What’s New

Managing Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic (4/21/2022) by Beth Kerr - Are you feeling a lot of stress these days? Just know that you are not alone! While people in the U.S. were reporting high levels of stress before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the pandemic has led to a tremendous amount of additional stress for many people. Not only can the high levels… more
Dr. Danyluk’s food safety team and CREC’s open house standing under a white tent and doing the UF gator chomp Research Journeys Update: Mari Schroeder, Food Safety Trainings and Microbial Contamination (4/18/2022) by Jessie Erwin - We are excited to welcome back Mari Schroeder to FSHN Research Journeys, our blog series that follows the research of graduate students in the Food Science and Human Nutrition program at The University of Florida. Mari is completing the second year of her Food Science Ph.D. program under the guidance of Dr. Michelle Danyluk. Read about her project on… more
How to recognize stress (4/17/2022) by Beth Kerr - There is more than enough stress to go around these days, and we all experience stress to a varying degree on a daily basis. In fact, stress has become so much a part of our lives that sometimes we don’t even realize how much stress we are experiencing, and how it is affecting us. Keep… more
Sleep Well! (4/12/2022) by Beth Kerr - Sleep’s Role in Health during the Pandemic  The coronavirus has disrupted lives, work and school routines and even sleep patterns. As you continue to adjust to the pandemic, it is important to evaluate your sleep health. Healthy sleep habits can improve your immune system, your mood, and productivity. Plus, a good night’s rest can lessen… more
Sleep health impacted by COVID-19  (4/3/2022) by Beth Kerr - The continuation of the pandemic has impacted healthy sleep patterns for people across the globe. Research studies conducted to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on quality sleep have found an increase in anxiety, sleep fragmentation, and insomnia. Some of the main influences include frequent exposure to COVID-19 news, fears about contracting the virus, periods of… more
Benefits of Stretching and Flexibility Exercises  (4/3/2022) by Beth Kerr - The COVID-19 pandemic has led many of us to alter our usual routines. With such dramatic changes, including access and comfort with going to the gym or fitness centers, we are all more open to negative mental and physical health problems.  In addition to regular aerobic physical activity and strength training exercises, stretching is an… more
Benefits of Physical Activity and COVID-19 Prevention  (3/20/2022) by Beth Kerr - If the COVID-19 pandemic has brought anything to our lives, it may very well be the opportunity for self-care, stress management and more physical activity. Sadly, for many, it has become a time of stress, weight gain, depression, and decreased activity. Consistently engaging in physical activity throughout one’s life has valuable benefits including the ability… more
Join us for a Lunch-and-Learn Series in April: Invest in Your World, Invest in You (3/17/2022) by sbresin - The Family and Consumer Sciences agents of the Southwest Florida District have a myriad of program expertise, and now they are coming together to share it in a free four-part virtual series. With Earth Day coming up, the agents tied in this year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in Our Planet, with the theme of investing… more
Support Your Immune System with Vitamins and Minerals (3/13/2022) by Beth Kerr - Don’t just take your vitamins, eat your vitamins! When deciding what to eat or drink, choose foods and beverages that are full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc.  Vitamins and minerals are natural components of a healthy diet and essential for a strong immune system.  The immune system is a… more
groupd of people jogging to improve physical fitness Hit Your Fitness Goals with Let’s Walk Florida! (3/9/2022) by Morgan - Written by: Angelika Keene, Public Health Specialist This year, it is more important than ever to focus on adopting a healthier lifestyle. If you started 2022 with goals of improving your health, fitness, and well-being but have had trouble getting started or sticking with it, you are not alone. If you are ready to make… more
Strengthen Your Defenses Against COVID-19 With Nutrition (3/2/2022) by Beth Kerr -   As a person that understands the value of nutrition, I generally try to lead by example. For years I have been an advocate for healthy eating and used meaningful nutrition messages to inspire others to do the same. These messages have ranged from “choose a diet with plenty of vegetables” to “vary your vegetables.”… more
Chronic Disease and COVID-19 (3/2/2022) by Beth Kerr - For many Americans, healthy lifestyles are important for proper management of chronic conditions such as overweight/obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and type 2 diabetes (sugar/diabetes). However, many of us struggle with the time and resources needed to meet daily demands of the various roles we carry such as significant other, parent, caregiver, and employee or… more
