The new year is a great time to take an assessment of your health (and the health of your family!)

Questions to ask yourself are:

  • Does your current physician – primary care provider, eye doctor, dentist, gynocologist – take the time to listen to your needs and provide personalized care?  Do you feel valued when you visit their office?  Does your doctor and their office staff treat you like a person, not just a patient?  If not, now is a great time to establish care with a new provider.

  • Is there something on your mind or something you’ve been putting off getting checked out? Do you have chronic pain, a hitch in your back or knee or something else that just doesn’t seem right? Make an appointment and get it checked out.

  • Are you and your family up to date on screenings and immunizations? Most people put off routine screenings for mammograms, pap smears, annual immunizations and more during the pandemic. Make a commitment (and an appointment!) to get back on track.

  • Are you drinking enough water? I find that measuring my intake (I fill a container in the morning and refill my glass all day long) brings me closer to my goal.

  • Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? It is easy to get stuck in a run, eating the same things over and over.  Mix it up by adding at least one new fruit or vegetable into your diet every week. Let your kids help you choose and have everyone taste and decide if it will stay in your rotation. A local farmers market is a great place to find fresh and interesting seasonal fruits and vegetables that you may not find in grocery stores.

  • How active are you? You don’t have to commit to running marathons, but small adjustments like choosing to park a little farther away from the store or taking the stairs more often can help you get a little more activity into your life.

  • Are you limiting your screen time? You should.  Screen free time can be an evening, an hour or whatever fits into your family schedule. It will give your children a chance to self-soothe and be creative, and it may result in some great family conversations.

  • What brings you joy? Make time for a hobby that makes you happy. Music, art, exercise, sewing, volunteering, reading – whatever makes you smile – schedule it into your day!

  • Are you surrounding yourself with the people (and animals) you love? Be sure to make time to see your friends and/or their pets. Both have been shown to lower blood pressure and release endorphins.

  • What are you doing with your free time? Volunteering has ben proven to improve mental and physical health, including reduced incidence of depression and anxiety, as well as a decreased risk of health disease, stroke and more. There are opportunities for seniors, adults, teens, and kids.  Visit for a variety of opportunities that can be sorted by interest.

  • How are you sleeping? Make a few changes to get a better night’s sleep! Take lights out of your bedroom. Set the temperature to a comfortable level, slightly on the cool side. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and limit blue screens for 30 minutes before bed.

  • Do you need a mental health break? Make time for mindful meditation. Studies show that just 10 minutes of meditation can help reduce anxiety and depression and is beneficial to your overall mental health.