Journal of Music, Health, and Wellbeing, vol.1, pp.1-10, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Shelter-at-home order is one of the main strategies to slow the spread of Covid-19. However, coping with the negative effects of social isolation on health and wellbeing is a major challenge. Guidelines published by health authorities often suggest healthy food, exercise, good sleep and avoiding alcohol to help the community for coping with stress. Besides, we have frequently witnessed people's various musical activities such as making music at home, singing from balcony, and writing corona songs. In this study, we aimed to investigate home activity preferences of people and the place of music among these preferences in order to spend time at home and to deal with stress and anxiety during pandemic days. We developed an online survey and distributed on social media. In total, 772 participitans responded, of which 170 were healthcare professionals (HCP group; M/F, 41/129; mean age, 37.9±12.4) and 602 were having other professions or occupations (OTH group; M/F, 184/418; mean age, 33.96±14.1). The reported rate of negatively affected psychological state was 42.4% in HCP group whereas it was 34.7% in OTH group (p<0.05). The most commonly reported relaxation strategies were internet surfing (66.7%), music listening (50.6%), and watching television (46.0%). Compared to pre-pandemic days, interest in music activities was increased in 36.5% and 31.1% and decreased only in 6.5% and 6.3% in HCP and OTH groups, respectively. Our results show that at least one-third of people increased their musical activites to cope with negative effects of Covid-19 pandemics. Music activities seem to be a powerful tool to cope with stress due to its wide range of effects on people, such as excitement, liveliness, enthusiasm or relaxation. In conclusion, we suggest music activities against stress and anxiety to be included in more detailed into flyers and guides of coping strategies, during Covid-19 and in similar outbreak situations.