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. Susanna 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 

Monday, January 4

Today is Monday, January 4, 2021. Gearing up for the first full week of the year. Wrapped in warmth on early morning walk. Peace and quiet inside and out.

An inspirational quote by Albert Einstein. “All I have a is a sense of duty toward all people and an attachment to those with whom I have become intimate.”

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

Consider your stated aspiration(s) for the year. Allow yourself to make choices this week that align with your aspiration(s). Write down your goal(s) for the week to move you in the direction you want to go. Find opportunities to be true to yourself and your aspiration(s).

Photo by Aaron Burden

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 

Friday December 25

Today is Friday December 25, 2020.  For many, today is a religious day, a holiday; it is also a day to celebrate peace and good will and reflect on the many gifts in our life.

Delights in December. This month use the Daily Gift of Vitality, to allow a moment to pause and connect with what delights you. We will provide prompts and ideas along the way.

Delight in the joy of others.  Go for a walk in nature with family or friends.  Connect virtually with family and friends and share your celebrations.  Shovel the snow for a neighbor.  Share some baked goods or special dish with someone else.  Send a note of appreciation to someone who is working today.

An inspirational quote by Mother Theresa: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

Photo by David Deshaies

Recharge yourself 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.”

Return to 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.
    • To restore the body, experience Ocean Breathing as taught by Jeff Warren
      • While belly breathing, imagine yourself floating on the surface of the ocean
      • Your breath is like the tide, as you inhale the tide rises and it lifts your body up, as you exhale the body relaxes. Feel your body being carried by the tide.
      • Smile and enjoy floating and gliding.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

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.