Background: Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent measures of containment, multiple studies have been conducted aimed at assessing the impacts on people’s psychophysical well-being; however, few studies have investigated the general population’s perceptions, experiences, and effects by adopting a mixed-method approach. Methods: A total of 855 Italian participants completed an online survey, conducted in the period following the first lockdown in Italy. Psychological well-being, perceived stress and COVID-19-related fears were assessed by standardized questionnaires (Psychological General Well-Being Index-Short version, Perceived Stress Scale 10, and Multidimensional Assessment of COVID-19-Related Fears). The process of sense-making of the experience during the lockdown period was also evaluated by means of an open-ended question. Results: Participants reported a lower level of general well-being, and a higher level of both perceived stress and COVID-19-related fear during the lockdown period compared to the time of the survey (1 month after the resumption of activities). The thematic analysis of responses to the open-ended question revealed two factors and five clusters, which explain the thematic variance among the narratives: the first factor refers to the type of experience (emotional states and feelings vs. objective descriptions of daily activities), while the second concerns positive or negative connotations of the experiences reported. Conclusions: This study explored the psychological impact of the first lockdown on people’s well-being, and described the process of making sense of the experience during the lockdown 1 month after going back to previous habits. Results highlighted the effectiveness of the mixed-method approach for an in-depth and exhaustive investigation of people’s psychological condition during and after the first lockdown.
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