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 

Wednesday, May 19

Today is Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Midweek brisk stroll through the neighborhood. Love passing the pond and seeing the ducks.

During the month of May, we are focusing on routines.  Routines can anchor us, decrease stress, foster creativity, prioritize self-care, and allow time to pursue our passions!  This week we look at routines to boost you during your active hours, when you are working or studying or practicing.

To thrive, it helps to have routines to hydrate throughout the day. 

    • At the start of the day, fill up a cup or water bottle and keep it within easy reach to simplify staying hydrated.
    • After a bathroom break, hydrate your body by drinking water.
    • When you need to refill your cup or water bottle, take the long way to walk a few extra steps or walk up or downstairs.
    • Fill a pitcher of water with slices of fruit, vegetables and/or herbs for a refreshing recharge.
    • If your activity tracker reminds you to stand up, enjoy a sip of water too.

Photo by Miguel Alcantara

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 Thomas Edison, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”

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.
    • Cross your arms across your chest, hands on opposite shoulders, giving yourself a big hug.
    • While still holding your shoulders, bring your chin to your chest and let gravity pull down on your elbows and release the back of your shoulders into a gentle stretch.
  • Release your arms, uncurl, roll your shoulders back, open your palms out. Bring your chin up and smile.

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 

Wednesday, January 13

 Today is Wednesday, January 13, 2021. The beautiful red Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January.  It represents balance.

An inspirational quote by Booker T Washington “If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up”

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

Take some time for random acts of kindness that you can carry out all year long, below are a dozen examples:

      1. Say “Good Morning.”
      2. Say “Good Night.”
      3. Say “Thank You.”
      4. Pay someone a compliment.
      5. Shovel someone’s snow.
      6. Clean the snow off someone’s car.
      7. Offer to pick up groceries for someone.
      8. Offer to babysit for a single parent.
      9. Put some coins in an expired parking meter.
      10. Let someone merge in front of you on the expressway.
      11. Hold the door open for someone.
      12. Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery store line.

Photo by Dr. Jose Velasco, “Solitude and Resilience”

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 

Monday, December 7

Today is Monday, December 7, 2020. It is International Civil Aviation Day, a day to thank all those who make it possible for us to fly.

Delights in December. 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.

After allowing moments of quiet, close out the moment with a smile & put your arms outstretched, overhead. Think about and recognize a gift of kindness from someone. It can be a stranger or someone you know.

    • Holding the door open.
    • Letting you go ahead in line.
    • Sending you a note of gratitude.
    • Picking up something you dropped.
    • Cooking or sharing a hot beverage with you.
    • Forwarding a funny meme or cartoon.
    • Texting or calling you to check in and see how you are doing.

Focusing on how others share kindness can generate more random acts of kindness towards someone else.

An inspirational quote by Maya Angelou, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

Photo by: Vitaly Sacred

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of 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 human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Relax your jaw. Gently bring your chin down to your chest, release your jaw muscles. Your mouth may open slightly.
    • Lift your head back up, leaving your jaw muscles loose and down towards your chest. Your mouth may open further.
    • Gently, lift your jaw up to close your lips and let your jaw stay relaxed. Smile and let your calm jaw muscles rest a bit more.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, November 13

Today is Friday, November 13, 2020. Today is World Kindness Day. It is a day to spread and promote kindness.

November is for nesting, nourishing, and nurturing.

While the winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, nature reminds us to slow down and recharge in more quiet ways. As animals hibernate or move to warmer climates, we invite you to explore nourishing activities for your mind and body.

Different teas can have various health benefits and can be soothing or refreshing. Today, or this weekend is the perfect time to try a new kind of tea or add a new flavor to your tea.

For a tea with caffeine, try cinnamon or cardamom with a black tea, or add ginger or lemongrass or mint with a green tea. Oolong and white teas are less commonly available and offer unique flavor experiences worth trying.

For a caffeine-free tea, explore rooibos with vanilla or chai spices or consider herbal teas like peppermint or chamomile, which both can be infused with lavender or lemon.

Teas can be perfectly warming or iced for refreshment. Sharing tea with others can also be a way to spread and promote kindness.

An inspirational Quote Kevin Heath, “Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.”

Photo by: Annie Spratt

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I am human. My mind, my body, and my spirit are connected, and I am a part of 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 human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • Release your eye muscles with 3 breaths, allowing your eyes to rest.
    • Loosen your jaw muscles and let your mouth and lips rest. Allow 3 breaths.
    • Let your hands gently rest. Be present with yourself and enjoy this pause to refresh.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, November 4

Today is Wednesday, November 4, 2020.  Consider, the fallen leaves are giving back nutrients to nourish the earth.

November is for nesting, nourishing, and nurturing.

While the winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, nature reminds us to slow down and recharge in more quiet ways. As animals hibernate or move to warmer climates, we invite you to explore nourishing activities for your mind and body.

Share a Random act of Kindness with someone:

      • Hold a door open.
      • Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery store.
      • Making eye contact, say “thank you.”
      • Pay for the coffee or tea for the person in the car behind you at the drive-up window.
      • Send a handwritten personal note of appreciation.

Double Inspiration- Quotes from:

Morgan Freeman, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

Helen James, “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.

Photo by: Lukasz Szmigiel

Recharge yourself when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. My mind, my body, and my spirit are one, and I am a part of 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 human. We can create positive energy 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.
    • As you continue to breathe deeply and slowly, smile to yourself with kindness and compassion and enjoy a moment of being you.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, September 23

Today is Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Fall is a time for the birds to begin their Southern migration.

An inspirational Quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

Photo by: Gary Bending

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: Become aware of how you talk to yourself when things don’t go as planned. Frame your script with self-compassion in mind.

    • “Tomorrow is a chance to try again with the lessons I learned from today.”
    • “I might have a way to go but I can be proud of how far I have come.”
    • “Even though this was not the outcome I hoped for, I learned a lot about myself.”
    • “I am capable, I will get through this.”
    • “I can do this. I will share what I learn to help others.”

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, September 4

Today is Friday, September 4, 2020.  The weekend approaches with an inspirational quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “The future depends on what you do today.” 

Photo by Kyle Glenn

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

Self-Care Activity:  Establish a restorative sleep routine.  Each night is a new night, trust your body and mind to self-regulate and allow you to fall asleep.

    • Set a sleep schedule that works for you most days of the week.
    • Get exposure to natural lighting- like sunlight- every day.
    • Experiment and see what happens when you turn off all electronics at least 2 hours before bed.

Recharge yourself and connect with others when you repeat:    

“I am [*Name*]. I belong and 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. 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.
  • Experience an Affirmation meditation:
    1. Find a comfortable position in bed.
    2. Repeat your affirmation: [My body is calm, my mind is at ease, I breathe in goodness, I exhale peace, or choose your own affirmation.]

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,   

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP