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  • Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

6 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues Kelly O'Dell StanleyCrosswalk.com

[Today I welcome guest writer Kelly O'Dell Stanley, a contributing writer from IBelieve.com

Though this is written for January, the recent cold snap can also be discouraging during the Holiday Season. For many, holidays are a very difficult time, and not the Norman Rockwell picture perfect scenes that we see promoted on television. I pray that this article will be a help to those struggling to get through. Remember, God loves you unconditionally, and came to earth and became one of us while still retaining all of His divinity. His purpose was to take on all our sins keeping us from eternal life. (John 3:16-17). He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.(John 10:10)may Kelly's words provide you with the tools you need to find joy and meaningful living. If you are in the Greater Chicagoland area and need some help organizing the right "tools" you need for daily life send a request via the Contact page and request an appointment with me.Don't worry about driving to my office. All visits are done in your home. New Day services the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Farther away? Counseling can be done by Skype and Text. ]


Blessings! Rev. Carlene



...The whole sparkling new year is waiting, full of potential and promise… and yet, deep in my soul, I feel let down. What ever happened to that sense of anything is possible? What ever happened to goals and hope and motivation?

I think those disappeared along with the tinsel and poinsettias.

I also think the winter blues are completely normal. We spend so much time and effort anticipating Christmas—both the practical logistics (shopping, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning) and the spiritual meanings (God’s promises made flesh, new beginnings, celebration of God’s plans for us birthed from His great love for us). Once all of that is over, it’s only natural that we would feel a lull. We’re tired. Our pocketbooks are still feeling the strain of the holidays. And let’s not forget the fact that winter brings colder weather, less daylight, and a long stretch in which the only holidays (Groundhog Day, President’s Day, etc.) aren’t usually cause for the same kind of celebration.

So how do we move past this? How do we effect real change in our attitudes and our spirits?

1. Ask God for help. 

Turning to God first is always the best approach. It’s okay to pray for ourselves. Just like we’re supposed to fix our own oxygen masks in an airplane emergency before we help the person beside us, we cannot ignore our own needs now. Every morning, ask God to revive your spirit and soften your heart.

2. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. 

After the election and all the turmoil it stirred up in my own heart and the people around me, I felt vulnerable and ouchy. My instinct was to withdraw from people, but what I discovered is that the best healing took place when I spent time with people who got me… friends who admire my quirkiness, family that accepts me unconditionally, and spiritual mentors who are able to see past current events and set their sights on eternal things. Yes, there were some healing discussions—but the most beneficial moments were the ones that weren’t “about” anything, but were simply time spent laughing and talking about the minutia of our lives. 

3. Pay attention to what you feed your mind. 

Just like eating junk food results in feeling lethargic and uncomfortable (no guilt implied—I do it all the time), we won’t feel healthy when we feast on junk mentally. I’m not saying you can’t watch a mindless movie or listen to popular music. But when you are down, you’ll feel better if you fill your mind with good things. (Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.) Read the Bible, start a new Bible study, slowly read through an inspirational book (fiction or nonfiction), listen to praise music, write in your gratitude journal, or learn about something new. If you battle depression or anxiety, now more than ever you should avoid the situations that trigger stress, if you can. If social media gets you all worked up, maybe it’s time to take a short break. Feast on good things.

4. Organize something. 

Maybe you’re not a control freak like [my family says that] I am, but I believe there’s something therapeutic in exerting control over something else. This is a harmless way to do that while also helping yourself. Clean out a closet. Straighten a bookshelf. Match the socks in your drawer. Organize the medicine cabinet. Move those thousands of unread emails into a new folder so your inbox isn’t so overwhelming. 

I read a book once that claimed visual clutter contributes to mental clutter, and I have found that to be true in my life. To fight that, clear some space physically, even if it’s a very small one. Once I cleaned out the small coat closet underneath our stairs and painted it a vivid teal color. I bought new hangers and got rid of extra coats. Most people never saw it, but every time I opened the door I felt happy.

