Ask an occupational therapist

Ask an occupational therapist

Your COVID-19 questions answered by occupational therapist Sarah Anderson

A female Hospiscare clinical staff member

How can I adjust to the ‘new normal’ way of life after the COVID-19 pandemic?

From the outset, we knew that the pandemic would have a huge impact on everyone’s functioning. For many people, their daily activities changed overnight; whether that was working from home or shielding completely and therefore not being able to take part in normal social activities.

Many people have experienced a grief reaction to the loss of their ‘normal lives’ and really struggled with the uncertainty of what the ‘new normal’ is. We expect that the impact of COVID-19 will be long lasting – not only in terms of the changes to our day-to-day lives, but also in terms of grief and loss in particular.

Supporting people to find their own solutions to difficulties and new ways of doing tasks is key to what an occupational therapist seeks to do. We all need to adjust to this ‘new normal’ way of living and it is important we give ourselves time to do this. Sparing just ten minutes a day to stop and take stock, to go for a walk, have a bath or just take a few breaths can be such important time.

Many people have found that ‘lockdown’ led them to re- evaluate what and who was really important. Hold on to this as the restrictions start to ease. Allow yourself to feel all of the emotions that this pandemic has caused; it’s okay to feel positive one moment and then upset the next. Reach out for help if the negative feelings become harder to shift. However large or small your community, there are people who want to help.

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