Live COVID Smart (2/23/2022) by KGriffin - LIVE COVID SMART  The COVID-19 PANDEMIC has had a major impact on all of our lives. There may actually be no words that truly reflect the human experience during this time. Two years in, we are still trying to stay safe from the virus that causes COVID-19. Safety strategies, such as staying inside, closing schools,… more
Why You Already Quit Your New Year’s Resolution, and How to Reset (2/16/2022) by Ashley Johnston - Here we are, already more than halfway through February of the new year; can you believe it? Still, January (the quintessential month of the ever-so- talked-about resolutions) isn't very far behind us. While January represents a time of change and new beginnings, maybe you noticed a bit of shift when it comes to the big… more
Walk Across Wakulla with us! (1/31/2022) by Samantha Kennedy - The second annual "Walk Across Wakulla" event officially begins on February 7, 2022. Come join us! The UF/IFAS Wakulla Extension office invites you and your family to Walk Across Wakulla with us! From February 7 until March 7, 2022, participants will be walking 32 or more miles to represent the distance from the Franklin county… more
New Year. New Thinking. (1/21/2022) by Brenda Marty-Jimenez - This is the time many people are thinking about new ideas, things they want to change and resolutions to be made to make for a better year.  Thoughts, actions, and knowledge matter when making healthy changes. Here are some ideas to consider when getting started and informational links in case you are interested in learning… more
Benefits of Physical Activity and COVID-19 Prevention (12/3/2021) by Beth Kerr - If the COVID-19 pandemic has brought anything to our lives, it may very well be the opportunity for self-care, stress management and more physical activity. Sadly, for many, it has become a time of stress, weight gain, depression, and decreased activity. Harnessing the power of physical activity may be one of our most valuable tools… more
Support Your Immune System with Vitamins and Minerals (11/22/2021) by Beth Kerr - Don’t just take your vitamins, eat your vitamins! When deciding what to eat or drink, choose foods and beverages that are full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. Vitamins and minerals are natural components of a heathy diet and essential for a strong immune system. The immune system is a… more
Strengthen Your Defenses Against COVID-19 With Nutrition (11/10/2021) by Beth Kerr - As a person that understands the value of nutrition, I generally try to lead by example. For years I have been an advocate for healthy eating and used meaningful nutrition messages to inspire others to do the same. These messages have ranged from “choose a diet with plenty of vegetables to vary your vegetables.” Nutrition… more
Applying the Three Secrets of Resilient People to Your Life During a Pandemic (10/6/2021) by Shawn Jackson - The COVID Pandemic has been a source of stress and adversity for adults and youth alike over the last year. Many have seen their lives turned upside down due to loss of a job, change in working conditions, home schooling of children, and in the unfortunate cases of some, the loss of loved ones. For… more
There is No WiFi in the Woods, But a Better Connection (9/23/2021) by Tharpe - The change of seasons here in North Florida provides a time to encourage kids to put away the tablets and phones and get in touch with the outdoors. Youth need time to reconnect with nature. A great way to teach them about the great outdoors is to load up on a family field trip to… more
Mindfulness as a Tool to De-Stress (8/30/2021) by Megann Cady - With school starting in-person this year during a global pandemic, youth are stressed, parents are stressed, and teachers are stressed. I think it is fair to say that just about everyone is stressed. Mindfulness tools can be a great way to unburden ourselves from the stresses we feel, not only from a pandemic, but from… more
The Silent Signs of Drowning (8/3/2021) by Joanna Courtemanche - Until recently mental health has been a "hush hush" topic. Unfortunately, many people have been pushed to the breaking point due to untreated mental illnesses. Nowadays many children and teenagers face an adverse number of battles; many of which have faced some type of trauma growing up. Adverse Childhood Experiences otherwise known as ACE’s can… more
CD9 (6/1/2021) by Joanna Courtemanche - 10 Most Common Problems Teenagers Face Nowadays it seems as though teens are glued to social media platforms, texting, and gaming. CD9! Most commonly known as a law enforcement code to signal danger in a situation, teenagers use this code as slang while texting in order to let their friends know an adult or parent… more