5. Experience delight. 

Let yourself go. Don’t hold back. Allow yourself to stop being critical and to have fun, even if what you’re doing isn’t all that fun. Go all in, in every area of your life. Give yourself permission to be responsibly irresponsible—take an afternoon off to scrapbook or take photos or nap. Turn off your ringer for a couple hours and let yourself get re-centered. Curl up in a blanket and read a good book or watch a sappy movie. Don’t sabotage yourself by creating a situation that will bring difficult or negative ramifications, but simply do something for yourself without guilt. Focusing on ourselves too much can be detrimental, but most people don’t allow themselves the luxury of taking care of themselves, and it’s important that we do.

6. Do something for someone else. 

There is a time for recharging, for nursing our wounds and making ourselves stronger as in number 5 above. But there is nothing that surpasses the feeling of helping another person. Maybe that’s in the form of a financial gift (even a small one), but more likely you’ll be rejuvenated by giving of yourself. Stop by to see that relative in the nursing home. Visit the friend from church who’s recovering from surgery. Take a meal to an overwhelmed mom. Shovel a sidewalk for an elderly neighbor. Clean out your spouse’s car. Write a note to someone who is lonely. There are countless ways to improve someone else’s day in a matter of minutes. My grandmother had a plaque in her kitchen that read, “He who cuts his own wood is twice warmed.” Same principle applies here, too—when you show love to someone else, you, too, feel loved. When you let someone know they are not alone, you, too, get the pleasure of someone’s company.

Will you pray with me? 

Dear Lord, I need Your help. There are bigger and more critical needs out there, but in order for me to play the role you’ve given me, I need to be emotionally healthy. Thank You for the people who love me, who make me feel better just by being with me. Help me find time to be with those who make my soul sing, and thank you for the healing and enjoyment that brings. Give me wisdom about what I consume mentally and emotionally, and help me make wise choices for my health. Help me let go of the physical and mental clutter that drags me down, and help me to delight in the little things and find joy in the things that I do. But don’t stop there. Show me where else I can help bring joy—point me towards people whose lives I can improve in any small way. Use me, Lord, because that’s often where I find fulfillment, when I’m living out Your purposes. And through it all, help me to see You, to turn to You, to lean on You, and to give thanks to You. Because You are the giver of life, the hope of eternity, and the author of joy. Amen.📷

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are behind us, and the whole sparkling new year is waiting, full of potential and promise… and yet, deep in my soul, I feel let down. What ever happened to that sense of anything is possible? What ever happened to goals and hope and motivation?

I think those disappeared along with the tinsel and poinsettias.

I also think the winter blues are completely normal. We spend so much time and effort anticipating Christmas—both the practical logistics (shopping, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning) and the spiritual meanings (God’s promises made flesh, new beginnings, celebration of God’s plans for us birthed from His great love for us). Once all of that is over, it’s only natural that we would feel a lull. We’re tired. Our pocketbooks are still feeling the strain of the holidays. And let’s not forget the fact that winter brings colder weather, less daylight, and a long stretch in which the only holidays (Groundhog Day, President’s Day, etc.) aren’t usually cause for the same kind of celebration.

So how do we move past this? How do we effect real change in our attitudes and our spirits?

1. Ask God for help. 

Turning to God first is always the best approach. It’s okay to pray for ourselves. Just like we’re supposed to fix our own oxygen masks in an airplane emergency before we help the person beside us, we cannot ignore our own needs now. Every morning, ask God to revive your spirit and soften your heart.

2. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. 

After the election and all the turmoil it stirred up in my own heart and the people around me, I felt vulnerable and ouchy. My instinct was to withdraw from people, but what I discovered is that the best healing took place when I spent time with people who got me… friends who admire my quirkiness, family that accepts me unconditionally, and spiritual mentors who are able to see past current events and set their sights on eternal things. Yes, there were some healing discussions—but the most beneficial moments were the ones that weren’t “about” anything, but were simply time spent laughing and talking about the minutia of our lives. 

