Say “Goodbye” to New Year’s Resolutions

Do we really even stick with New Year’s resolutions anyways? Hardly! Every year, millions of people ring in the new year with one or two (or maybe even a laundry list) of resolutions they plan on sticking to – ‘plan’ being the keyword here.

We get it! We have the best intentions starting the year off right: eating healthy, exercising more, ending toxic relationships, saving more money – but what usually happens? Some (ultra-motivated folks) actually DO stick to their resolutions; they put in all the effort and crush all their goals. If you are one of these people, please drop us a comment and let us know how it’s done! We really want to know!

Other New Year’s Resolutioners, stick it out for a month or two, but life gets in the way: jobs, kids, spouses, lack of motivation – these are all things that can derail the resolutions train. Other folks write down their resolutions and, well, that’s as far as it gets; a list of stuff on a sheet of paper.

So, if New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for most people, why are we making them to begin with? Sure, resolutions gives us a sense of hope and optimism for the new year, but when we don’t stick with them, we are left feeling like we have failed…again.

That’s no way to start off a fresh New Year so let’s say “Adios!” to those resolutions and do something that can actually be beneficial!

Instead of looking to the future, let’s reflect and take a look at the past. We’re not talking years’ worth pasts, just the year before – the year we have just said our final goodbyes to.

2021…Hello, again!

Looking at the past allows us to reflect on what went well in our lives and what didn’t. It allows us to see the last year clearly – what’s that saying? “Hindsight’s 20/20”. There is truth to that! When we are in the thick of a situation, conflict, or argument it’s hard sometimes to see that circumstance clearly in the moment. But if we take a look back, all of a sudden, that situation seems a little clearer.

Having that perspective helps us look to the future. We now know what we should do differently if a similar situation were to arise. So, let’s call this new method of doing things “My Year in Review.”

Here’s what you need to review your year:

  • Paper/pen, computer, phone – use whichever of these you have access to
  • Your 2021 calendar
  • Social Media (FaceBook, Insta, Twitter, TikToK…)

Now let’s review!

  1. At the top of your list write “My Year in Review.”
  2. Then, divide your list into two columns. Label the first column as “Positive” and label the second column as “Negative.”
  3. Go through your 2021 calendar and social media pages and review. Take it day-by-day, week-by-week, or month-by-month depending on how in-depth you want your review to be.
  4. As you review the last year, write down any people, activities, commitments, events, etc., that trigger either positive or negative emotions. Put them in their respective columns.
  5. Once you have gone through everything, take a look at your positive and negative columns. What items under the positive list spark the most joy? What items on your negative list make you feel miserable?
  6. Based on your answers, take the positives that really jumped out at you and schedule MORE of those! Make plans with those people who bring out your best, look up your favorite band and see when they are playing near you, plan those activates that make you feel vibrant and alive – do MORE of what makes YOU happy!
  7. Now, for those pesky negatives that make you feel blah, make a separate list and at the top put “NOT-TO-DO-LIST”. Write down those negative people, relatives, activities, events, etc. that do NOT bring out your best. Toxic relationship? Nip that in the bud. Friends who cause more drama than it’s worth? Bye, Felicia! Activities that drain and zap your joy? Don’t do them! Put your NOT-TO-DO-LIST somewhere where you can see it every day for several weeks to be reminded of the things you DON’T want to do.

For 2022, focus on what makes you happy, on what fulfills you and brings you joy in your life. The NOT-TO-DO-LIST you know makes you miserable so don’t put it on your calendar out of obligation, FOMO, guilt, or other nonsense.

Emotionally, physically, mentally the last two years have been ROUGH so let’s resolve to do something that will start 2022 right and not something that’s setting us up for failure.

The future is in your hands – make the BEST of it!

Happy 2022 from your friends at Central Counties!

Home Safety

Poison Control & Prevention

If you suspect that you or someone you know has been poisoned, immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center.

Did you know that most poisoning accidents occur inside the home? Over 90% to be exact. Your home is meant to be a place of safety and refuge; not a place where poison-threats are lurking around each corner. Teaching your loved ones to never touch or put anything in their mouth unless they know what it is, is key to keeping everyone poison free. Follow along as we discuss common poison threats and ways to keep threats at bay in your home!


  • Keep all medicines, and potentially poisonous substances, in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Keep medicines in their original containers, properly labeled, and store them appropriately.
  • Never share prescription medicines. If you are taking more than one drug at a time, check with your health care provider, pharmacist, or call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center, to find out more about possible drug interactions.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. The best places for a CO detector are near bedrooms and close to furnaces.

Household products

  • Household cleaners and disinfectants can make you sick when not used properly. Always follow the instructions on the product label to ensure safe and effective use.
  • Bleach is especially toxic and should not be mixed with anything other than water.
  • Keep all household cleaners and potentially poisonous substances in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Keep products in their original containers. 
  • Do not use food containers (such as cups or bottles) to store household cleaners and other chemicals or products.
  • Keep all laundry products locked up, high, and out of the reach of children.
  • Do not use bleach on food products.
  • Avoid using household cleaners and disinfectants on hands or skin improperly.


