Monday, September 21

Today is Monday, September 21, 2020, the International Day of Peace.

An inspirational Quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, “Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”

Photo by: Mary Anderson, Downtown Chicago in sunset from across Lake Michigan

During Self-Care September, we offer prompts to energize your self-care routine. We invite you to experiment with any or all the suggested activities to invigorate, your mind, body and spirit.

Self-Care Activity: Monday Mood Enhancers. Explore ways to refresh your environment to awaken your senses.

    • Set up your environment for calm by including nature exposures for your eyes.
    • Nourish your brain with your preferred music or sounds. Studies show that music can improve mood, brain function and behavior.
    • Sip an unsweetened tea that is different than what you are used to. Tea can be hot or iced. Many people drink Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Jasmine and Matcha or green tea. Some other popular flavors include Vanilla Rooibos (caffeine free), Oolong, Sencha, Moroccan Mint and Yerba Mate (caffeine).

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.
    • Begin your self-talk.
      1. Say to yourself, “I can step back.” See yourself step back in your mind.
      2. “I can clear my head.” Visualize a clean sweep of your head.
      3. “My body can calm.” Release your neck shoulders.
      4. “I can release.” Take a belly breath and full breath out.
      5. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, August 28

Today is Friday, August 28, 2020. Willow trees are swaying and creating a lovely curtain for the ducks who have gathered together. The ducklings look grown up.

Inspiration: A Quote from Jimmy Fallon

“’Have Fun’ is my message. Be silly. You’re allowed to be silly. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Photo by Ashish Mehta

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: What made you smile today? What brought you joy today? Did you have fun today, even for a brief moment? What makes something fun? What can you do to increase the joy and fun in your life- or someone else’s?

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.
  • Organize your mind.
    1. 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.
    2. Take those feelings that don’t serve you right now and place them in the box.
    3. Now, place all the thoughts about things you don’t have control over, and place them in the box also.
    4. Close the box.
    5. 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 when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am resilient and learning every day. I am a 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.”

 With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,  

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.