During government-implemented restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people's everyday lives changed profoundly. However, there is to date little research chronicling how people perceived their changed everyday lives and which consequences this had. In a two-wave study, we examined the psychological characteristics of people's situations and their correlates during shutdown in a large German sample (N.sub.T1 = 1,353; N.sub.T2 = 446). First, we compared characteristics during government-issued restrictions with retrospective accounts from before and with a follow-up assessment 6 to 7 months later when many restrictions had been lifted. We found that mean levels were lower and variances were higher for most characteristics during the shutdown. Second, the experience of certain situation characteristics was associated in meaningful and theoretically expected ways with people's traits, appraisals of the COVID-19 crisis, and subjective well-being. Lastly, situation characteristics often substantially explained the associations of traits with appraisals and well-being. Our findings highlight the importance of considering perceived situations as these contribute to people's functioning during crises.