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Jackie Joens - Strengthening relationships one conversation at a time.
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Here are some good articles or sources of information to help you and your loved ones during this crisis.

  1. Psychology Today article – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-mentality/202003/coping-coronavirus-stress
  1. National Public Radio – https://www.npr.org/2020/03/25/819164321/coronavirus-podcast-playlists-manage-stress-and-stay-informed
  1. University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital – https://uichildrens.org/health-library/managing-stress-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
  1. AARP – https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/coronavirus-anxiety.html
  1. The New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/smarter-living/coronavirus-anxiety-tips.html
  1. World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/coping-with-stress.pdf?sfvrsn=9845bc3a_2
  1. Iowa Chapter of the American Counseling Association telehealth counseling options: https://feelgoodiowa.com/


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Are you taking care of your mental health?

First and foremost, I pray that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

This is a very trying time for everyone.  First responders and health care workers now find themselves on the front lines, fighting an invisible foe.  Friends and neighbors are socially distant during a time we could all use love and support – sometimes just a hug.  Yet, as United States citizens, we are all called to do our part and stay socially distant to lower the Covid-19 curve.

I am more than aware of the increasing need for mental health support and care during these unprecedented times.  There are many who have been forced to continue working in a crowded, nonessential businesses when working from home is possible.  There are health care workers and first responders going to work every day without enough personal protection gear.  These same people face increasing numbers of sick and dying.  There are elderly isolated from loved ones.  There are children removed from a regular routine and isolated from their friends.  There are government leaders trying to figure out what to do, with no historic examples from our past.  There are people who have been laid off and wonder when financial relief will come.  All of us are waiting and wondering where the next attack will be.  If we are sick, we wonder if we are ill enough to be tested. There are so many in need.  There is so much stress!

As a mental health care provider, I am going to try and focus my blog page on ways you can take care of yourself and your loved ones during this challenging time.  I welcome any suggestions you may have that could help support each other as we move forward through another month of social distancing.

My mental health counseling office, New Hope, has been offering telehealth counseling sessions for the past two weeks.  If you are interested in telehealth counseling sessions, we are offering them to current and new clients.  Most insurance companies are now reimbursing providers for telehealth counseling sessions.  Contact our business office for details.  www.grownewhope.com

Our lives have seriously been disrupted and our health is threatened.  Social distancing helps us protect our physical health but what are you doing about your mental health?  It is important you take care of all of you.  (Probably more important than ever!)

Fear should have no place in our day to day concerns.  (Nor should the fear of toilet paper shortages. – a little touch at humor.)  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Please check the coming Covid-19 resource post and stay mentally healthy as best you can.

Posted in STAY WELL DURING COVID-19 CRISIS, Uncategorized.

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Today is election day.  It feels as if it is so much more.

God gifted humanity some of the most beautiful places in the galaxy.  We have a planet that is filled with such breathtaking reminders of his love for us that these scenes have inspired some of the most wonderful works of art.  I am in awe when I think of the majesty of our world and its beauty.  We were gifted this planet and all that is in it.  Are we taking good care of it?  We were charged with its care and survival.  “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke12:48)

In our world, we do not always understand our neighbors.  It is often times hard for us to embrace the differences we see. Yet these differences are what can bring such depth of color that heightens the beauty of this earth and our lives here.  As a student of human behavior and thoughts, I am constantly humbled by the glorious wonder of the human being, especially the human mind.  It is as if we have a galaxy in our brain. So much that is unknown and so much yet to explore and learn.  When we understand our limits and humble our ego to embrace the differences that our neighbors possess, our lives become enriched.  There is a reason God told us to love our neighbors.  We can learn so much from them and we become our best selves when we do. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31)

So often, we become afraid of what we do not understand.  Rather than trying to understand, we run away or build walls where bridges need to be erected.  We are afraid of things that we do not know.  We are so afraid!  Yet, God reassures us to not hold on to our fear.  He has our backs.  He is always with us.  Why do you think there are 365 reminders to not be afraid in the Bible?  God knows we will be afraid so he gave us a reminder for every day of the year.  When we are afraid we should put our trust solely in God, not in man. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3) 

Instead of being afraid, what if we were to simply love our neighbors by serving them?  Can you imagine what the world would be like if we were all more interested in serving rather than fearing?  Christ clearly taught the importance of becoming a servant.  He led by example.  Throughout his teachings we are reminded of the importance of serving and giving, especially to those who are in need.  Love is not just a feeling.  It is an action word and we are called to love unconditionally and totally.  When presented with a neighbor’s need, a Christian needs to meet that need and share.  Nothing on this earth belongs to any person.  It is all God’s.  We are simple stewards of the gifts we’ve been given and we are called upon to give and to share as God has with us.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:35-40)

Today is Election Day.  Many are going to the polls in fear.  They are fearful that they may have to give up something they own to someone else.  They are fearful that someone might get something for free.  They are fearful that by thinking of the greater good, they may loose out on what they want or feel they deserve.  They are fearful that if they don’t build walls to keep people away from their things that these things may disappear and they will not have as much.  They are fearful of what they do not understand. 

I challenge everyone to look beyond their fear and to trust God.  He has always had great instructions and answers to every problem we could face.  He has instructed us to love him and each other.  That is all he really asks of us.  If we stand up to fear and replace it with love, we will be honoring him best.  I for one, would rather error on the side of love.  We are to love, because he loved us first.  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Today is election day.  A day of responsibility for an American citizen.  We are to vote for political leaders we believe will fulfill God’s desires best.  Not the leaders who will give me the most or allow me to have more.  But rather those leaders who will stand for all people with compassion, care, integrity and honesty.  We can honor God today with our vote by praying that our hearts are filled with love rather than fear.  We can pray that we honor God with love for him and our neighbors.  My vote isn’t about me.  My vote is about my neighbors, my country and my planet.  I want political leaders who care more about the greater good than just me.  My vote will go to those leaders in whom I see love in action.

I challenge you to love…then go vote!

Posted in Love.

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