Useful for those with a hobby: Because a sense of control is lost in the daily shutdown, concrete planning for the leisure is especially important.
The supermarket’s toilet paper shelves were long renovated, and the range of pasta and yeast is still so generous that even scared hamster buyers can relax. Elsewhere, on the other hand, there is a shortage: bike companies make their business in their lifetime, spare parts are hard to come by, bikes are sold out, and renewal is coming for a long time. In this pandemic, half of the world apparently discovered cycling on its own and is now rolling through the landscape – that is, when baking is not being baked, decorating an apartment, learning foreign languages or practicing yoga remotely.
In everyday life during lockdown, many people are behaving in terms of their mental health: right. Because when a sense of control takes over life, very planned and ambitious leisure activities become even more important.
Psychologists working with Sasha Abdel-Hadi from the University of Giessen published a study in the specialist journal Anxiety, Stress & amp; Acclimatization, she points to this conclusion. The data comes from what I felt for a long time, the first shutdown in Spring 2020. At the time everything was new and frightening, and maybe a little exciting later. “It was a very uncertain time, and we asked ourselves how people deal with the sudden change of the home office,” says Abdel-Hadi.
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Psychologists collected data from 178 participants who kept some kind of diary during the first lockdown in April 2020. Test participants answered questions about how they dealt with work in the home office several times a day: how do they deal with the new requirements, how special tasks can be accomplished in addition to Their jobs, how they shaped their free time and how they shaped their feelings. The state developed over time.
Control is the basic human need
The demarcation of work and family boundaries and feelings of insecurity and distress heightened feelings of tension. “The feeling of control and independence is a basic human need, and in the event of closure, people are robbed of them,” Abdel-Hadi says. Everyone will understand right away: Spring 2020 was a long time ago, people are still sitting in the lack of freedom of pandemic chaos – and somehow no one can see what is now allowed and what is not.
“Proactive leisure activities can nullify these conditions.”
Abdel Hadi, Psychologe
It’s easy to slide into a cynical resignation, staring at frustrated Netflix on the couch and thinking whether one should drink less alcohol. Welcome to the great negativity.
“Pre-emptive recreational activities can counteract these conditions,” says psychologist Abdel-Hadi. Challenging yourself in your spare time, setting ambitious goals and trying new things may backfire at first. Why should you bother at your spare time when you already have a busy, ugly job – whether in the office or at home? “It gives you the feeling that you can really design yourself,” Abdel-Hadi says.
Anyone who feels at the mercy of work and the situation in lockdown can make up for it in their spare time. It doesn’t matter what it actually comes down to: the ambitious long bike tours have a similar effect to other projects, whether it’s baking, learning a foreign language, yoga, music, or anything else. According to a study by psychologists, taking your spare time in your hands with a plan prevents emotional burnout. And now: get on your bike!