Photo by Edwin Hooper from Unsplash
Every time we watch the television and hear another update about the increase of Covid-19 cases, we feel another stab in the heart once more. Every time we see someone violating quarantine guidelines, we wonder if there’s indeed hope for all of us. Every time we read in a newspaper a complaint of a public official taking advantage of the economic downfall by making a business out of the desperation of people, we get so full of rage and anxiety. We feel so angry at the world and at the same time useless for not being able to do anything about it.
Due to the staggering effects of this pandemic, we’ve all come to a point where we lost hope for everything to return to normal. Although we strive to preserve the minute faith we have left for humanity to cooperate with the efforts of our leaders and front liners, the actions of other people continue to prove us otherwise.
This doesn’t even include the fact that we’re locked in our homes for two years now, and there’s no sign of a brighter tomorrow yet. We miss being with our families, friends, and acquaintances. We miss celebrating events and hanging out with our peers after long hours of school and work. We miss normal social interaction with strangers in crowded places. We miss the privilege of having the time and freedom to do what we want, whenever we want to.
YOUR MIND IS CAPABLE OF CREATING FEAR
It’s normal to feel sad and anxious to worry that our life is slipping away. Our teenage years are moving so fast and we didn’t get to do what we wanted to do. The pandemic makes us feel like we’ve lost so much time. This pandemic has stolen so many memories that we could’ve done with our friends and loved ones. It has taken away so many opportunities for travel, entertainment, business, and many more human transactions and interactions around the globe.
This fear is based on what-ifs and what could’ve been. We can’t live like that because life isn’t supposed to be lived that way. There is no such thing as lost time. You can either sour your mood because of a pandemic that happens every 100 years and having no control over it or doing something about your life that counts.
KNOW THAT THERE IS ALWAYS A NEXT TIME
You have to understand that you wouldn’t be able to go out if there was no compelling reason not to. Know that it’s not your fault we’re in this mess, and letting yourself be miserable for something that’s out of your control is torture on your part. Due to the restrictions of lockdown as part of the intervention to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we all have to deal with boredom, loneliness, isolation, and for some, unfortunately, even more, serious mental illnesses that require professional assistance. Understand that whatever you’re dealing with right now mentally, everyone else is not on the same page as you. We’re all struggling, but we’re struggling with different things, involved in different circumstances, and impacted with different consequences.
WHAT IS F.O.M.O?
F.O.M.O stands for “fear of missing out.” It’s a trendy slang referring to the anxious feeling of a person who believes his friends or peers are currently enjoying each other’s company in his absence. A person who’s experiencing this social anxiety yearns to always be connected or updated by what others are doing. He doesn’t want to “miss out” on the fun and fulfilling moments of other people, and usually insists he’s being hated and isolated by them. A common factor that triggers this feeling is the spontaneity and fabrication of the definition of “fun” in social media which impacts the behavior and mental health of the users who witness it.
7 WAYS TO COPE WITH THE “FEAR OF MISSING OUT” IN A PANDEMIC:
CREATE MEMORIES AT HOME
As humans, it’s in our nature to be resilient to newer situations that force us to adapt to different behaviors and cultures. The pandemic forces us to forego our plans and stay at home where it’s safer, but it doesn’t sit well with the majority of the population and the economy as a whole. But instead of dwelling on the plans that are ruined, the best alternative is to make staying in your home fun. Although there aren’t as many fun activities you can do at home as outdoors, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at all. Remember that it’s all about your mindset. If you have a growth mindset, you are likely to see fun as having a good time regardless of where you are.
TRY A NEW HOBBY
What better way to make use of your free time than to finally do what you’ve always dreamt of doing. Trying a new hobby is perfect to do while in lockdown because you’re free to try what interests you without being expected of high results, just pure passion. Furthermore, the internet allows you to have much open research without spending a lot of money on your hobby. Aside from that, this can increase your confidence as it helps you discover more about your potential which makes you feel good about yourself. It can be an opportunity to meet new people and develop your strengths instead of laying in bed doing nothing due to boredom.
WORK ON YOUR SIDE HUSTLES
You cope with the frustration of not being able to go outdoors with your friends in a productive manner. Your side hustles wouldn’t feel like your regular job because usually, these are your passions. When you work on your side hustles, you build the opportunity to keep yourself productive in diversifying your income stream. This passive income will help you pay off your debts or accumulate enough money to start your small business. Even if the economy is struggling right now, this isn’t a reason not to find smarter means to alleviate your living conditions.
JOIN AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
Despite not being able to be with your family and friends physically, you can engage with different people online. If there’s one thing social media is good for, it’s building a community. When you join an online social group, you’re not only building your online presence but also seeking out a new set of friends who can help you overcome the upsetting feeling of not being able to socialize with other people. By joining an online community, you’re making use of the internet as a tool to make new friends and learn from different cultures in wide geographical locations.
TURN BOREDOM INTO INTROSPECTION
Being inside the house all day, you can use the time for introspection. You can set up a calm ambiance inside your home by looking for an appropriate spot that you find comfortable to meditate. Remember to store away dangerous objects or tools that Stare blankly into the quiet space and try to surrender your worries to the Lord by clearing your mind. This way, you’re preparing yourself for the beginning of a meditation process.
Moreover, try to initiate a conversation with yourself by asking questions and maybe writing down your answers in a journal where you’ll be able to keep track of your progress, along with listing down the lingering thoughts in your head. You can confront your darkest fears by asking tough questions that you don’t want to answer. Moreover, by meditating, you’re releasing your emotions through quiet, personal outlets like reading a novel or playing an instrument.
Think of this pandemic as a reminder that not everything you own is beneficial to you, and since you can only carry so much, choose wisely what you think is good for your overall well-being. Not only can decluttering the things in your home cultivate a happier and healthier environment, but it can also help you clear out the objects that you’ve outgrown. You would know where specific things are stored which gives you more control over your things. As a result, you’d spend less time worrying if you’ve lost it and finding it which would ruin your daily schedule. You can send some to donation drives or sell your pre-loved stuff for a cheaper price as a side hustle.
COMMIT TO A NEW AND CHALLENGING ROUTINE
During a pandemic, you need more than just a distraction from the negativity you’re forced to succumb to, you need to commit to something that keeps you sane. Like a hobby, you can do something you haven’t done before but want to but the difference is, you get to be more disciplined with trying it out and getting results. You can challenge yourself to do a weekly workout routine that suits your body type and condition or reading as many books as you can to expand your vocabulary and develop your imagination. Either way, you develop your skills physically and intellectually which is better than sulking in your room all day.
“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”Mandy Hale