Wednesday, August 4

Today is Wednesday, August 4, 2021.  Appreciating peace and tranquility during quiet moments.

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 our own inner peace.

    • Visualize your Happy Place.
    • Create a joy list.
    • Show gratitude for what is or maybe is not happening.
    • Laugh.
    • Volunteer.
    • Practice acceptance—”This is where I am at right now, this is hard for me, I wish it could be different, but I am OK.”

Photo by: Jeff Finley

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 by Rumi, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

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, July 30

Today is Friday, July 30, 2021.  Starting the weekend with a reset; taking time to create moments to pause and appreciate my surroundings.

July marks the start of the second half of the year and a time to remember you can add sparkle to your days. This week, we focus on opportunities to add sparkle to our self-care routine.  Add sparkle from the inside by being mindful with the food and drink choices to nourish and honor your body.

    • Start the day with a glass of water to begin rehydrating after sleep.
    • Aim to include greens such as lettuces, spinach, kale, chard, etc. at one or more meals in a day to provide your body with useful nutrients that also feeds your gut microbiome.
    • Eat adequate protein to support your body’s ability to recover and recharge every day.
    • Connect with someone over a meal or tea/coffee break to share stories.

Photo by: Susanna Chubinskaya, PhD

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 by John Lennon, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

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.
  • While sitting outside choose an object to focus on: what colors do you see, what sounds do you hear, what do you smell. Smile with appreciation for all the splendors.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Friday, July 16

Today is Friday, July 16, 2021. Appreciation for today, adding an extra bounce to my step, brightening my surroundings, generating positive energy.

July marks the start of the second half of the year and a time to add sparkle to our days. This week, we explore intentionally start each day with sparkle. Today, add sparkle with visual cues. Add to the list started on Monday and pick one or two to try in the mornings. Here are some ideas.

    • Choose a favorite or colorful accessory or item that cheers you up and makes you feel great, then choose your day’s outfit around it.
    • Water plants, step out into nature, check on the garden.
    • Look for happiness and smiles. Walk your dog and exchange smiles as you pass others walking dogs too.

Photo at the Garfield Conservatory, Chicago- by: The Peaceful Surgeon

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 by Marcus Aurelius, “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

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.   
  • On an inhale, reach your arms up like you are making the letter “V.” Stretch tall, look far out, feel your core.
  • Breath out and release your arms so they are relaxed and dangling and let your shoulders sink.
  • Roll your shoulders forward and then reverse roll. Turn your neck side to side gently and you are good to go.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

              

 

Friday, July 2

Today is Friday, July 2, 2021.  Taking a moon lit stroll is a perfect way to reflect on your day.

July marks the start of the second half of the year.  Let’s check in with ourselves this month to add some sparkle to the second half of the year.

    • Utilize journaling to re-assess aspirations and goals set in the beginning of the year. Use these prompts to check in:
      • What has been going well for me in the first half of the year?
      • Do I need to adjust my aspirations in the second half of the year?
      • What is something I would like to accomplish by the end of the year?

Photo by: Fran Lee

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 by W. Clement Stone. “Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star.”

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.
    • Take a break during your day to caress your hands.
      • Close your eyes or lower your gaze.
      • With your right index finger gently trace your fingers on the left hand, repeat for the right hand with left index finger.
      • Focus on the gentle sensation of touch.
      • Take 3 belly breaths and smile for the calming break.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, June 28

Today is Monday, June 28, 2021. As the summer rains fall, our gardens flourish.

Try something new in June.  Refresh your clothing style.  Changing your personal style can add energy and confidence to your day.

