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Living Well Month - March 2020


Good Morning, this is your Wellness Wake Up Call with Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition and wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

Raising kids, eating right, spending smart, living well—that’s the theme of a national Living Well Campaign that is being promoted by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in Illinois. The goal of the Living Well Campaign is to provide people with the education and information they need in order to “live well.”  

In 2005 Living Well Week was developed to encourage all Americans to improve their health and well-being by taking advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the local Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professionals through the state and national Cooperative Extension System. For several years, Extension Living Well Week was celebrated the second full week of March each year.

In October 2009, the NEAFCS Board expanded the celebration to encompass the entire month of March, and is now officially known as Extension Living Well Month.

As a local Extension FCS professional, it is my goal to provide practical, relevant, non-biased, research-based information. My priority areas include food safety and presevation and chronic disease prevention and management programs in the 4 counties I serve.

FCS Educators have been providing educational services to improve the lives of individuals and families in their communities for over 100 years. We are the original social influencers!

Whether you are trying to manage your diabetes through meal planning and exercise, make decisions about health care and insurance, or get tips on effective parenting techniques, Extension probably has a research-based answer.

At one time FCS educators were called Home Demonstration Agents and they travelled by train and buggy to people’s homes to provide education. Now, the vehicle of choice may be smart phones or other technologies to reach people in their homes.

No matter the mode of delivery, the essence of FCS can be summarized in three words: head, heart, and soul. The head is intellectual foundation of the field. The heart is the mission, which reflects our passion. Soul is what inspires and motivates us giving meaning to our work.¹

In honor of Living Well Month I wanted to share some information that might inspire you as you work toward your health goals. I can’t stress how important it is to take time for yourself and consider what you need to stay well.

Self-care is self-love. It’s a way of living each day that incorporates health promoting behaviors to improve your overall well-being. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine will keep you feeling motivated to reach your goals.

There is not a one-size-fits-all self-care plan so focus on the activities and practices that bring joy to your life.

Start by considering the different dimensions of wellness when working on your self-care plan: including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, and social behaviors. Where are your strengths and what are possible areas of opportunity?

When we find time to focus on each of these dimensions we’ll bring more harmony and balance in to our lives. Self-care is a necessary thing that people often neglect. More will lead to self-compassion and the ability to extend that compassion to others.

Take time this March to focus on your goals and connect with someone to support you on that journey whether it’s a spouse, coworker or online community. I like to call this your partner in purpose. Who knows, you may become the source of inspiration in someone else’s life.  

For more information on Living Well Month, upcoming nutrition & wellness programs and a recording of today’s episode, visit WVIK.org/wellness.

This has been Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition & wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

Wellness Wake Up Call is produced by WVIK in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, and sponsored by The Planning Center in Moline, assisting men and women with financial wellness and preparation for life's transitions, including retirement planning, college savings, marital changes, and estate planning.  

Additional Resources:

University of Illinois Extension nutrition & wellness programs

Living Well Month

Nutrition & Wellness Resources

Kristin Bogdonas believes that everyone deserves access to fresh, affordable food and is committed to helping people improve their health literacy. In this digital age it can be difficult to decipher what nutrition information is accurate and what is hype. Connecting people with factual information and evidenced-based programs will help people build the skills and attain the knowledge necessary for positive behavior change. Although nutrition is important for a long and healthy life, one should not overlook the other dimensions of health required for overall wellbeing; physical, mental, emotional, vocational, spiritual, environmental and social. Each dimension impacting the next.