COVID-19 pandemic has altered women’s mental health as a consequence of the global threat and the lockdown measures adopted by public health policies. It has been suggested that women are at a higher risk for mood alterations, but most of the studies are cross-sectional or have only considered the first days of the confinement in their longitudinal designs. The present study was aimed at evaluating temporal changes in anxiety and depression in a general sample of 155 non-infected adult Spanish women after a complete quarantine. It also explored the predictive role of personality, the establishment of new routines and physical activity during lockdown in a pre-post design assessing temporal and clinical mood changes after 5 weeks of lockdown. Logistic regression analyses showed that higher neuroticism and depressive levels at baseline, lower routines engagement, and lower physical activity during lockdown predicted depression caseness, whereas anxiety caseness was best predicted by higher neuroticism, more days of lockdown and greater anxiety symptoms at baseline. It is concluded that lockdown duration, increased neuroticism and baseline levels of anxiety and depression are risk factors for women’s mental health, while routines and physical activity emerge as protective factors for managing psychological wellbeing during the pandemic lockdowns.
- individual differences
- physical exercise