Restart: Designing a Healthy Post-Pandemic Life

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Product Details
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.88 X 8.74 X 0.72 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Doreen Dodgen-Magee is an author, psychologist, and speaker. Her first book, Deviced! Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital Age (Rowman & Littlefield) was awarded the 2018 Gold Medal for Psychology by the Nautilus Book Awards. Doreen's writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Utne Reader, and Psychology Today. She has been interviewed and quoted in articles for the New York Times, Time magazine, and The Guardian and is a popular podcast guest. Doreen is a Senior Survivor Fellow with Everytown for Gun Safety and a group facilitator with Covid Survivors for Change. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and near her grown children. She can be found at


Psychologist Dodgen-Magee takes a look at what a "normal" postpandemic future may consist of in this useful, timely guide. She starts by explaining how grief caused by the pandemic should be identified and processed--including not only the loss of lives, but the loss of normalcy, routine, and expectations. She then recommends steps to help readers overcome grief by taking stock of how one reacted to the early days of the pandemic and exploring the ways quarantining affected one socially and emotionally. The most beneficial section provides insight on how stress can affect the mind and how unhealthy habits can take hold, and the author provides detailed information on how to identify and overcome habitual behavior. Effectively mixing philosophies, Dodgen-Magee mines the Buddhist concept of the Beginner's Mind (maintaining an open attitude) and the Dutch practice of Niksen (the art of doing nothing) to great effect. These practical suggestions will be welcomed by those looking to do some reevaluation after a life of quarantine.

Psychologist Dodgen-Magee comprehensively details all the things society has lost and reconfigured during the pandemic, neglect of physical activities, over-reliance on screens, and increased substance abuse, and offers steps to counteract these behaviors and build new healthy habits. She aptly describes this late-pandemic period as "running a marathon with a constantly moving finish line" and provides specific ways to support our own and others' mental health, create new realities, and nurture healthy relationships with technology. Each problem is paired with a "Restart" set of guidelines geared to help readers do the work of adjusting to new realities. Special chapters deal with children's issues and relations with those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. Dodgen-Magee's advice hits home at a vulnerable period in our lives.

Prior to the pandemic, Doreen joined me on my podcast "Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness" to shed insight on how reliant on technology as culture we are, and the subtle ways it's affecting our lives mentally and emotionally. Fast forward to now, and we are a society that IS solely reliant on tech. Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life reflects on the power and health of our community. I highly recommend this piece not only as essential reading to get us back on track from the pandemic, but as a reminder to us that it's okay to hit the restart button and to break away from distraction--especially when it comes to our own vital self care.

Restart is a practical and tangible guide for the everyday person, the unlikely meditator, the individual struggling to get back on track after the pandemic. Doreen's own experience with trauma-informed healing makes this a completely relatable and real roadmap to reset, recalibrate, and begin again.

We are battling two public health crises: COVID and gun violence. Doreen Dodgen-Magee found her activist voice in the gun violence prevention movement with Moms Demand Action. Now, she has taken the trauma-informed work she has done as a survivor of gun violence to address COVID recovery in Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life. In a time of great anxiety and exhaustion, I encourage people to seek out this book. Doreen offers tools for realigning our lives with our core values and creates a path for how to move out of quarantine with equity, communal, and individual health in mind.

Doreen has done it again. I was not at all surprised when she started writing about helping all of us cope with, and recover from, the emotional impacts of the pandemic. Doreen is an advocate for love and the power of human connection. She shares yet another wonderful book meant to help and heal our world, one person at a time. Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life is an incredible gift to all of us and a powerful tool in facilitating the healing process. After major trauma, life never really goes back to normal. We instead craft, and adjust to, new norms. We can decide to be part of the solution when we actively engage in the healing process, extending each other a hand of grace. We can heal the world, one relationship at a time. Through her book, Doreen teaches us that if we parent with empathy, treat each other passionately, and show kindness towards ourselves, our interpersonal spaces will become places of safety. Healing begins with love. Restart is a divine intervention and is the right book at the right time.

This book is a great way to reflect on what we've all been through with Covid-19 over the last year. There are so many valuable insights and actionable steps as we cautiously re-enter the world. For businesses, and people in general, it covers everything, including tips on how we can make an effort creating a safe and thoughtful space for our teams as they return to the workplace.

Restart gets right at the heart of why we've all been gutted so brutally by this pandemic, identifies clearly what we've given up in order to survive, and instructs us on how to emerge from all of it with grace. Filled with easy exercises that are rooted in the science of healing, Restart arms us with a bevy of useful ways to, well, restart! This is an instruction manual that teaches us how to honor our grief, heal our wounds, and build a new future that is much better than the one we all think we remember. Vital, timely, powerful, and kind, Restart is the gift to the world that we all need right now.

This is a vital book published at a time when we need it most. Trauma leaves long-lasting effects. A trauma of global proportions leaves us feeling unmoored, anxious and frightened--even as it subsides. Most of us, in the aftermath of trauma, are devoid of a map to navigate this uncharted and difficult terrain. With this book, Doreen Dodgen-Magee brings not only her keen professional eye to help provide us with a map, but also, her extraordinary capacity for empathy, to this historic moment. I am certain the book will provide both solace and indispensable guidance for those struggling in the months and years immediately following the unprecedented Covid-19 Pandemic. I for one am glad this crucial book is right here, right now.

The past year has been brutally painful for so many of us. Our assumptive world has been upended, and some of us have lost those dearest to us. As the world opens up, we are reminded of how we became isolated, anxious, and perhaps even depressed in the first place. It's as though we have to get our sea legs all over again. Dodgen-Magee does a beautiful job at describing what we've been through with clarity and kindness, honoring all experiences and clearing a path to hope and healing. Her book provides a thoughtful examination of the trauma we've all incurred in the last year, offering ways to mindfully get back to living.

A book that settles your nervous system and holds space beautifully as we emerge from the pandemic, with honest, empathic, and practical guidance to support our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us.

Doreen Dodgen-Magee writes about grief with unique and heartfelt insight. She brings her perspective as an activist and mental health professional to write about the national grief crisis we face amidst the COVID pandemic. For years, Doreen has been a beacon of hope and resilience for so many and her new book, Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life will do the same. During an unprecedented time, I encourage you to pick up a copy to learn Doreen's concrete and practical advice and tips that will help survivors and allies find support and heal.

As a Covid 19 survivor/long-hauler this book provided a look into my very soul. It offers me a starting point in order to figure out how to gather all of the puzzle pieces of my scattered life as I attempt to figure out my new normal!

In Restart: Designing a Healthy Post Pandemic Life, Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee has gifted us with a book that offers a path forward into a post-pandemic life that feels like the "new normal" many of us have been craving: one of embodiment, deep and real social connection and social justice. Without minimizing COVID-related grief and despair, she offers strategies, questions for reflection, and concrete steps for adults, teens and children to navigate anxiety and uncertainty related to emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. I especially appreciate her guidance related to transitioning from a screen-based social life to the joyful messiness and complexity of in-person connections. Reading Restart made me feel hopeful and excited about the future, and that's saying a lot after such a tough year.