As the world navigates a time of extreme chaos, uncertainty, and grief in light of the spread of COVID-19, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the barrage of news and information. In an effort to get through the day, 92% of U.S. adults are doing something to stay uplifted during these challenging times. 

CivicScience asked more than 2,500 respondents about what activities they have turned to, to lift their spirits. And, of those results, the top three were watching TV (63%), quietly relaxing (49%) and staying physically active (45%).

TV On Top

Across the board, watching television is the most popular way for Americans to feel uplifted during this time. This is especially true for those who already rely on the TV to get their coronavirus news. This suggests that there may be a loyal demographic of TV watchers, who are happy to go from news to entertainment channels throughout the day.Those who turn to the TV to be uplifted are also largely low- to middle-income earners. This could speak to a certain intersection of time and resources that supports this group in taking the lead on this particular activity. 

Taking It Easy

The next largest category is those who choose to quietly relax in order to be uplifted. As the data show, those who are partaking in this activity are also slightly more likely to have increased their online shopping as a result of the pandemic.CivicScience data also show that women are much more likely than men to say they are quietly relaxing, which makes it unsurprising that they are also choosing to be creative at a much higher rate. 

Staying Fit to Feel Better

Coming in third, exercise is still a highly popular choice for those looking to be uplifted. After all, for some, even the worst day can be made better by a surge of endorphins. While those who workout several times a week are clearly still exercising, it is worth noting that more than a quarter of those who do typically exercise several times a week have reported not doing so to stay uplifted during this time. While understandable, this could suggest that many routines may have been swept to the side as “normal” life has continued to unravel.Perhaps not surprisingly, the youngest adults are turning to exercise the most with other generations falling behind by 6 and 8 percentage points.What is perhaps most striking about exercising as a means to be uplifted is that it is very closely tied to income. Those making under $50K are turning to exercise 20% less than people making double their salary. At this point, finding activities that can keep spirits high may be one of the keys to getting through this difficult time. According to the data, age, income, and gender will tell you a lot about how people are spending their hours at home.