Is FONO the New FOMO?

May 18, 2021 | Mental Health

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5 Tips for Navigating the Return to Normal

Have invitations to crawfish boils, baby showers or supper clubs started returning to your inboxes? As the world slowly climbs its way out of the pandemic, activities that used to be expected have now become questionable. Is it safe to gather? Who has gotten a COVID-19 vaccine? Are we allowed to have this many people together? Do you even want to go?

We’re all familiar with the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but after 2020, and the quarantine and isolation it brought, many people began rethinking their plans. As social calendars diminished, school functions ceased and more people had more free time, things have changed. Now, as 2021 introduces a new page to safe social gatherings again, returning to what used to be considered normal is raising some anxieties for some.

According to the Washington Post, it’s a phenomenon called FONO: Fear of Normal.

Here are 5 Tips to Help Ease Your Transition

1. Take it slow.
Resist the urge to fill up your calendar like it was before COVID-19. Think about what brings you or your family the most happiness and focus on those activities.

2. Remember “No” is a complete sentence.
You can use the time you’ve had in quarantine to plan how you want to spend your time in the future. Saying “no” can be a healthy choice for not only for your family but also your personal mental health.

3. Read up and stay educated.
Know the latest science-backed research and evidence that shows you what is safe and not safe to do. Knowing the facts about risk mitigation can help ease your mind.

4. Set boundaries.
Maybe it’s only one extracurricular activity a week per kid, maybe it’s one social event every month, maybe it’s continuing to enjoy church from home, whatever your boundaries are that help keep you feeling calm and in control, don’t be afraid to keep and enforce them.

5. Stay safe.
Even with the vaccine, it’s important to keep washing your hands and wearing a mask in large crowds, to help minimize the spread of the virus.

We all want the pandemic to end, and to experience activities we’ve missed. But it’s up to you to create your new normal and enjoy getting back to what brings you joy.

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