Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Dealing with Monotony

If you are experiencing more negative emotions during social distancing, it may be due to the monotony in your daily routine. 

Research indicates that experiential diversity promotes well-being.  Scientists used GPS trackers with participants in New York and Miami for a few months, and they collected data from texts that participants sent throughout their day about their positive or negative emotions.  On days when participants experienced more diversity in their locations, they also reported feeling happy or excited, and relaxed or attentive.  One researcher said that their research suggests that “people feel happier when they have more variety in their daily routines – when they go to novel places and have a wider array of novel experiences.”

Takeaway:  You might try creating different experiences within the health guidelines to improve your mood, such as walking the dog in a new neighborhood, driving to the grocery store using a new route, or working from a different room.  Getting out in nature may also help. 


Christopher Bergland, The Science Behind our Need for Variety in Activities, Psychology Today, May 31, 2020,

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