Wednesday, December 22

Today is Wednesday, December 22, 2021. The soothing fragrance while sipping tea is calming as the day begins.

A quote by Sen Joo, “The tea session is modeled after the silence of retreat; a time to enjoy life far removed from daily existence.”

Photo by: Susan Chubinskaya, PhD, in Paris

December Delights is here. This December let’s focus on gifts of Love and Joy- to yourself and others.

Have fun and try something new with Tea:

      • Use tea leaves as a secret ingredient mixed into a homemade dry rub for cooking or use in a marinade.
      • Host a virtual Tea Party complete with games.
      • Soak in a tub with 3 teaspoons of tea leaves.
      • Relax for 10 minutes with warm moist teabags on closed eyes to reduce puffiness.
      • Use fragrant dry tea bags as drawer sachets and place in your dresser drawer.

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.
  • As you continue to Belly breath, do the 5 senses exercise:
      • Notice 5 things you can see.
      • Notice 4 things you can feel.
      • Notice 3 things you can hear.
      • Notice 2 things you can smell.
      • Notice 1 thing you can taste.

Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*]. I can do this. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to the positive energy around me. I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me. Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, November 5

Today is Friday, November 5, 2021. Silence in the morning, ready for the sounds of the day.

A quote from Arthur Wing Pinero, “Where there’s tea there’s hope.”

Photo by: Nicole Siparsky, MD

This November, we focus on exploring Novel activities.  Experiencing novel activities fosters personal growth and confidence.  It can provide opportunities to interact with new people, and a time to get to know ourselves better.

Enjoy tea, made in a new way:

    • Trade favorite teas with a friend or neighbor.
    • Cold brew tea: Fill a pitcher of fresh water and add tea bags or loose tea and set it aside for up to 12 hours in the fridge. When ready to drink it, dilute it to the flavor level desired. Good hot or cold.
    • Milk tea: add any kind of milk with tea.
    • Chai tea latte: combine some or all of these spices to make a chai mix: cardamom and cinnamon +/- cloves/nutmeg. Steep with your favorite black tea. Heat any kind of milk and froth with a whisk, blender or frother (dairy, oat milk, coconut milk and soy milk froth the best).

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.
  • After taking 3 belly breaths reposition your body.
  • Now shake your entire body and say to yourself, “I am letting go of…”
  • Picture the thoughts falling off while shaking your body.
  • Take 3 more belly breaths and smile to yourself for your courage to let go.

*Recharge yourself and share positive energy when you repeat:  

 “I am [*Name*].  I am open to the positive energy around me. As I connect to my courage, strength, and wisdom, I am open to new ideas and change.  I send loving kindness and compassion to all people including me.  Together, we can do great things.”

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, November 25

Today is Wednesday, November 25, 2020.  Taking a midweek pause, sipping tea, being thankful. We are grateful for the many ways we can connect with each other. Share in the connection with a cup of tea. It turns out that tea is the most common drink in the world after water.

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.

Today, we offer a recipe for a warm and cozy Lemon Ginger Turmeric “Tea.”

Ingredients

      • 5 cups of water
      • 2 inch (5 cm) piece of fresh Ginger-peeled and sliced
      • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh Turmeric-peeled and sliced
      • Juice of ½ a Lemon
      • Optional 1 Cinnamon stick

Directions:

Place water in a saucepan, add the ginger and turmeric to the water. If using a Cinnamon stick, add this now.  Bring to a boil and the reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the Lemon Juice.  Enjoy~

Recipe notes:

This recipe does not use actual tea leaves and does not have caffeine. If you like a spicy tea add more Ginger and Turmeric.  Be aware that when working with fresh Turmeric it can color the skin or counter tops for several days and it will wash off.  When you add the lemon juice, the tea will turn the beautiful yellow color.  This tea is also delicious served cold over ice.

An inspirational Quote from Mother Teresa “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless”

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.
    • Repeat to yourself, “I can have a moment to be calm. I can have a moment of peace.”

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 

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