Ramadan During Quarantine: Creating a Sacred Place at Home

Ramadan During Quarantine: Creating a Sacred Place at Home

This year Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, will be a different experience for all of us. We won’t be hosting family and friends over for iftar dinners. We won’t be going to the musjid at night to pray. We won’t have that physical sense of community, a time when we usually strengthen our bonds with family and friends.

Despite these difficult and isolating times, I still wanted this holy month to be meaningful. Once I knew Ramadan would be at home due to COVID, I started to plan a Ramadan spent at home with intention. I chose to focus on what we would need to have a meaningful month and really invest in our home space this year to really follow in the Islamic tradition of ease and simplicity.

One night around the dinner table, I had my kids and husband list their duas, or individual prayers. Together, we then created a family master dua list. This way, all of our duas are connected to God and each other. Some of our duas included prayers for the entire worlds healing of Covid and prayers for ours parents who are in Pakistan. Continue reading

Reflections from a Therapist: On Slowing Down

Reflections from a Therapist: On Slowing Down

It’s so easy to get lost in our own lives.

This last month in quarantine has taught me so many valuable lessons, especially in the art of slowing down. Thus far, I have been blessed with a fast paced life, filled with love and joy. As I slowly approach 40, most of my life until now has been rushed. I always felt as though I never had a moment to sit with my thoughts, to truly process it. Continue reading

Reflections from a therapist : Parenting during a Pandemic

Reflections from a therapist : Parenting during a Pandemic

Everyone seems to be saying the same thing since we have been in COVID-19 isolation: this homeschooling while working thing is impossible, infuriating, exhausting, overwhelming, annoying, anxiety provoking. And all that is true, I am learning, as I home school my 4th and 1st grader. I have become a master of flexibility, of letting go, of taking deep breaths and walking away. I have grown to appreciate my husband more in this past four weeks than I have over the past 12 years. I have scratched my head over new math and spent more time than I am interested in on first grade “fundations” (spoiler alert: there’s nothing fun about it). Continue reading

5 Benefits of Getting Outdoors Even During Social Isolation

5 Benefits of Getting Outdoors Even During Social Isolation

“Go play outside!”

You might have heard that from your parents. You might have thought they wanted you out of their hair, or to get away from the TV, but what if we told you they might have had a point? (Gasp, never!) It’s not too surprising though; before the onset of COVID-19, Americans spent more than 90% of their lives indoors. Considering the far reaching effects of coronavirus and social isolation, that percentage may be higher for some.

On the flipside, with many now working from home and children either out of school or participating in school online, many adults and children have rediscovered the outdoors and have used it to their advantage to combat the boredom that comes with social distancing. Continue reading

Coronovius to Settle Your Anxiety

Facts About Coronavirus to Settle Your Anxiety

Facts About Coronavirus to Settle Your Anxiety

Since it’s appearance in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China, COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, has been in the media nonstop. It’s spread to the United States and other nations have put many on edge. While the spread of disease is indeed a serious issue, we here at Olive Branch Therapy Group want to alleviate some of your anxieties with some facts straight from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

First, and foremost, stay calm. Remember, we will get through this!

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness spread via droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory illnesses are something we have dealt with before.

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6 Tips to Declutter Your Mind, Body and Soul this Spring

6 Tips to Declutter Your Mind, Body and Soul this Spring

Birds are singing, the sun is shining and the days are slowly getting longer. You know what time it is? Spring time! And what goes hand and hand with spring time? You got it! Spring cleaning!

While you may dread household chores, there are some great benefits to decluttering your physical spaces. According to one study, women who viewed their homes as clean, were less likely to be fatigued or depressed than those who described their homes as “cluttered.” Tidying up has also been proven to help people to be more focused, sleep better and lead healthier lifestyles.

We sometimes forget that, while it’s great to clean up our physical spaces, we can all benefit from decluttering areas of our lives that aren’t in front of our noses too. Here are six tips that can help with some mind, body and soul spring cleaning. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day

7 Ways to Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

7 Ways to Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year again. Chocolates line the shelves, flowers are on special, everything seems to be some shade of pink or red, and love is in the air. Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s day is just around the corner. 

This year, we at Olive Branch Group Therapy challenge you to make Valentine’s day a chance to reconnect with yourself. Nobody said you had to have a partner to feel some love on February 14th (or any day for that matter!) It’s the perfect reason to practice self love and to remind yourself that you deserve to have a little me time every once in awhile. 

Need help trying to figure out how to love yourself? Here are seven Valentine’s Day ideas for yourself to get you started! 

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New Year’s Resolutions vs. Intentions + S.M.A.R.T. Goals

New Year’s Resolutions vs. Intentions + S.M.A.R.T. Goals

At the beginning of every year, we are bombarded with “New Year New Me,” and big goals such as

be healthier, run a 5K quit smoking
make/ save more money / spend less read 50 books, learn to play an instrument
find a new job, travel the world, find inner piece
give up soda or sugar forever date people who are better for me / better relationships with family and friends, go to the gym every single day,
Just to name a few.

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2020

New Years Reflections From Therapists

New Years Reflections From Therapists
Written by The Olive Branch Therapy Group Therapists

As therapists, we reflect on life often. This New Year, we asked our team, “What did you learn in 2019, that you will be bringing into 2020?”

In 2019 I continued my efforts of working on better understanding my relationships with family members and being more of a self with others in my life. Through this journey of awareness of my own emotional process I am able to be more present with neutrality and authenticity for my clients as I move into 2020.- Suzanne Devoti

To be honest with myself in order to honestly communicate with family, friends and professional relationships to advocate for my needs and also allow for my healthy relationships to flourish. Secondly, I’m also going to continue to push myself to learn how to listen better to all those around me so I can continue to be a healthy family member, friend, and professional! Lastly-continue to bring in gratitude and enthusiasm to everything I do! – Faith Ulsh
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