It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago a global pandemic was declared. These were and continue to be unprecedented times that have impacted our health and wellness. Whether it be large-scale business shutdowns, stay at home orders or physical distancing, older adults are particularly vulnerable to isolation and feelings of depression.

Luther Village’s Social Worker, Donna Faus, M.A., R.S.W., has been helping to prevent this by offering 1:1 support to our residents. With Donna’s vast experience as a Social Worker and Mental Health Clinician with Lutherwood, she is the perfect person to provide tips, resources, and important facts to consider when considering ones Emotional Wellness. 

cup of coffee

Donna shares this analogy to help us understand personal wellness, “A vehicle requires fuel and regular maintenance to operate effectively. Without maintenance, the vehicle can run poorly or stop running altogether. Similarly, our bodies and minds need ongoing nourishment and care. This is achieved in part by eating healthy, being physically active, getting proper sleep, and practicing mindfulness.”

sign that says mindfulness


Another critical component to personal wellbeing is one’s emotional health.

The National Center for Emotional Wellness defines this as “an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and your ability to manage effectively through challenges and change”. As we live through this pandemic, we see how it can provoke sadness, distress, or uneasy feelings. In some individuals there may be the tendency to deny them or push them away.

In her work, Donna reminds us of the importance of acknowledging all feelings, including the negative ones, ignoring them can have prolonged and negative outcomes. She recommends allowing yourself to grieve and to process the global crisis at your own pace. Talking to a professional can also help. There are many counselling supports available that can be accessed from your own home using technology. 


food displayed beautifully on a wooden tray

According to the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, feeling grateful and appreciating others triggers hormone production and the regulation of the immune system. Donna believes that practicing gratitude has other health benefits which include lifting one’s mood and creating more positive thoughts overall. These are especially important during this pandemic when many of us are isolated.  Reflect on the things you can do and the positive things you are grateful for.

Tips for maintaining your emotional well-being during a pandemic:


  1. MOVE YOUR BODY. Go for walks or safely exercise in your home. Nothing feels better than moving your body and getting your blood flowing.
  2. INFORMATION OVERLOAD AWARENESS. Schedule ‘down times’ and limit the amount of information you take in. While reading, watching TV, or scrolling the internet are good past-time activities, they can take away from quiet time to self-reflect.
  3. MAINTAIN ROUTINE. It could be as simple as getting dressed rather than staying in pajamas for the day. Try to go bed and get up at the same time as you did prior to the pandemic.
  4. EAT HEALTHY. Eating nutritious meals is an important way to nourish the body. Avoid skipping meals or snacking excessively.  Stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
  5. REFLECT ON THINGS YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR. Focus on the things you can do! Call, or video chat with friends or family if possible. Listen to music, work on a puzzle, knit, sit outside, garden or cook. Immerse yourself in hobbies and other activities you enjoy.

Sign that says "enjoy the simple things"
Helpful Resources:

The Center for Loss 

The COVID-19 Bill of Rights

Loss and Life Transition

Mindfulness Awareness Research 


Mental Health 24/7: 1-844-437-3247
Distress Centre: 519-745-1166