  • Keep all chemicals and potentially poisonous substances in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Keep antifreeze and all chemicals and household products in their original containers.
  • Never mix household or chemical products together. Doing so can create a dangerous gas.

Back to school and art supplies

  • Some art products are mixtures of chemicals. They can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure children use art products safely by reading and following directions.
  • Do not eat or drink while using art products.
  • Wash skin after contact with art products. 
  • Clean equipment. Wipe tables, desks, and counters.
  • Keep art products in their original containers.


  • Wash fruits and vegetables with running water.
  • Do not wash meat, poultry or eggs.
  • Never use commercial cleaning products on food or food packaging.
  • Wash your hands and work surfaces before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Wash hands and counters before preparing all food.
  • Store food at the proper temperatures. Refrigerated foods should not be left out at temperatures above 40 degrees F (5 degrees C).
  • Use clean utensils for cooking and serving.

Animals and insects

  • Know what poisonous snakes live in your area and wear proper attire (boots, etc.) when hiking outdoors.
  • Check the label on any insect repellent. Be aware that most contain DEET, which can be poisonous in large quantities.

Plants, mushrooms and berries

  • Be sure that everyone in your family can identify poisonous mushrooms and plants.
  • Call your local poison center to learn about common poisonous plants in your area.

Watch these other helpful videos about poison control:

Credit: Information gathered from the HRSA website:


Summertime Water Safety

It can happen in an instant. You’re enjoying the sun at your local pool, or relaxing on family vacation by the ocean. You take your eyes off your child to read a couple lines in your book, reply to a text, or to reapply sunscreen. Then tragedy strikes. A child or a weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to do any of these activities.

Drowning incidents (death and/or injury) mostly happen in residential swimming pools; however, all it takes is one inch of water for heartbreak to strike. Buckets, bathtubs, wading pools, hot tubs, and even toilets pose a potential threat to the safety of your young children.

In addition to at home threats, open waters such as lakes, rivers, and oceans pose a drowning threat to older children as well. Most children who survive water submersion without brain damage are discovered within two minutes; 10 minutes is all it takes to lose a loved one forever.

As parents, caregivers, grandparents, and the like, what can we do to protect our kids, avoid risks, and respond appropriately in an emergency?

First, let’s look at the facts:

  • In the U.S. drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in children younger than four and teens.
  • Emergency room care is typically needed for non-fatal drowning injuries with half requiring extended hospital stays.    
  • Surviving a drowning can leave someone with severe brain damage – 5%-10% of childhood drowning cases result in long-term disability.

How kids drown varies by age:

  • < 1: babies most often drown in bathtubs, toilets, and buckets.
  • 1-4: young kids often drown in swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.
  • 5+, teens, and young adults: drowning incidents in these age groups are most likely to happen in natural bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers.

Despite the risks of drowning, drowning injuries and deaths are 100% preventable. So how do we keep our kids safe?

Supervision is KEY. Supervision of your children around any type of water is an absolute must. This is true if your child is by a wading pool, fish pond, swimming pool, ocean, or lake. Age and swimming skill level are not an exception to this rule.  

Swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are an important part of water safety. Training can reduce the risk of drowning and teach important lessons in water survival, flotation, and basic swimming. As a parent, if you do not know how to swim, it is highly recommended you take lessons as well.

You can search for instructors by visiting the YMCA or Red Cross websites.

Responding appropriately in an emergency situation can sometimes be the deciding factor between life and death.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). PFDs are helpful, but should never be used in place of swimming lessons or as a permanent solution for protection.

Diving. Don’t allow your child to dive in water less than nine feet deep. The probability of a traumatic neck injury increases exponentially in shallow waters.

Responding appropriately in an emergency situation can sometimes be the deciding factor between life and death. Surviving a drowning incident depends on a quick and efficient rescue and restarting breathing as quickly as possible. So what should you do in a water related emergency?

Learning CPR is a must. CPR is a life-saving skill that can be useful in a variety of emergency situations.

If a child is missing: always check the pool or other body of water first. Survival is dependent on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible.

If you find a child in the water: call loudly for help while getting the child out of water. If someone is nearby, give them a direct and clear order to call 911. Check to make sure the child’s air passage is clear. If the child is not breathing, start CPR if you are trained to do so. If you are not, follow the prompts given by the 911 operator.

If injury occurs from diving: keep the child on their back. Brace the neck and shoulders with your hands and forearms to keep the neck from moving about. Doing this can help prevent further injury to the neck and spine. It’s important to keep the child as still as possible and to speak in soft calming tones to keep the child comforted.

Summertime swimming is supposed to be fun and carefree – and it can be! We just need to make sure we stay alert, are prepared, and have the tools necessary to help us in the event of an emergency.

Information from this article was gathered from The American Red Cross and John Hopkins University.

2020, 2021, Change, Healthcare, Reflection, Uncategorized

2020: A Reflection and Hope for the Future

2020 has been…interesting to say the least. For many, 2020 seemed like a fresh start: a new year and a new decade. Many were making New Year’s resolutions and getting ready to dive into 2020 with a whole new perspective.

But almost as soon as the cheerful cries of a unified “Happy New Year” swept across the world a devastating reality hit; 2020 was not going to be all it was cracked up to be.