3. Pay attention to what you feed your mind. 

Just like eating junk food results in feeling lethargic and uncomfortable (no guilt implied—I do it all the time), we won’t feel healthy when we feast on junk mentally. I’m not saying you can’t watch a mindless movie or listen to popular music. But when you are down, you’ll feel better if you fill your mind with good things. (Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.) Read the Bible, start a new Bible study, slowly read through an inspirational book (fiction or nonfiction), listen to praise music, write in your gratitude journal, or learn about something new. If you battle depression or anxiety, now more than ever you should avoid the situations that trigger stress, if you can. If social media gets you all worked up, maybe it’s time to take a short break. Feast on good things.

4. Organize something. 

Maybe you’re not a control freak like [my family says that] I am, but I believe there’s something therapeutic in exerting control over something else. This is a harmless way to do that while also helping yourself. Clean out a closet. Straighten a bookshelf. Match the socks in your drawer. Organize the medicine cabinet. Move those thousands of unread emails into a new folder so your inbox isn’t so overwhelming. 

I read a book once that claimed visual clutter contributes to mental clutter, and I have found that to be true in my life. To fight that, clear some space physically, even if it’s a very small one. Once I cleaned out the small coat closet underneath our stairs and painted it a vivid teal color. I bought new hangers and got rid of extra coats. Most people never saw it, but every time I opened the door I felt happy.

5. Experience delight. 

Let yourself go. Don’t hold back. Allow yourself to stop being critical and to have fun, even if what you’re doing isn’t all that fun. Go all in, in every area of your life. Give yourself permission to be responsibly irresponsible—take an afternoon off to scrapbook or take photos or nap. Turn off your ringer for a couple hours and let yourself get re-centered. Curl up in a blanket and read a good book or watch a sappy movie. Don’t sabotage yourself by creating a situation that will bring difficult or negative ramifications, but simply do something for yourself without guilt. Focusing on ourselves too much can be detrimental, but most people don’t allow themselves the luxury of taking care of themselves, and it’s important that we do.

6. Do something for someone else. 

There is a time for recharging, for nursing our wounds and making ourselves stronger as in number 5 above. But there is nothing that surpasses the feeling of helping another person. Maybe that’s in the form of a financial gift (even a small one), but more likely you’ll be rejuvenated by giving of yourself. Stop by to see that relative in the nursing home. Visit the friend from church who’s recovering from surgery. Take a meal to an overwhelmed mom. Shovel a sidewalk for an elderly neighbor. Clean out your spouse’s car. Write a note to someone who is lonely. There are countless ways to improve someone else’s day in a matter of minutes. My grandmother had a plaque in her kitchen that read, “He who cuts his own wood is twice warmed.” Same principle applies here, too—when you show love to someone else, you, too, feel loved. When you let someone know they are not alone, you, too, get the pleasure of someone’s company.

Will you pray with me? 

Dear Lord, I need Your help. There are bigger and more critical needs out there, but in order for me to play the role you’ve given me, I need to be emotionally healthy. Thank You for the people who love me, who make me feel better just by being with me. Help me find time to be with those who make my soul sing, and thank you for the healing and enjoyment that brings. Give me wisdom about what I consume mentally and emotionally, and help me make wise choices for my health. Help me let go of the physical and mental clutter that drags me down, and help me to delight in the little things and find joy in the things that I do. But don’t stop there. Show me where else I can help bring joy—point me towards people whose lives I can improve in any small way. Use me, Lord, because that’s often where I find fulfillment, when I’m living out Your purposes. And through it all, help me to see You, to turn to You, to lean on You, and to give thanks to You. Because You are the giver of life, the hope of eternity, and the author of joy. Amen.

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 NEW DAy's story

frequently asked questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is New Day just for people who are religious?

Not at all. Owner, Rev. Carlene Appel, works with all people regardless of whether or not they hold to a particular faith, or set of beliefs. She has even worked with atheists under Hospice care.

 

How does Pastoral Counseling differ from regular Counseling?

In addition to Counseling, a Pastoral Counselor also has specialized education and training in matters of spirituality, religious faith, and different religions. Thus, if a client wishes to include any of these during their sessions, a Pastoral Counselor is qualified and competent to do so.

