FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is the feeling of anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere — without you. FOMO can cause significant stress, and has been made worse by social media — being exposed to posts by friends, family and coworkers that might make one feel that the people around them are living better lives, having more fun, or enjoying better experiences than they are.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a whole new type of FOMO — causing many to feel robbed of experiences and life events they would normally get to enjoy. For some, they are missing out on — or getting a scaled back version of — prom and graduation. For others, they had to cancel or alter their spring break getaway.
And then there is the vaccine rollout — some of your friends and family are vaccinated, but you haven’t had the opportunity to get your shots. So, you may be seeing some people in your life begin to resume life as normal, but you still feel isolated and believe that you’re missing out.
While you wait your turn to get the vaccine, it might feel like the longest wait of your life. Here are some tips to help get you through this difficult time.
Get in line for your vaccine. The State of Connecticut now is allowing all residents 16 and older to sign up for their COVID-19 vaccination. Check the state’s website for open appointments, and follow up, because new slots open up regularly.
Set healthy boundaries with social media. A study by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology suggests that limiting yourself to 30 minutes or less of social media time per day may reduce feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety while also improving your overall well-being.
Look ahead. Rather than worry about what you’re unable to do in the present, focus on the possibilities of the future when social gatherings become more prevalent. Think about a future vacation, a backyard picnic, or just some quality time with your friends once it becomes safe and feasible to do so.
Talk to someone. If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or anxious, it may be wise to connect with a professional, such as those at PPI, who offer individual, group, and family therapy. Contact us today for an appointment by calling (860) 420-2450.