UC Riverside researchers who have studied people under quarantine in China say the best protection against COVID-19 stress is to participate in all-consuming activities.
In fact, finding the right activity could mean you experience the same well-being during the long quarantine as you would when not in quarantine, UC Riverside psychology researcher Kate Sweeny asserts.
“It’s a bold statement. But there are lots of reasons for this, and the data are compelling,” said Sweeny, a professor of psychology. “Flow seems to mitigate the negative effects of quarantine.”
“Flow” is the term researchers use to describe a state of complete immersion in an activity. Flow activities are so all-consuming that it’s difficult to think of anything else. People achieve flow variously by playing video games or using a foreign language app. Activities such as baking, woodworking, and jogging could qualify, depending on the level of challenge. Reading and watching TV, while enjoyable, aren’t flow activities.
Kate Sweeny, psychology professor
Credit: UC Riverside