SALT LAKE CITY — Some humans just don’t let themselves wallow in disconcerting times like a global pandemic. Some find joy wherever they go. They seek distractions and embrace humor, then offer both like balm to the rest of us.

Goofing off and being distracted help people deal with intense crises that can’t just be resolved using problem-solving skills, according to Lisa Bahar, an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. “When in a crisis, the goal is to not make the situation worse for yourself, so people are encouraged to practice distraction skills.”

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