The Relationship Between Leisure Activities and Well-being During Social Isolation
Keywords:leisure activities, psychological wellbeing, COVID-19, resilience, social isolation
Leisure activities are effective ways to cope with stressful life events; however, more research is needed to understand its effects in social isolation. In the current study, we explored whether university students’ participation in leisure activities (such as baking, running, and yoga) has helped protect against some of the negative effects of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this correlational study aimed to discover (a) the relationship between leisure activity participation and psychological well-being and resilience during periods of social isolation; (b) the type of leisure activity (i.e., physical or nonphysical) that has the most positive effect on overall well-being; and (c) precisely why particular leisure activities were positively associated with well-being and resilience (e.g., do they increase social affiliation, self-efficacy, personal control, flow, and sense of meaning?). To answer these questions, 200 university students completed an online survey asking them about the frequency and type of their participation in leisure activities. Participant’s coronavirus anxiety, sense of well-being, and resiliency were the outcome variables. Results indicated a significant, positive association between leisure activity participation and overall well-being, demonstrated by a decrease in anxiety and an increase in well-being. Contrary to the literature, engagement in more non-physical leisure activities was associated with greater resiliency compared to physical activities. The mechanisms for the positive association were not clear. In sum, this study supports participation in leisure activities as a possible way to cope with social isolation and the negative effects of the current pandemic.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sartu Osman; Dr. Danielle Gaucher
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