    • Try to wear a different color palette.
    • Try a different style of clothes, try a dress instead of pants, or a polo instead of a button-down shirt.
    • Add a: scarf, belt, or different jewelry, watch
    • Host a clothing swap with friends or coworkers.
    • Next time you get a haircut, try a different hair style or color

Photo by: Tomasz Maka

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 by Duke Ellington, “A problem is a chance for you to do your 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.
    • Take a break during your day to caress your hands.
      • Close your eyes or lower your gaze.
      • With your right index finger gently trace your fingers on the left hand, repeat for the right hand with left index finger.
      • Focus on the gentle sensation of touch.
      • Take 3 belly breaths and smile for the calming break.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Wednesday, June 23

Today is Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Seeing more people walking together, enjoying each other’s company.

Try something new in June. Change up your usual routines to bring yourself to the present while stimulating your brain in new ways.

    • Brush your teeth with the other hand.
    • Put on your clothes in a different order.
    • Make your bed differently.
    • Water the plants in a different order.
    • Drive a different way to the store or work.
    • Rearrange the top of your desk or counter.

Photo by Elnaz Asadi

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 by Susan L. Taylor, “Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”

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.
    • Now, after a deep belly breath, breathe out with a gentle mouth generating a deep vibration saying, “aah.”
    • Take another deep belly breath and breathe out humming “mmm” with a deep vibration.
    • Repeat deep breaths with “aah” and “mmm” for 5 more cycles, noticing far you feel each of the vibrations in your body.
    • Shimmy your shoulders and shake out your arms releasing all tension. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

Monday, June 21

Today is Monday, June 21, 2021. The summer solstice is the longest day and officially the first day of summer in the north.

Try something new in June. Adding spontaneous activity into your day will benefit your whole body and mind. 

    • Rather than an email, connect by phone and take a walk, do lunges or squats.
    • Spend at least some of the day that would otherwise be seated, stand or pace.
    • Invite a friend for a walk and talk in the park.
    • In place of driving, walk or bike to the store.
    • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
    • Break up the day with 6 high knees and 6 wall push ups intermittently throughout the day.
    • Put on the music and take care of that laundry with extra energy (children may be particularly good at helping with this).

Photo, “Orange clouds” by Dan Deziel

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 by Ricky Martin, “Every day begins like a blank chalkboard, on which each one of us can write the poem of our present and our dreams for the future.”

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.
    • Now, after a deep belly breath, breathe out with a gentle mouth generating a deep vibration saying, “aah.”
    • Take another deep belly breath and breathe out humming “mmm” with a deep vibration.
    • Repeat deep breaths with “aah” and “mmm” for 5 more cycles, noticing far you feel each of the vibrations in your body.
    • Shimmy your shoulders and shake out your arms releasing all tension. Smile.

With gratitude and appreciation for all beings,

Naomi Parrella, MD & Fran Lee, FNP 

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.

Friday, August 21

Today is Friday, August 21, 2020. Noticing the little things; appreciating how each being can add joy and interest to life. Enjoying every little thing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Bob Marley

“Love, friendship, laughter…Some of the best things in life really are free.

Photo by Dan Deziel, “Little shells”

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

Reflective Journaling Prompt for today and the weekend: Reflect back on your week and think about the times you experienced love – you loved, you felt loved, or you witnessed love. Are there ways you can increase this weekend and in the next week?

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.
  • Connect with the Ground:
  1. Focus on your feet.
  2. Imagine drawing a chalk outline around each foot on the floor.
  3. See the image.

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.

 

Wednesday, August 19

Today is Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Over millions of years, wind and water have provided us with the most spectacular sites.

The Daily Gifts of Vitality are being released 3 times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to allow additional days to consider the prompts before advancing.

Inspiration: A Quote from Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Photo by Tom Gainor

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

Reflective Journaling Prompt: Spend some time physically moving your body through an activity more slowly, being mindful. Notice your experience: Did you notice any changes in your mood? How did your body feel? Does your mind calm when you deliberately slow down an activity?

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.
  • Connect with the Ground:
    1. Focus on your feet.
    2. Imagine drawing a chalk outline around each foot on the floor.
    3. See the image. Smile.

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