Friday, August 27

Today is Friday, August 27, 2021.  While taking a walk, watching the variety of ways the animals commune and recharge.

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

For this last week of August, the focus has been on connecting to Nature.  Being in nature can awaken happiness and peace.  Being in nature can lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.

Today, and this weekend, let’s explore ways to exercise in nature.

    • Recharge your walking route.
    • Practice yoga.
    • Stretching routine.
    • Dance solo or with others.
    • Bike a pretty trail.
    • Gardening, weeding, picking fruit.
    • Running outdoors.
    • Hiking
    • Playing outdoor sports.

Photo by: Gene Devine

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 Albert Einstein, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

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.
  • Exhale out the past as you hum “om”.
  • Inhale in the future and feel your body refresh.
  • Repeat 3 times and smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, August 25

Today is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.  Here, in the North, appreciating the nourishment from the summer harvest.

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

For this last week of August, we focus on connecting to Nature.  Being in nature can awaken happiness and peace.  Being in nature can lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.

Today, let’s explore ways to connect to nature at home and work.

    • Place a plant on your desk, by your entryway, or in the home.
    • Eat lunch outside and feel the breeze, listen to the birds, feel the sunshine.
    • Place beautiful pictures of nature on the walls or on your desk.
    • Play sounds of nature—the ocean, birds, rain, flowing stream.
    • Place your fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit where you can easily see them.
    • Create a salad with multiple different colors of fresh ingredients.
    • Leave flowers or a plant for someone else to enjoy.
    • Invite a friend for a picnic.

Photo by: Karim Sakhibgareev

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 William Shakespeare, “The earth has music for those who listen.”

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.
  • Exhale out the past as you hum “om”.
  • Inhale in the future and feel your body refresh.
  • Repeat 3 times and smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, August 23

Today is Monday, August 23, 2021. Listening to the warm air rustling through the leaves, aware of thoughts.

This August we will focus on building and strengthening connections to lower stress and contribute to longevity.  For the last week of August, we focus on connecting to Nature.  Being in nature can awaken happiness and peace.  Being in nature can lower our cortisol level and reduce stress.

Today, let’s explore ways to meditate in nature.

    • Stand in the grass barefoot, feel your connection to the earth.
    • Hug a tree.
    • Lay on your back in the grass, feel your heartbeat connected to the earth.
    • Take a silent walk and open all your senses.

Photo by: Aaron Burden

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 Helen Keller “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.”

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.
  • Exhale out the past as you hum “om”.
  • Inhale in the future and feel your body refresh.
  • Repeat 3 times and smile.

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 

Friday, August 6

Today is Friday, August 6, 2021.  Enjoying the season and the delicious vegetables from the garden.

This August we will focus on building and strengthening connections.  Making connections can lower stress and contribute to longevity.  This first week of August we will explore connecting to peace.  Today, we will look at connecting to natural surroundings for peace.

    • Look out over the water, the field, the woods, the mountains, the trees and breathe.
    • Gaze at the sky and watch how it changes over a period of time.
    • Dig in the dirt and notice the soil’s moisture, the textures, and the living organisms as you add a plant or tree to the earth.
    • Watch the sun rise or set and see the various colors change.

Photo by Dan Deziel, “Subtle Dusk”

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 Love Actually, “To me, you are perfect.”

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.
  • Repeat positive affirmations throughout your day, while smiling to
    • My mind is peaceful.
    • I choose to act and react peacefully.
    • I illuminate peace around me.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, November 20

Today is Friday, November 20, 2020. The ancient Roman calendar named the ninth month as November. While it is now the 11th month, the name has not changed since 45 BC. Reflecting on how some things change and some stay the same over time.

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. We invite you to explore nourishing activities for your mind and body.

We continue with our series of prompts to create your personal list of activities that shift your energy and are relaxing or calming for you. It helps to organize the list by location or amount of time it works best in. Keeping this list easily accessible (i.e. in your planner, notes app or as a photo on your phone) for those moments you may need it. We will keep adding to it.

Today, we focus on creating a list of ways to engage with nature. Organize the list in order of easiest to incorporate or shortest amount of time to longest amount of time required. That way, when you need a quick reset, the items at the top of the list will be the first thing you see.

    1. Take a walk outside.
    2. Step outside, pay attention to the scent in the air, the color of the sky.
    3. Sit on a swing, park bench or lay in a hammock and breathe deeply and hum.
    4. Dig in the garden or plant some herbs indoors.
    5. Lay in the grass, sand or on a blanket and watch the clouds or birds or the stars.

An inspirational Quote Amelia Earhart, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees

Photo by: Chris Lejarazu

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.
  • Now reach up both arms, outstretched, raise your chin and breathe in fresh energy, smile and breathe out with a sigh, “ahhh…”
  • Repeat 2 more times, then lower your arms and release your shoulders.
  • Smile inside and carry your sense of calm with you.

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