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Occupational therapist’s latest online guide to coping with pandemic follows earlier global success

Following the global success of her first online guide, Normal life has been disrupted: Managing the disruption caused by COVID-19, occupational therapist Lorrae Mynard has released a follow-up guide to assist people with their transition to the “new normal”.

The New Normal: Navigating everyday life during COVID-19 encourages readers to reflect on what they have learnt about themselves during the lockdown and to use those insights to their advantage as they gradually re-emerge into a society that is being changed forever by the ongoing experience of pandemic.

Short, easy to read chapters assist the reader to consider the disruption of recent months as an opportunity to do things differently into the future. What activities should we resume, what should we stop doing and what should we continue doing in light of recent experience? Ms Mynard also makes helpful suggestions around such key areas of personal wellbeing as routines, roles, self-care, productivity, leisure and use of personal and shared spaces.

“As restrictions ease it’s time to reflect on what we learned, or even perhaps enjoyed, during recent disruptions. We can make choices and plans for our new normal, managing changes to the way we do things to support our health and wellbeing,” Ms Mynard said.

Ms Mynard’s first online guide, published in March, was an instant success and has since been translated into thirteen languages. That guide explains how many of our routines and roles may be disrupted by the experience of pandemic and suggests ways of adapting to and managing these disruptions. It helps people to adapt calmly to the experience of lockdown, and provides advice on how to do things like keeping to a routine, getting exercise, sleeping well and maintaining social connections.

Her latest guide is again published on the Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) website and is free to download by the public and health practitioners.

Conscious of the fact that lockdowns vary across, and within, different states and territories, Ms Mynard urged people to consult both her guides, and to make use of the one which most closely reflects their current circumstances.

Ms Mynard is a Melbourne based occupational therapist and PhD candidate at Monash University. She has worked in a variety of adult mental health settings in Australia, Canada and the UK.

About OTA
OTA is the peak professional body for Australian occupational therapists. As of March 2020, there were more than 23,000 occupational therapists working across the government, non-government, private and community sectors in Australia. Occupational therapists are allied health professionals whose role is to enable their clients to participate in meaningful and productive activities.  

They work with clients of all ages, and provide services such as physical and mental health therapy, vocational rehabilitation, chronic disease management, assessments for assistive technology and home modifications, and key disability supports and services.

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