Leisure as a Coping Mechanism: The Relationship Between Leisure and Stress
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The value of leisure is often under-looked. Leisure activities should not be treated as a luxury but a necessity. The therapeutic benefits of leisure can be applied to the mind, body, and soul. Leisure plays a significant role in the five domains of life: Cognitive, Affective, Social, Physical, and Spiritual. However, the relationship between the role leisure plays of the stress experienced by an individual was the point of interest for this study. Leisure pursuits are an evidence-based mechanism to cope with stress and this literature review aimed to understand if it can be utilized in various settings.
The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between leisure and stress. The research was conducted with the intent to answer questions regarding the role of leisure as an effective coping mechanism, the accessibility of leisure, and the relationship between stress and leisure.
This was a literature review aimed to analyze recent literature discussing ways in which leisure was applied as a coping mechanism. The inclusion criteria required articles to be published within the last ten years, saw the application of leisure within a population coping with stress, and discussed evidence-based practices of leisure pursuits.
There are a variety of ways to cope with stress. Recent studies have found a negative relationship between leisure and stress (Cevik, 2020). As the amount of time spent in leisure pursuits increases, the amount of stress experienced decreases. There are leisure constraints and barriers to consider before applying leisure activities as a coping mechanism. The 2020 pandemic led to creative leisure pursuits in a time when social distancing measures provided a huge barrier for recreational activities (Stodolska, 2020). The stark contrast between Avoidant Leisure Coping Style (ALCS) and Planned-Breather Leisure Coping Style (PBLCS) highlights the need for planned breaks from stressful situations (Tsaur and Tang, 2012). Committed leisure pursuits can also be applied to cope with the stress of chronic illnesses (Lee and Heo, 2020). It was concluded that leisure can be versatile and adapted to be utilized as a coping tool in various settings and populations.
The social implications of this research will affect many populations and fields of study regarding wellness. Leisure is a resourceful tool to be utilized as a competent coping mechanism. Stress is detrimental to an individual’s overall health and affects all areas of life. Stress is not exclusive to a certain population and can affect every individual. It is important to educate people about the benefits of developing leisure pursuits to cope with stress. Leisure is accessible due to its versatility and adaptability to be modified for an individual’s unique needs. More research needs to be conducted due to the gap in the literature regarding this topic.
The project’s value is cemented in its’ efforts to highlight leisure as a competent coping tool. The project intends to inform individuals dealing with stress about the benefits of leisure, and to persuade individuals dealing with stress to take care of themselves.