Are you suffering from Coronavirus FOGO?
While the majority of us are likely to be overjoyed by the lifting of the lockdown measures that sees pubs, restaurants and shops opening after many months of the shutters being down, the opening of these places has left some of us with ‘post-lockdown anxiety’ and FOGO (fear of going out).
‘Post-lockdown anxiety’ has been dubbed by the experts as the fear or worry of returning back to our pre-covid lives and FOGO (fear of going out) is simply the fear of leaving the house. Prior to living in a global pandemic, FOGO was more commonly known as FOMO (fear of missing out) and now it is quite the opposite, with people choosing to miss out by choice to avoid leaving the house.
A recent survey showed that more than 60% of us are uncomfortable with the prospect of visiting our favourite bar or restaurant, jumping on the bus and going to a large gathering such as a football match.
What is causing the fear of going out during a pandemic?
Rewind to a few months ago, do you remember when walking out with the last bottle of Dettol disinfectant from your local supermarket was the equivalent to finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Well that’s simply it. We’ve all had our lives turned upside down to the point where we are still finding ourselves cleaning every surface we can and disinfecting our hands several times a day to stop the spread of a virus that 8 months ago no one had even heard of and the idea of leaving our clean and safe environments where we know it is extremely unlikely to catch coronavirus has become daunting for many.
Examples of using cramped public transport and face-to-face work meetings have been suggested as examples that may have people more worried or stressed before they even consider the risk of infection.
What are some of the ways we can relive the fear of going out?
Here are a few ways in which can help relieve your anxiety and FOGO:
- Positive coping strategies such as regular exercise and meditation will help to relive any unwanted stress. Read our guide on Relaxation Techniques here
- Limiting the amount of news and information you are finding yourself taking in and enjoy the simple things in life. Read our recent blog on 5 ways to digital detox here.
- Meeting up with friends. While this could be daunting, health experts have highlighted that the risk of catching coronavirus is almost 50% less when being outside, so why not head to your local park for a socially distanced walk?
If you are still finding yourself struggling, the medical term for FOGO is called Agoraphobia and can be diagnosed by your doctor. Should you feel as though you have this, visit your doctor who will be able to advise some cognitive behavioural therapy or potentially some medication.
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