sign that reads sun sun sun Celebrating Outdoors – Sun Safety (5/25/2021) by Wendy Lynch - Time to Celebrate! As we move towards Memorial Day weekend, many of us may have plans to spend it outdoors grilling, enjoying the beach or lake, picnicking with friends, and remembering those special people in our lives who have passed while serving our country. As you celebrate and honor the service women and men and… more
sign that reads sun sun sun Celebrating Outdoors – Sun Safety (5/25/2021) by Wendy Lynch - Time to Celebrate! As we move towards Memorial Day weekend, many of us may have plans to spend it outdoors grilling, enjoying the beach or lake, picnicking with friends, and remembering those special people in our lives who have passed while serving our country. As you celebrate and honor the service women and men and… more
Mindfulness (5/14/2021) by kpopa - We have been hearing about mindfulness more within the past couple of years, but what does it really mean and how does it apply to 4-H? Mindfulness by definition is a mental state of full awareness and full acceptance of the present moment. When being mindful, someone should pay attention to their thoughts, emotions and… more
Florida-Friendly Gardening Therapy (1/27/2021) by Jennifer Hagen - For a while, I was OK with COVID. Not happy, but you could say “average.” After almost a year of this pandemic, like most folks, COVID fatigue has set in for me. When the pandemic struck, I needed to find something I could control. With the stay-at-home order in place, like many of you, my… more
Community Highlights: Writing & Support Group (1/26/2021) by Kim Scotto - This semester, we are highlighting members of the SFRC community who have gone above and beyond in adapting with new methods of teaching, research, and Extension this past year. Do you know a student, faculty, or staff member who embodies this excellence? Nominate them here. Graduate Student Writing Group By Ana Luiza Violato Espada, PhD… more
Community Highlights: Writing & Support Group (1/26/2021) by Kim Scotto - This semester, we are highlighting members of the SFRC community who have gone above and beyond in adapting with new methods of teaching, research, and Extension this past year. Do you know a student, faculty, or staff member who embodies this excellence? Nominate them here. Graduate Student Writing Group By Ana Luiza Violato Espada, PhD… more
banner with logos Tips & Tools to Help You “Walk Across Wakulla” (1/22/2021) by Samantha Kennedy - On January 11, 2021, the UF/IFAS Extension Service kicked off the first-ever "Walk Across Wakulla" campaign. This campaign is focused on increasing the wellness and physical activity of Wakulla County residents (or anyone else who would like to join). Walk Across Wakulla challenges participants - youth and adults alike - to walk at least 32… more
Breathe Into the New Year (1/15/2021) by Samantha Kennedy - Guess what, guys? We made it! We have finally put 2020 behind us and are now looking forward to 2021. I, for one, am hopeful. I am expecting great things from this year. Admittedly, I have not always had an optimistic outlook. I used to like to say that I was a natural-born cynic. And… more
New Year, New You?!?! (1/6/2021) by Lori Wiggins - A new year means it’s time for new year’s resolutions, right? For 2021, why not go gentle on the resolutions, keeping in mind that your nerves might be frayed, your zest for a life overhaul a bit depleted? You might look at resolutions as ways to tinker with your habits, not to totally replace them.… more
finding self-compassion for a smooth holiday season written on top of multi color ornaments Finding Self-Compassion for a Smooth Holiday Season (12/11/2020) by Heather Janney - During the holidays, we often find that sense of giving and the conviction to extend empathy and compassion to all of those around us. If anyone around us is hurting, we often lend a listening ear or even a shoulder to cry on. The holidays make this all that much more necessary for so many.… more
clock Improving Mood & Finding Balance (12/2/2020) by Lori Johnson - Each year, month, and maybe each day bring on a new set of situations that need to be handled. How you handle them may differ based on the impact of the situation. Your stress level may range from not bothersome to extremely bothersome. It’s important to identify triggers for stress in your life to create… more
Pictures of cups of herbal tea Tea Thyme: Herbal Tea Gardening (9/13/2020) by William Lester - I’ve been making a lot of tea these days... The CDC has been recommending drinking lots of liquids to relieve coronavirus symptoms, but let’s be honest, any reason is a good excuse to make tea! My go-to right now is Ginger-Turmeric-Lemongrass tea. It takes a little bit of effort, but the end result is more… more
Professor contributes to book on mindfulness (8/31/2020) by Mike Loizzo - A new book, The Routledge Companion to Mindfulness at Work, will be released in September 2020. It is described as “a comprehensive primary reference work for mindfulness (including creativity and flow) in the workplace, including business, healthcare, and educational settings.” Dr. Sabine Grunwald, Professor in the UF/IFAS Soil and Water Sciences Department and Director of… more