 

Rev. Carlene holds a Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.), from Northern Seminary, and is an Ordained American Baptist minister. Additionally, having been raised Roman Catholic, she has been able to help countless numbers of Catholics every year. Over the past year, she has become a vessel of healing to survivors of predator priests. 

 

Is New Day a faith-based Counseling Practice?

Yes. This means Rev. Carlene or any Counselor working for New Day, won't discourage clients from exploring their spirituality or faith-related questions. Some clients have had questions of faith for years, but fear rejection from their clergy or people they have been worshipping with. Some have walked away from their faith or religion entirely. 

 

Wait a minute, aren't faith and religion the same thing?

Not at all. Religion is a human-constructed system providing a set of specific organized beliefs. While many find religion helpful to explain life, provide a moral compass, and connect them to the Divine, others do not. Some have suffered abuse or been otherwise deeply hurt by clergy or religious people.

 

OK, so how is faith different from religion then?

Faith, is something we are endowed with by our Creator. We first utilize faith shortly after birth. Though not aware of it or what it is, a helpless newborn, if not abused or neglected, soon develops a sense of faith and trust that s/he will have their needs met. While most people have faith in the God of their understanding, others claim faith in Science, nature, or even their own abilities. On a more basic level, humans practice blind faith every day that their car is going to run, that they will get to work, school, & back home safely, and that they will live to see another day.

 

I've heard that New Day is Christ-centered. What does that mean?

Glad you asked. It's a way of being. New Day strives to imitate Christ in the way business is conducted and how we treat all people, not just our clients. This means standing beside someone, not over them and building relationships with people regardless of race, class or gender. Being honest, ethical, accountable; practicing good listening skills. Extending compassion, dignity, grace, forgiveness, mercy, respect, and unconditional love. It also includes speaking up about and holding people accountable for injustices, and not keeping silent when they plan or are actively doing damaging & destructive acts to themselves or others.

So a New Day Counselor won't push religion on me?

Absolutely not! That would be very un-Christlike. He was always invitational and respected a person's choice. New Day strives to always imitate Jesus Christ. So whether you're religious or not, it doesn't matter. We stand ready to help: if you are dealing with depression, grief, trauma, abuse, marital conflict, etc. If you need mentoring, life coaching, or premarital counseling. If you have become disabled. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia.

 

Whoever you are, New Day invites you to lay your burdens down with us and experience compassionate, non-judgmental care wherever you call home, or at a safe location if the home isn't safe, or online (known as e-counsel, or telecounsel).

 

           SOLUTIONS FOR HEALTHCARE

 

Healthcare providers, agencies and facilities here's the solution  to the time and expense it takes to create temporary and PRN spiritual care positions. New Day is the FIRST Contract PRN Service Provider of Chaplains/Spiritual Care Coordinators to Hospices, home health agencies & other health care providers, as well as assisted living, memory care, and nursing & rehabilitation facilities, retirement communities, and supportive living centers. If you need a Spiritual Care person as a fill-in, while in transition, or while searching for a permanent Chaplain, think SOLUTIONS by New Day for all your temporary spiritual care needs.

 

 

Owner Rev. Carlene Appel is:

  • Fully insured for liability.

  • BLS-AED Certified.

  • Fluent in multiple Medical software programs including McKesson, Healthwyse, Allscripts, Homecare Homebase (HCHB), Kinnser, HospiceMD, Optima.

  • Always professionally attired, so your company always looks good. 

  • Always greeting customers with a Million-dollar smile.

  • Always ready to go with minimal orientation time. 

  • Knowledgeable in the business side of healthcare.

  • Experienced since 1985 with Senior Adults and Dementias.

  • Serving Hospice patients and their loved ones since 2007.

  • An active member of the Bloomingdale & Bartlett Area Chambers of Commerce.

