Monday, July 5

Today is Monday, July 5, 2021.  Sitting quietly, smiling about all the positive things that have happened today 🙂

July marks the start of the second half of the year.  Let’s check in with ourselves this month to add some sparkle to the second half of the year.  Smiling can enhance our mood, boost the immune system, and lower our stress.

  • Say hello with a smile.
  • Hold the door for a stranger while smiling.
  • Send someone a handwritten note to say hello.
  • Bring someone flowers –just because. Watch them smile.

Photo by: Surgeon in Chicago

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by William Arthur Ward, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

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.   
  • While breathing, bring your attention to something that has brought you joy, a baby’s face, friends, family, a garden, the ocean.
  • While focused on joy, feel the smile on your face and send that loving smile throughout your body.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, July 2

Today is Friday, July 2, 2021.  Taking a moon lit stroll is a perfect way to reflect on your day.

July marks the start of the second half of the year.  Let’s check in with ourselves this month to add some sparkle to the second half of the year.

    • Utilize journaling to re-assess aspirations and goals set in the beginning of the year. Use these prompts to check in:
      • What has been going well for me in the first half of the year?
      • Do I need to adjust my aspirations in the second half of the year?
      • What is something I would like to accomplish by the end of the year?

Photo by: Fran Lee

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by W. Clement Stone. “Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star.”

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.
    • Take a break during your day to caress your hands.
      • Close your eyes or lower your gaze.
      • With your right index finger gently trace your fingers on the left hand, repeat for the right hand with left index finger.
      • Focus on the gentle sensation of touch.
      • Take 3 belly breaths and smile for the calming break.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, June 28

Today is Monday, June 28, 2021. As the summer rains fall, our gardens flourish.

Try something new in June.  Refresh your clothing style.  Changing your personal style can add energy and confidence to your day.

    • Try to wear a different color palette.
    • Try a different style of clothes, try a dress instead of pants, or a polo instead of a button-down shirt.
    • Add a: scarf, belt, or different jewelry, watch
    • Host a clothing swap with friends or coworkers.
    • Next time you get a haircut, try a different hair style or color

Photo by: Tomasz Maka

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Duke Ellington, “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”

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.
    • Take a break during your day to caress your hands.
      • Close your eyes or lower your gaze.
      • With your right index finger gently trace your fingers on the left hand, repeat for the right hand with left index finger.
      • Focus on the gentle sensation of touch.
      • Take 3 belly breaths and smile for the calming break.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, June 23

Today is Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Seeing more people walking together, enjoying each other’s company.

Try something new in June. Change up your usual routines to bring yourself to the present while stimulating your brain in new ways.

    • Brush your teeth with the other hand.
    • Put on your clothes in a different order.
    • Make your bed differently.
    • Water the plants in a different order.
    • Drive a different way to the store or work.
    • Rearrange the top of your desk or counter.

Photo by Elnaz Asadi

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Susan L. Taylor, “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”

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.
    • Now, after a deep belly breath, breathe out with a gentle mouth generating a deep vibration saying, “aah.”
    • Take another deep belly breath and breathe out humming “mmm” with a deep vibration.
    • Repeat deep breaths with “aah” and “mmm” for 5 more cycles, noticing far you feel each of the vibrations in your body.
    • Shimmy your shoulders and shake out your arms releasing all tension. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, June 21

Today is Monday, June 21, 2021. The summer solstice is the longest day and officially the first day of summer in the north.

Try something new in June. Adding spontaneous activity into your day will benefit your whole body and mind. 

    • Rather than an email, connect by phone and take a walk, do lunges or squats.
    • Spend at least some of the day that would otherwise be seated, stand or pace.
    • Invite a friend for a walk and talk in the park.
    • In place of driving, walk or bike to the store.
    • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
    • Break up the day with 6 high knees and 6 wall push ups intermittently throughout the day.
    • Put on the music and take care of that laundry with extra energy (children may be particularly good at helping with this).

Photo, “Orange clouds” by Dan Deziel

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Ricky Martin, “Every day begins like a blank chalkboard, on which each one of us can write the poem of our present and our dreams for the future.”

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.
    • Now, after a deep belly breath, breathe out with a gentle mouth generating a deep vibration saying, “aah.”
    • Take another deep belly breath and breathe out humming “mmm” with a deep vibration.
    • Repeat deep breaths with “aah” and “mmm” for 5 more cycles, noticing far you feel each of the vibrations in your body.
    • Shimmy your shoulders and shake out your arms releasing all tension. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, June 18

Today is Friday, June 18, 2021. Children playing with each other, enjoying the outdoors. 

