Monday, September 28

Today is Monday, September 28, 2020.  The British tend to use the word “autumn” and Americans tend to use the word “fall” to refer to the season between summer and winter.

An inspirational Quote from Oscar Wilde, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Photo by: Eric Muhr

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: Explore a new topic that interests you:

    • Listen to a podcast
    • Read a book
    • Join a club

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 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 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 

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   

 

 

 

 

Monday, August 31

Today is Monday, August 31, 2020.  In 1897 on this day, Thomas Edison patents the movie projector.

Inspiration: A Quote from Malala Yousafzai 

“’One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world”

Photo by Luke Richardson

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

Reflective Journaling Prompt:  The strengths I recognize in myself are: ______ [Continue adding to the list as you recognize more and more of your strengths.]

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: Find a comfortable position in bed,
    • Repeat your affirmation: [My body is calm, my mind is at ease, I breathe in goodness, I exhale peace or choose your own affirmation].

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.

Monday, August 24

Today is Monday, August 24, 2020. The season progresses and the nights grow longer. Walking at the usual time in the morning, anticipating the sunlight, the air feels cool.

Inspiration: A Quote from R. M. Drake

“It was the way you laughed…I knew I wanted that in my life.”

Photo by Raphael Biscaldi

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

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Think about those times you laugh or smile. The more of those times you can add to your list, the easier it becomes to see the patterns that elicit your joyful self.

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.