To say the COVID-19 pandemic impacted almost everyone’s lives would be an understatement. For over a year, things like lockdowns, quarantining, and social distancing became the norm. Some people embraced the “stay at home” lifestyle better than others, but we were all forced to get used to it.
Now, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to efforts to slow the spread and the vaccination rollouts, things are starting to reopen across the country. People are embracing a sense of normalcy.
Simply put, we’re finally allowed to go out and have fun again!
The problem? Everyone wants to go out and have fun again.
For over a year, you might’ve gotten used to having a pretty open schedule. Now that people are able to get out and do things, that schedule is undoubtedly starting to fill up, and you can’t do it all. As a result, post-pandemic FOMO is on the rise.
So, what can you do to cope?
The Problem With FOMO
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is nothing new. But you probably didn’t struggle with it throughout the pandemic. It might have even been nice for a while, not to have to deal with a hectic schedule or constantly wondering what you were missing out on when you couldn’t make it to an event.
Social media has made FOMO even worse over the years. If you don’t go to something, you’re bound to see pictures of it online, which can make your worry over missing out even worse. It might even make you feel guilty, or as though you’re losing your friendships.
Now that it’s summer, and the world is reopening, people are anxious to do more than ever. Obviously, you can’t be everywhere at once. That makes the problem of FOMO even worse.
What Can You Do?
If you don’t learn to cope with FOMO, it can start to take over your entire perspective on life. It might often feel like it has a heavy grip on you that’s hard to get rid of.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to cope with it and improve your relationships, all at once.
The most important thing is to decide what’s really important to you. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that genuine, meaningful relationships are truly what matters. If you miss out on a party or get-together, think about how meaningful it really would have been. Maybe you didn’t have close friends there, and maybe you weren’t all that interested in going but felt like you “should”.
Your time is valuable, and you don’t have to stretch yourself so thin just because you’re worried about missing something. When you take the time to do meaningful things with people who matter the most, you’re less likely to worry about missing out on the frivolous things that may not matter, anyway.
Be Mindful in the Moment
Another way to cope with FOMO is to practice mindfulness. It’s more than just a buzzword, no matter how much it gets thrown around nowadays.
Mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment without worrying about the past or future. You hone in on your breathing and how your body feels at that very moment. Thoughts will still come, but you can let them pass by like clouds without trying to hold on to them. Mindfulness can help to ease your worries about missing out on something or regretting it later.
Being more mindful also allows you to savor the moments that matter. You’ll be more present with friends and family, and you don’t have to worry about what you’re missing out on because you’ll be content with what you’re doing.
It’s normal to get excited about being able to do things again. But, if you’re struggling with FOMO, try some of these effective ways to cope, and enjoy the things you’re able to do.
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