system, and help build connections with others.  Feeling happy is much easier when protecting enough time for rest and sleep.

Practice the same ritual every time you want to signal to your body that it is time to rest. This might be:

  • taking a soothing warm bath,
  • writing in a journal,
  • practicing progressive relaxation working from the head down to the toes,
  • listening to a guided meditation or specific music or sounds,
  • darkening or adjusting the lighting in the room,
  • working through a relaxing yoga sequence.

With regular practice, you can train your mind to recognize it is time to rest and be better able to get into that state easily and allow restful sleep to follow.

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

  • 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 fresh air, allow the energy to flow throughout the body.
  • Exhale the unnecessary, feel the body reset.
  • Repeat several more times and smile to yourself.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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 

Monday, May 16

Today is Monday, May 16, 2022.  Looking up to the sky imagining all the possibilities.

A quote by Jack Kerouac. “Maybe that’s what life is—a wink of the eye and winking stars.”

Photo taken by Brad West

Continuing a Magical May!  This month, we explore things that can make us HAPPY.  Being happy can enhance your life, boost the immune system, and help build connections with others.  Try some star gazing.  Star gazing can boost your creativity, calm your soul and inspire you.

    • Go to a park in the evening and count the stars
    • Plan a camping trip
    • Keep a star gazing diary
    • Write a poem to the moon or the stars
    • Visit a planetarium

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Gently stretch your neck muscles as you tilt your head to the right for a breath cycle, releasing the shoulders. Repeat on the other side.
    • Continuing to breathe, gently stretch your neck muscles as you tilt your head up with a breath cycle and down with a breath cycle. Keep the shoulders relaxed and smile.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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, May 11

Today is Wednesday May 11, 2022.  Feeling the breeze cooling me from the warming sun.

A quote by: Atul Gawande “I said there are at least two kinds of satisfaction, however, and the other comes from human connection.  It comes from making others happy, understanding them, loving them.”

Photo taken by: Erin Donalson

We continue this Magical May!  This month, we explore things that can make us HAPPY, even for a brief moment.  Being happy can enhance your life, boost the immune system, and help build connections with others.  Spending time with family or friends, strengthens connections which has been shown to promote happiness.

    • Have a regular family game night
    • Eat dinner together
    • Go for a family walk after dinner
    • Reach out to a friend you have not talked to in a while
    • Have a picnic
    • Host a family reunion

Use this Mindfulness Activity to Re-energize your Body and Mind whenever you need a moment to reset – while waiting, before, after, or to transition between activities:

    • 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.
    • Explore alternate nostril breathing, starting by exhaling completely.
    • Alternating from one side to the other, close one nostril with your thumb to breathe in and then repeat with the other nostril to breathe out.
    • Breathe in Left nostril, breathe out Right nostril. Breathe in Right nostril, breathe out Left nostril.
    • Continue this sequence for several more cycles.
    • Smile at completing this self-care activity.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my inner self, I am open to the Happiness 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