|How did different coping strategies affect our wellbeing in the March-April lockdown?|
|.How did we cope? |
Key findings We wanted to find out what behaviours and activities people have used to cope with lockdowns and how they have helped our wellbeing.
Data from the start of the first lockdown in March and April 2020 found that:
Staying connected to friends and family was the most important coping mechanism and helped more than 75% of people to cope.
Gardening, exercising or reading for 30 minutes or more was most effective at lowering anxiety.
Withdrawing from others, watching films or substance use helped to reduce short-term stress, but left people feeling hopeless or self-blaming.
Following Covid-19 related news had the most negative effect on our wellbeing.
Our habits also changed during this time
16% of people reported persistently eating more.
During the first couple of weeks of lockdown, just over half of people who usually drink alcohol, reported a change in their drinking habits.
20% of people who had previously gambled reported a change in their gambling behaviour compared with before lockdown.
22% of people increased their engagement with the arts.
Volunteering increased, particularly among older people.
Different strategies for different people
People that were most likely to increase their food intake were women, adults aged 30-45 years or people with depressive symptoms and loneliness.
Younger people, females, those with education qualifications past the age of 16, with high annual household incomes, and with an anxiety disorder were more likely to drink more than usual.
People with an emotion-focused coping style were more likely to increase their arts engagement, along with young adults, non-key workers, and those with greater social support.
People likely to gamble more than usual were highly bored, employed, who frequently drank alcohol, and had depression and anxiety.
People with a diagnosed mental health condition were more likely to volunteer formally or for social action initiatives than those without a diagnosed condition.