Try something new in June. Indulge in a new plant. Add a new plant to your surroundings:

  • Place a new, beautiful potted indoor or outdoor plant someplace you can see it frequently.
  • Plant a new tree, shrub, or flowers in the yard.
  • Add ornamental grasses to your garden.
  • Peruse the garden shop or catalog for a new herb and find a recipe to try.
  • Grow lettuce and have fresh greens with your meal.
  • Buy colorful flowers for a busy room in your house.
  • Trade cuttings of plants or split and share plants with friends or neighbors.
  • Bring home a fragrant plant for daily aromatherapy.

Photo by Fran Lee

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Janet Kilburn Phillips. “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.”

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.   
  • Try a mountain meditation.
    • Find a comfortable seated or standing position, take 3 belly breaths.
    • Allowing your body to be still visualize a beautiful mountain.
    • Bring your awareness to the mountain’s strength, beauty, stillness.
    • Use the strength and beauty of the mountain to recharge you.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, June 11

Today is Friday, June 11, 2021.  Walking with a friend, appreciating the companionship.

Try something new in June.  Give yourself a cheerful boost by rearranging a space at work or in your home.

    • Place fresh flowers or a small potted plant on a table.
    • Place an inspirational quote or favorite postcard in an easily visible location.
    • Change the colors or theme of a room.
    • Organize and clear that papers on top of the table, counter, or desk.
    • Add new framed photos of people you love.
    • Get colorful folders, notepads, pens to add to the fun of a work day.

Photo by Kerin Gedge

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Hellen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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.
    • Take 3 minutes to check in with your body:
      • In the first minute ask how am I doing now—am I stressed, am I angry, am I peaceful?
      • In the second minute focus on breathing.
      • In the third minute focus on feeling the way breathing affects your body.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, June 9

Today is Wednesday, June 9, 2021.  Walking through the neighborhood enjoying the smells of spring-summer:  fresh cut grass, flowers in bloom, the freshly watered garden.

Try something new in June.  Visit a new neighborhood.

    • Explore the park.
    • Check out a small local grocery store.
    • Appreciate the local art scene.
    • Dine outside at a new restaurant.

Photo by Fran Lee

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat: 

“I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. I appreciate myself and others as I connect with love and kindness. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Akash Ryan Agarwal,  “Try new things every day.  Don’t be afraid of failures.  You will not lose anything.  But your brain will be packed with experiences.”

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.
    • Take 3 minutes to check in with your body:
      • In the first minute ask how am I doing now—am I stressed, am I angry, am I peaceful?
      • In the second minute focus on breathing.
      • In the third minute focus on feeling the way breathing affects your body.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, January 22

Today is Friday, January 22, 2021. As the weekend approaches, there is an opportunity to be reflective and to appreciate the positive influences in life.

An inspirational quote by Lao Tzu. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

The Joy of January. This is a symbolic month to launch the new year to lay the foundation for a brighter future. 

Establish centering items that naturally connect you with positive feelings and that ground you. Centering items can be anything that is meaningful to you – a special cup, photos, piece of art, view of water or nature, a reminder of someone you love, a colorful token, inspirational quote, beautiful color arrangement, a ring, images of the sky, etc.

Place them in places you can see at various times throughout your day. When you have moments of disruption or are experiencing escalating reactive feelings, look to your centering item, take a deep belly breath and allow yourself to tap into your calmness and inner strength.

Photo by Dan Deziel

Use this Mindfulness Activity to calm 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.
    • Wrap your arms around yourself into a warm embrace.
    • Close your eyes and tighten your embrace.
    • Take 3 deep belly breaths and release into your supportive embrace with each exhalation.

Recharge yourself and spread love and compassion when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am aware of myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I love myself and others because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness and compassion to all people. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, October 26

Today is Monday, October 26, 2020. The sky is constantly changing. It is predictably unpredictable.

For the month of October, we have shared Mindful Mondays. Starting the week with mindfulness and creating mindful moments throughout the week, can be centering and healing. Today, is an outdoor immersion for centering and healing.

Take some time to experience being outside. Whether you are walking or standing, notice how you feel while you are outside. What are you feeling? Where does your attention go? Look around. How much of what you can see is made by humans and how much is determined by nature? Which colors do you like? What scent is in the air? Notice the temperature of the air on your skin. Is there a breeze? Is the wind blowing through your hair? Where do you feel the coolest temperature on your body? Do you hear birds? People? Cars? Trains? Planes? Notice the surface that supports your weight. Are you on a flat surface or is it uneven? Are you on a slope?

An inspirational Quote from Carol Dweck, “Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”

Photos by Dan. Top, “Fall Rainbow” Right, “Texture.”

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am part of the global community. I love myself because I have kindness and love in my heart and soul. As I think about those I love and care for, I send loving kindness out to all people. We are all connected. We can be resilient together.”

The Mindfulness Activity to practice this week to create Calm Moments:  

  • 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.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP