Friday, September 25

Today is Friday, September 25, 2020.  As the season changes, it brings an opportunity to find new balance.

An inspirational Quote from Shel Silverstein,

“The Voice, there is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, “I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.”  No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you – just listen to The voice that speaks inside.”

Photo by: Ellie Brown

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: When feeling down or stressed explore a supportive touch practice.

The skin is a very sensitive organ. When we experience the sense of touch, it helps the nervous system regulate and feel safe.

    • Place your hands over your heart take several deep breaths, feel the rise and fall of your chest.
    • Cradle your face with your hands.
    • Gently stroke your arms.
    • Massage each hand ending by squeezing the tips of each finger.
    • Stay with this feeling for as long as you like.

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 

 

 

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 

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, September 18

Today is Friday, September 18, 2020.  Self-Care September continues. As we move into the weekend, an inspirational Quote from John Burroughs, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”

 Photo by: Aaron Burden

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:  Rest and refresh with time outdoors.

    • Take a walk outside. Notice every little thing- starting with how your body feels as it moves, and then how the world around you appears. Appreciate the smallest details.
    • Put down your phone, step away from your screen, and give your eyes some freedom. Sit or stand and look up and out, as far as you can see and be in the moment. Focus your eyes far off. Observe.
    • Dig in the dirt, water plants, sweep outside, refill the bird feeder, set some windchimes outside, decorate your front door, sit on a swing.

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.
    • Practice Physical grounding
      1. When you are sitting in your chair take a few seconds to feel your feet on the ground, feel your bottom on the seat, feel your back against the chair.
      2. As your feet are grounded, with each deep belly breathe out, allow your shoulders to release and loosen.
      3. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, September 16

Today is Wednesday, September 16, 2020.  September is a month of transition; we often change the types of food we eat in September. 

Inspiration: A Quote from Ruth Reichl

“Pull up a chair.  Take a taste.  Come join us.  Life is so endlessly delicious.”

Photo by: Dave Hoefler

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 the suggested activities to invigorate, your mind, body and spirit.

Self-Care Activity:  Let your taste buds have fun!

    • Try a new recipe or new flavors using different spices, seasonings, or herbs.
    • Eat a meal outside. If you are able observe nature simultaneously while eating, notice: What are the colors you see in the sky? Are there birds chirping? Are there leaves on the trees and are they changing colors?
    • Add an additional colorful vegetable or herb to a dish to add nutrients and new visual appeal.

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.
    • Practice Physical grounding
      1. When you are sitting in your chair take a few seconds to feel your feet on the ground, feel your bottom on the seat, feel your back against the chair.
      2. As your feet are grounded, with each deep belly breathe out, allow your shoulders to release and loosen.
      3. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, September 11

Today is Friday, September 11, 2020.  Green is the most common color observed in the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).  See photo.

Inspirational quotes to start the weekend from Mary Davis, “The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” And by Robert Holden, “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.”

Photo by: Luke Tanis

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 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.

    • Explore a bedtime body scan.
      • With your eyes closed begin to focus on your breath
      • Take inventory of the sensations in each part of your body
      • Choose where to start, left hand, head, toes, …
      • Continue along your body in a way that makes sense to you, head to toe, feet to top of the head, left to right…
      • If your thoughts drift, simply return to your scan. Thoughts will likely drift—the important thing is to just observe and be one with your body.

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.
    • Practice the Mountain Meditation to connect with your inner strength and stability.
      1. Envision a mountain, see the intricate details of the mountain.
      2. Bring the majesty of the mountain inside of you and be one with the mountain.
      3. Feel the strength and stability of the mountain.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

 Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP   

Wednesday, September 9

Today is Wednesday, September 9, 2020.  The aster, which represents love, wisdom, valor and faith, is one of September’s birth flowers.  

Inspiration: A Quote from Crystal Middlemas, “Love like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets and obstacle.”

Photo by: Yoksel Zok

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 the suggested activities to invigorate, your mind, body and spirit.

Self-Care Activity:  Refresh yourself with sensory immersion. Find a way to engage and truly experience multiple senses simultaneously: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

Experience water in different lighting or setting – candlelit bath or shower, evening swim, early morning sprinkler exposure. Drink water with cucumber outside, wash vegetables by candlelight, soak your feet in warm water at dusk. Notice your sensory experience. How many senses can you engage? How do you feel? How many feelings do you feel?

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.
    • Practice the Mountain Meditation to connect with your inner strength and stability.
      1. Envision a mountain, see the intricate details of the mountain.
      2. Bring the majesty of the mountain inside of you, and be one with the mountain.
      3. Feel the strength and stability of the mountain.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, September 7

Today is Monday, September 7, 2020. Today, we honor parents, teachers and students who are adjusting to new learning environments.

As the beginning of a school year for many, here is an inspirational quote by George Washington Carver, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”

Photo by: Aaron Burden

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 the suggested activities to invigorate, your mind, body and spirit.

Self-Care Activity:  Reset with movement. At any time, in any space, moving your body can signal to your body to adapt, heal and thrive. It can also improve mood and the ability to focus and learn. (Tip: This is helpful for children too- especially with eLearning.)

If you are seated for prolonged periods of time, allow your body the freedom to move. Find a way to make more movement a part of your life by linking it with regular activities. Here are 10 suggestions. Pick one or two and establish those new self-care habits that will help you.

    1. Get up every time you answer the phone.
    2. Walk or pace when you listen to a lecture, audio book, podcast or music.
    3. Take the stairs to use the restroom on a different floor.
    4. Open up your chest and stretch out your arms, roll your shoulders back each time you send an email, tweet or post content online.
    5. Use a stand-up desk during all or part of your school or workday.
    6. Add abdominal crunches or push ups or squats during commercials or breaks.
    7. When you are shifting activities, lessons, tasks, choose a burst of activity to reset and clear your mind. For example: march or run in place, perform a set of jumping jacks, practice boxing moves in the air, hula hoop moves or high knees.
    8. Whenever your mind has difficulties focusing, walk to get ice or top off your water or tea.
    9. Go through a series of yoga moves- like sun salutations- in less than 90 seconds before washing your hands at mealtime.
    10. Every time you look at the clock, roll your shoulders and shake out your arms.

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.
    • Practice the Mountain Meditation to connect with your inner strength and stability.
      1. Envision a mountain, see the intricate details of the mountain.
      2. Bring the majesty of the mountain inside of you, and be one with the mountain.
      3. Feel the strength and stability of the mountain.

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   

Wednesday, September 2

Today is Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  The seasons change in September. There is a full moon tonight. The full moon can be the beginning of a new cycle.

We begin with an inspirational quote from William Shakespeare:

“Our bodies are our garden to which our wills are gardeners.” 

Photo by: Norikio Yamamoto

It is Self-Care September! This month, we will 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:  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.

      • Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine, to make the transition from wake to sleep. Try one or multiple before bedtime:
        • Take a relaxing bath or shower.
        • Read a book.
        • Journal.
        • Listen to calming music or sounds.
        • Practice meditation.

Recharge yourself 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