Quarantine FOMO is real—here’s how to overcome it
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The “productive pandemic” trend
If you’re not doing live-streaming workout challenges, swapping recipes, or teaching yourself a new language, are you even quarantining? From celebrities to your next-door neighbour, it seems like everyone is brimming with productivity as they master yet another new coronavirus lockdown hobby. And then you realise you haven’t learned or baked a single thing because you’re eye-deep in work deadlines, caring for loved ones, and, you know, trying to flatten the curve by not getting sick or making other people sick.
You may be feeling the pressure to be your best productive self. You’re worried you’re falling behind or even “failing” at quarantine. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real.
But relax, there’s no “right” way to “do” quarantine: Remember, the goal is simply to make it out safe and relatively sane and if you’ve done that, you’ve succeeded, says Dr Jennifer Wolkin, a clinical neuropsychologist. “This is a really unique situation we’re in and everyone handles stress and fear differently, so start by giving yourself credit for doing the best you can,” she says.
Whatever you are doing to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic is fine and you don’t need to feel bad or ashamed about it. This doesn’t mean you should give up on quarantine goals, but rather make sure you’re setting your own goals and not basing them off what others are doing, says Dr Steven M Sultanoff, a clinical psychologist. One of the best ways to get rid of FOMO is to reconcile your quarantine expectations with reality.