Friday, April 28

Today is Friday, April 28, 2023. This week is closing out April.   Think about this: Stress pushes for change and humans are designed to be able to handle large amounts of stress. Depending on the response- the flexibility, the ability to learn, the adaptation- this can lead to getting stronger, wiser and all around better. What makes this possible? A chance for processing and recharging and healing. There must be a time “after” the stress where recovery and improvement can take place. Sometimes it is while sleeping, sometimes while meditating, journaling or being in nature and other times, sharing the experience with a safe someone who you trust. DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: When you are experiencing high levels of stress, find time to pause and create an artificial “close” to the stress cycle and allow some recharge time even if it is temporary. Slow down your breathing and remind yourself, “I can do this.”   A quote by Eric Maisel, “A long, deep breath is the equivalent of a full stop and the key to centering.” Thank you to Erin Burden for sharing this lovely photo. With gratitude and appreciation for all beings, Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, April 21

Today is Friday, April 21, 2023. The bulbs are bursting, the trees are flowering, the grass is greener, it is a great time to pause and notice the nature around us.

Think about this: Sometimes, there is so much going on around us, it can lead to an overload. There can be so many thoughts, feelings, things to do. It can amplify negative thoughts and feelings and make it harder to see the path forward. The good news is that there’s a remedy.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: When the mind is full and the feelings are bouncing around, 1. take a minute to observe your breathing. Then, 2. start to slow the breathing down, make each breath last longer, and breathe from your belly so that your belly rises when you breathe in, and it releases when you breathe out. This activates the vagus nerve and allows your body to calm and settle down. Finally, 3. write down what is on your mind so you can see it. Bonus: maybe even share it with someone you trust.

A quote by Navaz Habib, “The vagus nerve is the conductor of the human body symphony orchestra.”

Thank you to Drew Beamer for sharing this lovely photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, March 17

Today is Friday, March 17, 2023. This week marks 3 years since our journey began with the Daily Gift of Vitality. While many seem to have moved on and left the past 3 years behind, we have all been affected, some more than others. There is still much to process, to learn from, to improve upon, and to make peace with. This is the time to join together.

Think about this: Humans have the power to heal other humans through relationships. Creating an emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually safe space with another person, and practicing self-compassion and compassion for others, accelerates healing, recovery, and the ability to thrive- for all those involved in that nourishing relationship. Given that life has 50% fabulous and 50% not-so-fabulous parts, and that they are not always equally distributed at the same time, it helps to have those relationships to get through the toughest times.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: Let’s create that safe space where we can join with others in the days ahead. Practice being that safe person. Practice compassion towards yourself and others. By accepting and being accepted, through loving and sharing an experience of belonging, you will experience the power of humans to heal other humans.  

A quote by Yoko Ono, “Healing yourself is connected with healing others.”

Thank you to Florian Giorgio for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, March 3

Today is Friday, March 3. This week’s practice to expand your vitality is to try something new that has health-promoting properties, matcha. If this option is a tool that appeals to you, please join us.

Think about this: Matcha is a powder form of special Japanese green tea leaves that have been grown in the shade. It does have caffeine. Due to the high amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, there is evidence suggesting it has anti-inflammatory effects, may prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure and protect the blood vessels, improve brain function and prevent some brain disorders as well as improve insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: Matcha as a powder, does not dissolve in water so it has to be well blended in a liquid before drinking. It does not need to be steeped because you drink the powdered tea leaves. Use a bamboo whisk or milk frother and whisk 1 tsp matcha with 1-2 Tbs hot water until smooth. Dilute with additional water or milk of your choice to taste. Use a bamboo whisk, milk frother, blender, or shake it up in a mixing jar until it is frothy for your final drink. Remember, matcha does have caffeine.  

A quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, “If we choose to drink a cup of tea in mindfulness, the pleasure of drinking tea will more than double because we are truly there and the tea is also truly there.

Thank you to Payoon Gerinto for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, February 24

Today is Friday, February 24. This week’s practice to expand your vitality is by freeing the mind to be creative. If this option is a tool that appeals to you, please join us.

Think about this: From the minute we wake up until we fall asleep, there are outside influences that are designed to grab people’s attention and redirect- email, social media, news, ads, billboard signs, radio & talk shows, etc. etc. These aim to hoard anybody’s and everybody’s attention. There are also those that are meaningful and personal, specific to you and your relationships –pets, children, partners, family, classmates, coworkers, colleagues, etc. who also desire your attention. When is it your turn to attend to you?

When the brain is constantly being directed by outside influences- without sufficient time to rest and recharge – the circuits can get overloaded and feelings of anxiety or overwhelm may occur. In turn, this can interfere with mental peace and creativity, which is when the brain can play with ideas and invent something novel. Nature immersion, meditation, exercising, bathing, listening to instrumental music, drawing, journaling, or sipping unsweet tea and reading a book, all help you control your brain’s inputs and lets your brain rest and recharge, to think freely and play.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: Try deliberately postponing “brain inputs” on waking. Notice what happens if you protect some quiet time immediately after waking, before allowing digital, media, and other uncontrolled inputs. What do you think about? Where does your mind go? What do you notice? What if you direct your attention to nature, like sunshine, the sound of birds chirping, the feel of the blowing wind? Consider this activity on waking most days this week. Jot down a note each time and review it after a week.

A quote by Albert Einstein, “Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.”

Thank you to Alex Marrero for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, February 10

Today is Friday, February 10. This week’s practice to expand your vitality is inspired by Dacher Keltner in Awe. If this option is a tool that appeals to you, please join us.

