An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Fostering Healthy Emotions

older couple

The intention of this blog is to create and foster healthy emotions in this season of increased fear and helplessness. Many are focusing on coping skills to deal with fear and loss, but I think the more expansive focus needs to be on connecting to our hearts and the unlimited potential beyond the problem of this moment. Granted, this virus is changing how we all do life in the present and probably in the future. Most folks, whether at home or in nursing homes, no matter their age, feel the need to get back in control of their lives.


Rhythm keeps the elderly sane and could do the same for all of us during this time. In addition to daily rhythms, connecting to a bigger rhythm than this virus story could be very helpful. This is a perfect time to connect to our deeper self, our soul, God (whomever or whatever you call the source of Divine Love). In the tumult of today, stopping and connecting to the essence and spirit of the unchanging rhythms of the universe (the earth, moon, stars, and sun) can also provide the structure that we need.


In this season of life, what would happen if we focused on….

What makes us feel alive rather than on what brings us grief and a sense of loss?

Finding our wholeness and happiness within ourselves rather than only in people, places and things?

Remembering healthy emotions from our past and reconnecting to them?


With those you love, within your homes/churches/workplaces, within zoom groups, within nursing homes, and everywhere, we could be asking the following questions to create healthy emotions:

-What is your ritual and rhythm for yourself? How do you structure your life?

-Tell us a story about when you felt daring and wild and invincible, perhaps as an adolescent.

-When do you feel most alive?

-What makes you unique?

-What makes you human, not a robot….things that can’t be taken away from you…like creativity, compassion, inspiration, strength, courage?

-How do you lift your spirits?

-Can you remember dancing? What song/songs? What lit up your heart?

-Tell a powerful story, not a sad one, from your life. How are you a light bearer?

-What are three things that are true to you?

-Place your feet on the ground or floor. Imagine becoming a tree and let your roots go down deeply into the earth, like a magnet is pulling you deeper and deeper. What tree are you?

-What do you do with your hands…like gardening, building, knitting, and practical skills?

-What is a thought you could put in your mind that creates stability not helplessness?

-What do you have that no one else does? Reach that gift within yourself.

-When do you feel valuable? Helpful? Helped?

- In this past week, what caused you to feel joy, even for just a few moments? Where in your body was the feeling the strongest?

-With whom do you feel most at peace and able to be yourself? If you cannot think of someone, could it be when you’re in nature or with your pets?

-What makes your heart sing?

-How have you created structure and discipline in your home?

-Can you remember a time when you met someone whose energy was so peaceful and pure that you immediately felt calmer and more at peace with yourself?


The key underlying message is this…how can I encourage you to be the best you can be? How do we come together and work together from a place of love, not fear. Creating structure from fear is devastating but creating structure from love is magnificent!