Wednesday, August 25

Today is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.  Here, in the North, appreciating the nourishment from the summer harvest.

This August, the focus has been on building and strengthening connections to lower stress and contribute to longevity.

For this last week of August, we focus on connecting to Nature.  Being in nature can awaken happiness and peace.  Being in nature can lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.

Today, let’s explore ways to connect to nature at home and work.

    • Place a plant on your desk, by your entryway, or in the home.
    • Eat lunch outside and feel the breeze, listen to the birds, feel the sunshine.
    • Place beautiful pictures of nature on the walls or on your desk.
    • Play sounds of nature—the ocean, birds, rain, flowing stream.
    • Place your fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit where you can easily see them.
    • Create a salad with multiple different colors of fresh ingredients.
    • Leave flowers or a plant for someone else to enjoy.
    • Invite a friend for a picnic.

Photo by: Karim Sakhibgareev

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 from William Shakespeare, “The earth has music for those who listen.”

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.
  • Exhale out the past as you hum “om”.
  • Inhale in the future and feel your body refresh.
  • Repeat 3 times and smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, February 26

Today is Friday, February 26, 2021.  The full moon in February is called the” Snow Moon”.

An inspirational quote by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.  “Very little is needed to make a happy life: it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

February Feelings. While this month can – at times – feel cold in places where it is winter, inside, we can be warmed by happiness and joy. 

Laughter improves the function of the mind and body. It connects people and relaxes the body.  It often causes others to smile and laugh too. Allow yourself daily doses of laughter. Keep a list of what makes you laugh. It may be humorous people, animals, visual images, memes, cartoons, audio or video clips, photos, books, autocorrected text messages, memories, and stories. Sometimes, laughter is a natural part of the day. Other times, you can deliberately turn to those things that make you laugh out loud.

Photo by Catrina Farrell

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.   
  • Explore a Loving Kindness Practice
  • Find a comfortable position.
    • Take several calming belly breaths.
    • Repeat positive phrases towards yourself.
      • May I be happy.
      • May I be healthy.
      • May I be peaceful.
      • May I be strong.
      • May I be confident.
    • Smile to yourself.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am open to myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I appreciate 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 including me. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

 

Wednesday, February 24

Today is Wednesday, February 24, 2021.  When outside, do you notice any different color palettes?  Has the snow brought a peaceful silence?  Are there any animals scurrying about?

An inspirational quote by Mark Twain.  “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer somebody else up.”

February Feelings. While this month can – at times – feel cold in places where it is winter, inside, we can be warmed by happiness and joy.

Staying connected with friends, family, and community can spark happiness.

      • Reach out to friends and family you have not spoken to for a while, call or send a note.
      • Smile to people.
      • Volunteer.
      • Be fully present during conversations.
      • Send or drop off a care package for someone.

Photo by Hans-Jurgen Mager

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.
  • Explore a Loving Kindness Practice
    • Find a comfortable position.
    • Take several calming belly breaths.
    • Repeat positive phrases towards yourself.
      • May I be happy.
      • May I be healthy.
      • May I be peaceful.
      • May I be strong.
      • May I be confident.
    • Smile to yourself.

 Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am open to myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I appreciate 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 including me. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, February 22

Today is Monday, February 22, 2021.  While we are dreaming of warmer weather in the North, February is a great time to start planning your summer garden.

An inspirational quote by Samuel Taylor Colridge.  “The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.”

February Feelings. While this month can – at times – feel cold in places where it is winter, inside, we can be warmed by happiness and joy.

Pause to appreciate the goodness that surrounds you.

      • Keep a gratitude journal.
      • Verbalize gratitude to others.
      • Replay happy memories.
      • After waking in the morning think of one thing you are grateful for.
      • Tell someone you work with, what you appreciate about them.

Photo by: Fran Lee

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.
  • Explore a Loving Kindness Practice
    • Find a comfortable position.
    • Take several calming belly breaths.
    • Repeat positive phrases towards yourself.
        • May I be happy.
        • May I be healthy.
        • May I be peaceful.
        • May I be strong.
        • May I be confident.
    • Smile to yourself.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am doing what I can. I am open to myself and others, and I belong to a global community. I appreciate 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 including me. We are all connected. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, October 16

Today is Friday, October 16, 2020. Smiles are the easiest facial expression to recognize and they are universally seen as signs of happiness. Across the world, in addition to smiles, laughter helps people connect and form social bonds.

For the month of October, we celebrate Fun & Friendly Fridays.

Virtual recipe share. Pick a theme or cuisine and schedule a virtual healthy meal with some friends or family you haven’t seen in a while. Have a virtual gathering to smile, laugh, cook and eat healthy together. Experimenting with a new recipe or using a favorite recipe is a bonus. Share your recipes from the gathering.

A Quote from Armand Dimele. “When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things.”

Photo by Jonathan Daniels

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.
  • Allow yourself to be curious, what sensations do you notice: is the air warm, are the shoulders relaxed? If your mind wanders away from your focus on breathing it is OK, simply note that and then return to your breaths.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP