Wednesday, October 21

Today is Wednesday, October 21, 2020.   Let’s start with an inspirational Quote from Mary Anne Radmacher “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

For the month of October, we set weekly reminders for Workout Wednesday.

The 1st two weeks covered planning ahead for how to maintain walking daily for 15 (or more) minutes -despite changing seasons and routines, and then, establishing a list and routines for interrupting sedentary time with physical activity to boost your health.  This week, we will focus on connecting your mind, your body and your sensory experiences using physical activity.

Find ways to combine pleasurable sensory experiences with physical movement for an extra brain and mood boost. Allow yourself to immerse yourself in these moments of joy. Examples:

    • Dance to great music. Bonus points if you move your arms and your hips and sing along freely.
    • Walk outside and feel the breeze, see the plants, the color of the sky and smell the outdoors. Bonus points if you take a picture to capture a moment on your walk.
    • Take a cool shower or submerge yourself into a pool after working up a sweat. Bonus points if you really notice the temperature and can gently move and let the water glide around you.
    • Bike and feel the sweat evaporating off your skin. Bonus points if you take time to stretch out your legs and back after your bike ride.
    • Listen to classical or jazz music while standing to cook. Bonus points if you slice, chop, mix, blend and stir everything by hand or exercise while you wait for food to cook.

Photo by: Amar Yashlaha

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.
  • Allow yourself to breathe slowly and calmly, pausing after each breath in, and then pausing again after each breath out.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, October 14

Today is Wednesday, October 14, 2020. The human body has approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones in an adult. It is designed to move.

For the month of October, we share Workout Wednesday.

If you find yourself sitting for much of the day, now is a good time to start creating your list of physical activities you can do that interrupt your seated time to boost your health. Keep the list on your desk, or on the wall so you can see it regularly as a reminder. Pick at least 1 or 2 to include every day. Here are 10 examples to get you started. Keep adding to your list.

    1. Stand up every hour and at every commercial or break. Every time you stand up and sit down, you are squatting.
    2. Every time you pick up your mobile phone, get up. If you talk on the phone, then walk or pace.
    3. In the middle of a long stretch of work, when your mind is losing focus, reset with wall push-ups or push-ups on the floor.
    4. When you grab a tightly sealed water bottle, before opening it, use it to work your arms by holding the bottle and bending your elbows or shoulders in ways that cause you to lift or push the bottle. Do the same number of repetitions on each side.
    5. If you have been at your computer for a prolonged period, get up and walk to a window, roll your shoulders back, palms out, raise your chin and gaze outside.
    6. Use a smaller cup so you have to stand up and walk over multiple times to grab a refill.
    7. Walk to the farthest bathroom or use the one up the stairs.
    8. Before you sit down, bend forward and reach for your toes, stretching out the back of your legs and lower back. Slowly curl back up.
    9. If you have been staring at a screen for a prolonged time, rotate your head side to side slowly and then bring your chin up and down gently.
    10. Stretch out your back by curling your neck and back forward and then open your chest by rolling your shoulders back, and elongate your neck and back.

An inspirational Quote from Jerry Rice, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Photo by: Mary Deziel, Winterberry in Fall

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.
  • Allow yourself to be curious, what sensations do you notice: is the air warm, are the shoulders relaxed? If your mind wanders away from your focus on breathing it is OK, simply note that and then return to your breaths.

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 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 

Monday, September 14

Today is Monday, September 14, 2020.  Sapphire, the September birthstone, was once believed to bring protection and good fortune. 

Inspiration: A Quote from C.J. Hayden

“You will never be completely ready.  Start from where you are”

Photo by: Louis Tripp

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:  Explore ways to refresh your environment to awaken your senses.

    • Organize your workspace.
    • Add a small plant to your workspace or other living area in your home/office.
    • Clean out a closet or cabinet, consider donating clothes you no longer need.
    • Add some Aromatherapy.

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, and 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 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 

Wednesday, August 26

Today is Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Cows have best friends and they are happier with them. Young goats pick up accents from other goats. Every being is important and can be impactful. 

Inspiration: A Quote from Emerson

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
Photo by Isaac Benhesed

We invite you to experience the Joy of Reflective Journaling. You may repeat this prompt until the next one is released.

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Check in with yourself midweek. How are you feeling? How is your energy? What can you do to recharge you? Checking in with a trusted friend can be nourishing for both of you.

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.