Laugh today! Reduce your stress! (8/13/2020) by Beth Kerr - Feeling tired? Overwhelmed? Are deadlines looming? Has quarantine got you down? If you need a boost of energy, stress relief, or an infusion of inspiration, try laughter! Laughter changes us! Our facial muscles are stretched, our pulse and blood pressure increase, and we breath deeper and faster, sending oxygen-enriched blood to our organs and tissues.… more
chalkboard on wooden slat table Self-Care Tips During Stressful Times (7/31/2020) by Wendy Lynch - Self-care is what you do for yourself to maintain good physical and mental health. Often in times of stress, we may be less inclined to take good care of ourselves and put self-care on hold. However, it is during stressful times when it is especially important to be aware of how well we are caring… more
Your Body’s Response to Stress (7/28/2020) by Wendy Lynch - Whether you consider a stress to positive or negative, your body reacts by releasing stress hormones and in turn, your body responds. Depending on the severity or type of stress you might be experiencing, your body is likely releasing stress hormones. The release of stress hormones can lead to physiological changes such as increased heart… more
crashing waves on a beach 5 Techniques to Reduce Stress (7/28/2020) by Wendy Lynch - It is only natural to experience stress; however, chronic stress is damaging to our mind and body. You may be able to reduce your exposure to certain stressors; However, it is not possible to eliminate stress in its entirety. One way you can help offset the negative consequences of the chronic stress response is to… more
Mindful Listening (7/14/2020) by Heather Janney - Mindfulness, being alert and present in the moment is what can help in this. For the average person, photographers could be looked at as being mindful by using their senses. They look around them for the beauty through the lens of their camera. When a sound is heard it draws their attention to something new,… more
Mindfully Gardening (6/18/2020) by Heather Janney - Its about being all around healthy I know you've learned about exercising your body and I'm certain you've thought about how that translates to the garden. Now, what about your mind? Yes, your mind needs attention just as much as your physical body. We call it practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention to what is… more
4-H youth Emotion Myths vs. Facts for Youth (5/29/2020) by Daniel Gonzalez - BELLE GLADE, Fla. - Life is emotional. The loss of a loved one, finding the love of your life, meeting your children for the first time, all are examples of incredible emotional extremes the average human may come across within a few year's time. What about making a new friend, failing an exam, or realizing… more
Mindful Breathing (5/15/2020) by Heather Janney - Youth can practice mindfulness the same way as adults. However, hey, let's admit, not all of us have the same attention span. Sometimes it needs to be shorter and maybe even more engaging to trap your attention for a longer period of time. The best way is to simply breathe! What is Mindful Breathing? Mindfulness… more
Mindful Eating (5/15/2020) by Heather Janney - If you're anything like the rest of the world, right now, you are probably sitting around at home and could be just throwing everything you see in your mouth! Wow, at the amount of food people are consuming as almost a coping mechanism to make it through the "new world" we've run into. There is… more
Finding an Anchor (5/14/2020) by Heather Janney - It’s hard for people to focus when they try to practice mindfulness. I know I get lost in my memories, start thinking of things that will happen tomorrow or well even in the next 15 minutes, and I certainly struggle with focusing on just being in the now. With practicing mindfulness its best to have… more
Heartfulness (5/13/2020) by Heather Janney - In the Mindfulness Series: What is Mindfulness?, we learned that mindfulness is simply being present in that moment and using your five senses to be. Heartfulness is a continuation of this being. It is a way of going deeper into it. Heartfulness is going beyond the body, mind, and feelings and looking at your heart.… more
Awareness and Intelligence with Emotions (5/4/2020) by Heather Janney - Emotion is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "any agitation or disturbance of mind, feeling, passion; any vehement or excited mental state. Emotions are a part of every human being. There are hundreds of emotions along with variations, mutations, and blends of those emotions. They tell us about what we are experiencing and help… more
Identifying Emotions (5/4/2020) by Heather Janney - How are you feeling right this very moment? Do you know what how you are feeling is called? Are you curious, excited, happy, sad, or bored? And do you know why? Sometimes it can be very hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that you are feeling. Emotions come and go. They can be mild,… more

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