Think about this: Experiencing awe improves health and wellbeing by stimulating the vagus nerve known to cause a relaxation response. Awe is associated with markers of lower inflammation and it also releases the hormone oxytocin known to increase the feelings of deep love, trust and bonding.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: This week and beyond, seek out opportunities to experience moments of awe.

A quote by Sharon Saltzberg, “Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you’re doing.”

Thank you to Stephan Leonardi for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, January 27

Today is Friday, January 27. This week’s practice to expand your vitality is to have time daydreaming. If this option is a tool that is appealing to you, please join us.

Think about this: When we zone out, there is quiet time, without any other human inputs, the mind wanders and has novel ideas and thoughts. When was the last time you got to do that and cherish your thoughts?

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: This week, choose some quiet time in a location that you will not be interrupted by other people or media or drama or news or words. This may be outside in nature, in a room or while walking, riding, or swimming. Let your mind wander. Give yourself permission to daydream and see where it takes you. Be curious.

A quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, “Sometimes all that is needed is a sense of possibility.”

Thank you to Khaled Ali for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, January 20

Today is Friday, January 20. This week’s practice to expand your vitality is feeling good about your journey. If this option is a tool that is appealing to you, please join us.

Think about this: It’s often the unknown parts of the journey that helps us grow and acquire new skills. Tap into courage (yours or someone else’s) to move forward on your journey and accept that with each step forward, you encounter new blessings and challenges, you see things from new perspectives, and you learn and level up in life. Each time you level up, you expand your potential and grow your courage inside of you.

DGoV (Daily Gift of Vitality) Activity: This week, notice if you are having difficulty taking a step forward: making a healthy food choice, fitting in that outdoor time, making a social connection with someone you’d like to get to know better, going for that new career challenge. Think of a “You” in the past that is so proud of the ”You” today. When in doubt, consider making choices that will allow you in the future to feel so proud of yourself now. Enjoy the journey.

A quote by Morgan Freeman, “Challenge Yourself; it’s the only path which leads to growth.”

Thank you to Jessica Gale for this photo.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Saturday, December 31

Today is Saturday, December 31, 2022. In March of 2020, we began this part of the journey together. We’ve made mistakes, laughed and learned. We keep appreciating, adapting and moving forward.

A quote by Dalai Lama, “Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.” 

Photo by Fiona Smallwood

Today, with the closing of another year, marks an opportunity for change, for fresh starts and to launch new beginnings. Reflecting back, being present, and thinking forward.

The Daily Gift of Vitality is also changing. We started together on a journey to create a safe space in March of 2020. Today, marks the final Daily Gift of Vitality in this format.  For now, we will shift to once weekly posts to this website. Over the next several weeks we will be looking forward to how we can adapt the Daily Gift of Vitality for the current times. In the meantime, you may access previous content on the website, DailyGiftOfVitality.com

Reflecting back, here is a snippet from March of 2020…

“While there is uncertainty and fear around us right now, there is also love and kindness around us, always.

During times of uncertainty, it helps to have some structured routines. We offer a daily anchoring message for those of you who may find it helpful for you, your coworkers, your loved ones, and/or your community.”

We anchored messages to our purpose:

  1. To provide a single simple message to everyone everywhere allowing individuals to learn and practice simple self-regulating actions daily for optimal health, function & recovery.
  2. To provide a reliable daily anchor- keeping it simple, easy to learn and remember – and quick to apply.
  3. To provide a routine. Each message will maintain a standardized, dependable structure to allow it to be used as a “routine” to start a day, transition from work to home mindset or after reading/watching news/social media, or to end the day.
  4. To create safe space to rest and recharge. The messaging is meant to be a “safe” space and deliberately avoids using terms that may be triggering and common in current communications.
  5. To establish an easy-to-implement way to keep people connected & cared for despite being physically in different spaces.

As we move forward, we will consider what next. Meanwhile…

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.

Throughout, we begin this activity the same, with the same first 2 steps to signal to the body and mind that we are pausing to get centered and recharge. Over time, we have explored and practiced various ways to use this signal to further maximize the benefits. Today, we bring back a simple way settle your mind, like early on, “Here’s what you can do today, right now.”

Establishing a regular practice of pausing makes it easier to reset when you need it the most. You can start your practice at any time, even now.

  • 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. 

Settle your mind.

  • Imagine a box with a lid. It can be colorful or plain. It can be large or small or any size you want. Put that box on the side.  
  • Take those feelings that don’t serve you right now and place them in the box.   
  • Now, place all the thoughts about things you don’t have control over, and place them in the box also.   
  • You can come back to the box any time to add or examine what you have in there, but you don’t need to carry it with you. You can leave it for a bit. It will be safe there. 

Recharge yourself, tap into your strength and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. I am always learning. I have successfully handled difficult challenges in the past. 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.”

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day. Wishing All a Happy & Healthy New Year full of Love, Joy and Laughter.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, December 28

Today is Wednesday, December 28, 2022. Reading a good book, with a warm cup of tea, feeling relaxed.

A quote Anne Lamott, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that is meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

Photo by: Oleg Elkov

This last week of the year, another year to set up for continued progress. This is a time for reflection, appreciation, and grace. We often make lists of things we want, consider reflecting on the things you have.

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.

Establishing a regular practice of pausing makes it easier to reset when you need it the most. You can start your practice at any time, even now.

  • 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. 
  • Visualize your healing breath.
    • As you breathe in and feel your lungs inflate, visualize that flow of oxygen reach all parts of your body & revitalize all of your cells.
    • As you breathe out, feel your body settle.
    • With each breath, feel how you are recharging your body.
    • Remember, you were designed to heal.

Recharge yourself, tap into your strength and share positive energy when you repeat:  

“I am [*Name*]. I can do this. This is temporary. I have successfully handled difficult challenges in the past. 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