The risk then is that people withdraw further. They choose easy but unrewarding behaviours instead, such as staying at home (even as lockdown is lifted or as new social opportunities arise). At first, this makes good sense. ‘This withdrawal is driven by people’s desire to avoid the negative emotions that they’re experiencing when they try to do these activities,’ according to David Richards, a professor of mental health services research at the University of Exeter. McMillan agrees, adding that this behaviour ‘works in the immediate term because it makes you feel better’. The difficulty lies in what this inactivity sets up in the long term. The risk, he says, is that ‘it moves you further from what you need to do to get something out of the world’.
Original source: How to engage with life when you feel down