  • Certified as a Trauma Professional and Emergency Response Chaplain

  • A visionary. Her 5 & 10 year business plans include adding more pastoral care professionals as New Day grows. Rev. Carlene believes that in the future, agencies like hers will become as commonplace as PRN Nurse agencies.

Rev. Carlene also offers a variety of interactive presentations for staff in-services, patients, family members, and your community. Topics include Compassion Fatigue, Trauma/Grief & Loss, Suicide Intervention & Recovery, Hospice 101, and Alzheimer's Disease & other forms of Dementia: Improving Visits and Care Delivery. 

 

Rev. Carlene was inspired to birth a new kind of Counseling and Care service to serve those who were needing a Counselor but unable or unwilling to travel to see one. For some, it's lack of transportation, a perceived stigma about mental illness, fear of leaving one's home, shame, embarrassment, or a thousand other reasons people can't or won't get the help they need.

 

God drew her attention to the benefits of providing this much-needed service to the Chicagoland area and beyond, wherever people call home. This was to be available to anybody, religious and non-religious alike, affordable, and without regard for things like race, class, or gender--the exact same way Jesus treated people. 

New Day Pastoral Counseling Services was born April 1, 2018--no April fools joke! In-home visits are available in these 7 Chicagoland Counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.  ON-LINE Video TeleCounseling is available anywhere in the U.S. and Internationally.
Rev. Carlene is a Certified Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
"You have impacted our patients greatly and that will always make you dear to us."
                                              Lamari Brayboy III
                             Meridian Hospice & Palliative Care

"Carlene is empathic and caring, with a strong background in counseling, and especially in the area of long-term health issues and elder care. "

                                                             Susan NC Price

                                             SPrice Editorial Services

When it comes to HIPAA compliance and confidentiality, New Day is like a mother bear protecting her cubs. 

  • Our main computer is protected with Sophos. No back door for hackers to break into your data. 

  • Continually monitored by an off-site top-level clearance Cybersecurity Specialist.

  • All devices have a VPN line. 

Our customers' security is top priority--NO compromises!

 

ABOUT REV. CARLENE

 

Rev. Carlene Appel began her ministry career in 1994,

  • Earned her Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) in           2001 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary                      (now Northern Seminary), Lombard, IL

  • An Ordained Minister in the American Baptist           Churches U.S.A.  denomination since 2001.  

  • Experienced. Has served as a Senior Adult Pastor, Hospital Chaplain, Hospice Chaplain (13 years), Solo Church Pastor, and more.

  • Certified Trauma Professional

  • Presenter of Interactive learning workshops and seminars

  • Trained first responder.

  • Founded a Chaplain Corps for the Specialized Interagency Response Team (SIRT) of the Henry County(IL) Sheriff's Dept. and served as its Coordinator, recruiting and training local pastors to respond to WMD incidents and natural disasters.

  • Experienced suicide interventionist and trainer.

  • Trained in WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and WMD Incident Commander (COBRA), through the Depts. of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security.

  • Training and Certificate in Critical Incident Stress Mgt. CISM 

  • Graduate of Citizen's Police Academy Training through the Bloomingdale and Glendale Hts. Police Depts.

  • Certified Emergency Response Chaplain (CERC) currently serving at the Glendale Hts. Police Dept.

  • Has worked with Senior Adults, particularly those with Alzheimer's Disease or other Dementias since 1985.

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Contact us

NEW DAY PASTORAL COUNSELING SERVICES

BLOOMINGDALE, IL 60108-1818

PHONE: (630) 557-6229

FAX: (630) 491-1594

revcappel@newdaypcs.org

Rev. Carlene makes house calls throughout the Greater Chicagoland area in the following counties: DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, & Will.

For persons outside of these areas,try OUR SECURE E-Counseling!!! This service is available to clients anywhere geographically. When requesting an appointment, please indicate your preference for in-person or online service. IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 911 OR ONE OF THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS:

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

1-800-273-TALK

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE

1-800-799-SAFE

"You have been with me every step I took, forwards or backwards...you understand who I am. What has been so hard for me, you say to me [that] I can do it" 
                           N.B. Client                                                                Chicago

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