January started off with devastating wildfires in Australia where more than 47 million acres were destroyed. We were soon faced with a mysterious illness appearing in China and by the end of January we were facing a full-fledged global health emergency.

The US had her first reports of COVID-19 infected persons in February and by March, all 50 states had reported COVID-19 infections. Social distancing, isolation, and wearing masks would quickly become a part of normal everyday life. Hollywood and All-Star legends tragically passed. A President was impeached and our stock market crashed.

Unprecedented civil unrest swept over the nation and deeper divides seemed to tear our nation in two. The passing of loved ones. Murder hornets, livelihoods lost, the Beirut explosion, west coast wild fires, the election, and a new mutated strand of COVID-19 sweeping over the UK topped off an unimaginable 2020. 

It really is an understatement to call this past year anything short of a disaster.

However, if we leave it at that, if we all decide to wash our hands of 2020 with nothing of merit coming out of it, then we lose. But if we perhaps learned something new, grew closer to loved ones in their absence, slowed down a bit, or showed love to a stranger, then we WIN.

Yes, 2020 has been littered with devastation at every turn, but 2020 is full of stories of love, compassion, and moments of hope. Just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, we have learned to adapt and make the best out of our situations.

Medical clinics have been adapting to new ways to treat patients. Business and schools have moved to online meeting platforms. Locals have helped smaller businesses succeed by online shopping and curbside pick-up. Quarantine has helped us reconnect with old hobbies and learn new ones. Social distancing has made us reevaluate those who are important to us and connect with them on a deeper level.

Then there are the stories of hope and unity like the 103-year-old grandma who beat COVID-19 and celebrated by having a Bud. Beloved restaurants shared their recipes so we could make them at home. People helped people by making masks for friends, family, and community members. There was an influx of pet adoptions during the pandemic. We discovered new ways of celebrating milestones like zoom parties and drive-by birthdays. And so much more.

So yes, 2020 was hard and devastating at times, but 2020 also helped us see the beauty in small things and delight in the every day.

So what now? 2020 is gone and 2021 has officially arrived. Once that glittery ball dropped and the year officially became 2021, a collective sigh of relief could be heard from every direction.

There is a lot of hope riding on this New Year.

We have a vaccine that has been developed in record time and has been distributed all over the world. Hope.

A newfound appreciation and realization of the importance of our healthcare workers. The need for well operating healthcare systems has been pushed to the forefront of decision-makers minds as they realize no society can properly function without it. Hope.

Humanity has shown us great strengths though these times of difficulties. Dancing and singing from balconies. Messages of peace, love, and support for our wonderful medical personnel. Neighbors helping neighbors. Hope.

There are many more reasons to hope in the New Year. Sometimes reflecting on what was and what is to come helps bring in some perspective. If you wish, here are some prompts to help you reflect on the goings of 2020 and the comings of 2021.

For 2020

  • What is the most important lesson(s) you learned?
  • What is the best thing that happened to you?
  • What did you overcome?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you fail?
  • What would you do differently if you could?

For 2021

  • How will you make this year matter?
  • How will you help others?
  • What do you want to change? About yourself? About life in general?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What is your overall intention for this New Year?
  • If you need help, will you ask for help? From who?

2020 was a significant year in our lives, in the world, and in history. Our lives have been forever impacted. Let us learn from the lessons 2020 has taught us individually and as a nation. Let us move forward in unity.

We are better together.

Healthy Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Summer Fun.

Summer has officially arrived and it’s time to have fun outdoors taking in everything the season has to offer. It’s important for you and your family to stay safe in the hot summer heat. Here are a few tips to keep you and the kids happy, safe, and healthy during the summer months.

Stay Hydrated.

Drinking enough water throughout the day can sometimes be difficult, but it’s an important habit for us to form.

A good way to get extra hydration is to eat foods with a high water content. Water hides in a lot of the foods we eat accounting for almost 20% of our daily water intake. Foods with high water content include:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries

Another good way to make sure we stay hydrated is to drink a glass of water with every meal and snack. This will also help with digesting foods.

We should also be aware of the types of liquids we put in our body. Try to avoid drinks high in sugars like fruit drinks and sodas as they can actually dehydrate us.

Water is a first choice for hydration, but sometimes water can be too plain. For some added flavor, try infusing water with fruits, herbs, or cucumber! Yum!!

Stay Safe in the Sun.

It’s important to always practice sun safety, but especially in the summer months when the sun is at its hottest. One of the best ways to practice sun safety is to avoid it altogether. Only joking…sort of! Between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm we should try to remain in shaded areas and wear protective clothing as much as possible.

But for a day out at the pool or running around the park, shade is not always possible – that’s why it’s a good idea to lather up in some sunscreen. It’s important to know what to look for when choosing a sunscreen. Experts recommend the following:

  • Sunscreen should have an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen which helps block UVA and UVB rays

Other tips to remember:

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes BEFORE going out into the sun
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours
  • Waterproof sunscreens are not always reliable, so you should still reapply every two hours and after swimming or playing in the water

We hope you and your families have a safe, healthy, and F-U-N summer!