Monday, August 30

Today is Monday, August 30, 2021.  Smiling at the start of the day for another opportunity to foster connections.

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

For this last post of August, let’s reflect on all the connections we have and the connections we would like to cultivate.

You can use these journal prompts to assist in reflection:

    • My mind and body feel nourished when…
    • I would like the opportunity to explore….
    • The three things that brought me joy today are…
    • When I showed myself compassion, I noticed…

Photo by: Nils Rasmusson

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 Henry David Thoreau, “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”

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.
  • With each breath cycle, connect with your kind heart and set your intention to be kind to yourself.
  • Periodically, during your day pause take 3 belly breaths and connect to your intention.
  • Smile inwardly to yourself.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, August 13

Today is Friday, August 13, 2021.  Singing in the shower this morning, embracing the day.

This August we will focus on building and strengthening connections.  Making connections can lower stress and contribute to longevity.  This second week of August we will explore connecting to JOY.  Even in the most difficult situations we can turn to joy.

This week let’s explore letting go of what is not serving us and welcome joy into our life.   Being present, spending time together with another being can help us connect with JOY.

    • Let yourself engage in a child’s wonder and joy by letting a child show you what they are playing with, reading or interested in.
    • Appreciate the pure enjoyment your pet experiences while hanging out with you.
    • Take time for a date with a friend or loved one and turn off the electronics.
    • Grab a basketball, soccer ball or racket and play with a friend.

Photo by Susan Chubinskaya

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 Jean Piaget, “Play is the answer to how anything new comes about.”

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.
  • Start your day with one positive thought, end your day reflecting on what went well for you today.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, August 11

Today is Wednesday, August 11, 2021.  Listening to the sounds of the water, relaxing on the lake.

This August we will focus on building and strengthening connections.  Making connections can lower stress and contribute to longevity.  This second week of August we will explore connecting to JOY.  Even in the most difficult situations we can turn to joy.

This week let’s explore letting go of what is not serving us and welcome joy into our life.  Refresh your senses with nature immersion.

    • Change your screen saver to include images of nature.
    • Take a 3 minute break: Close your eyes and listen to waves or birds chirping or rainfall as you imagine walking outside in nature.
    • Take a walk by the water or among trees, breathing in fresh air.
    • Visit a garden center and explore the varieties of plants.
    • Meander around a park, nature preserve, conservatory, garden or arboretum.
    • Go for a hike, bike or swim.
    • Ride a horse; glide on a paddleboard; sail a boat.
    • Tend to the vegetable or flower garden.
    • Volunteer to restore a habitat or park.

Photo by Dan Deziel, “Color of Water”

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 Oprah, “Know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

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.
  • Start your day with one positive thought, end your day reflecting on what went well for you today.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, August 9

Today is Monday, August 9, 2021.  Smiling at the beauty all around us.

This August we will focus on building and strengthening connections.  Making connections can lower stress and contribute to longevity.  This second week of August we will explore connecting to JOY.  Even in the most difficult situations we can turn to joy.

This week let’s explore letting go of what is not serving us and welcome joy into our life.   Practicing Self-Compassion can help us connect with JOY.  Below are three steps towards self-compassion.

    • Acknowledge when you are suffering.
    • Connect to humanity—Remind yourself that you are not alone.
    • Talk kindly to yourself.

Photo by Nadine Doerle

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 Carlos Santana, “If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment”

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.
  • Start your day with one positive thought, end your day reflecting on what went well for you today.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

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, April 30

Today is Friday, April 30, 2021. The water flows, the grass is green, there are flowers everywhere and active animals making the most of it.

Ascending through April. Sharing experiences of joy can bring about a shared smile. Enjoy it together.

      • Share a favorite photo. Add a quote or story or caption.
      • Share a new taste experience via a recipe, tea, spice.
      • Share a favorite book or movie or game.
      • Share a funny story.
      • Share an accomplishment or reason for celebration.
      • Share a new favorite restaurant or shop.
      • Share a simple greeting to check in with a colleague, classmate, friend, loved one.

Photo by: Hans Isaacson

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. We share our humaneness. Together, we can do great things.”

A quote by Mae Jemison, “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

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.
    • If you want to release tension, try the STOP technique taught in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses.
      • Stop
      • Take a Breath
      • Open and Observe
      • Proceed

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, March 5

Today is Friday, March 5, 2021.  Being still, quiet, seeing the glow on the horizon begin. Another day to make a difference.

Finding meaning this March. March marks the one-year mark for the Daily Gift of Vitality (DGoV).  Being curious offers opportunities to explore meaning. This week, we offer prompts for journaling, to unleash your curiosity to find meaning.

    • When do you bring joy to someone else’s life?
    • When have you felt the most joyful?
    • How did you participate to allow that joy?
    • Who helped you share or amplify that joy?

Photo by: Susan Chubinskaya, PhD

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. We share our humaneness. Together, we can do great things.”

Alison Cardy’s inspirational quote, “Time and again, I’ve seen people make the most progress when they combine their knowledge of themselves with real world actions.”

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.
  • Imagine your head is gently supporting and dangling your neck and shoulders.
  • Notice your shoulders release and your posture straighten.
  • Glide with a relaxed torso as you walk with head high, and shoulders and neck free.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, January 29

Today is Friday, January 29, 2021. Walking along the path, noticing the quiet, seeing a still pond.

An inspirational quote by Ann Landers, “Warmth, kindness, and friendship are the most yearned for commodities in the world. The person who can provide them will never be lonely.”

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

Looking ahead to this weekend, and then February, find a moment to pause and reflect on January. Take a moment to make a list of all the things that were wonderful in January. Include the things you are proud of, that you feel good about, who you appreciated, what you learned. An end of the month Positivity Briefing is a nice way to capture life’s wonderful-ness so you can return to at any time in the future. Over time, you will have a collection documenting your personal growth, joys and the positivity in your life.

Photo by Robert Thiemann

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.
    • 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.
    • Finally, take another deep belly breath and let out all the air in your lungs with a releasing sigh.
    • Shimmy your shoulders and shake out your arms. Smile.

Recharge yourself and spread love 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 

Friday, January 15

Today is Friday, January 15, 2021. Wondering if birds share what they see with each other.

An inspirational quote by Mandy Hale, “You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.”

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

Pick one day each week to look back at your week and let your mind unload. Begin the process by drawing or writing down everything on your mind and let it rest outside of your mind.  You can return to it at any time. *Tip: Remember those daily 15 minute walks established in July? Taking that walk beforehand might help get the process started or taking the walk afterwards may allow you an opportunity to refresh your brain.

Photo by Dr. Susan Chubinskaya

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.
    • Picture yourself in a relaxed state. See yourself on your favorite walking path, a favorite vacation spot, sitting on a porch with a friend…
      • Smile to yourself.

Recharge yourself and spread love 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 

Friday, January 8

Today is Friday, January 8, 2021. Focusing on the boost from walking outdoors even in colder weather. Accepting the weather as it comes and adjusting plans accordingly.

An inspirational quote by Rosa Parks. “Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

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

Fridays can be days for reflection and releasing. Pause and review the past week. What did you feel good about? When did you smile? Who added laughter into your life?

Photo by Casey Horner

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.
    • Breathe in Energy & Generate vibrations.
      1. Take a deep breath in, feeling your lungs expand.
      2. When you breath out, smile and hum loudly. Feel the vibrations in your neck.
      3. Repeat 2 times and notice those vibrations rippling outward. Smile to yourself.

Recharge yourself and spread love 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