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I clearly remember the day two years ago — we were at work, and it was announced that the Covid-19 lockdown was going to be put in place. That meant we had to work from home. Well, I laughed out hard, because it sounded like a joke to me, and clearly not feasible. We thought it’s a matter of a month or two; I was wrong because we are now inching close to two years of Covid-19. And looks like, this virus has hijacked our lives forever!
If we look into the past, these two years have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. A few of us have lost our loved ones to this dreadful virus, and many of us had a realisation that the things we took for granted, say our mental health, must be taken more seriously.
The positive news is that not only do we consider it more crucial today, but we have also started working on it.
For me, these 2 years have been a tad different. During this pandemic, I experienced major FOMO (fear of missing out), and trust me, I never had it earlier.
You must have heard and said this phrase a lot, “abhi bohot time hai yaar”. And you must have also heard several of them say that this is nothing but a myth; because time flies, and by the time you realise it, it’s too late. Something similar happened with me during this pandemic. My anxiety levels touched the roof.
Like many of you, my major goal in life has been to travel the world and do the most obnoxious things I can ever imagine. But Covid-19 put everything on hold!
Once I realised that it’s not going to end anytime soon, I went into this zone, where I felt that I missing out on some crucial things at this point in my life (I’m 34 by the way). And my mind kept imagining various scenarios that made me feel what if I didn’t have this zeal in me later on? I know I’m not that old, but that’s how anxiety works, right?
What was more terrible was scrolling through those Insta reels that worsened my FOMO. I remember I blew my hard-earned money by making impulsive decisions. And I haven’t done it once, but twice. You remember when there was a little breather from Covid-19 cases, right before the second wave? I impulsively booked tickets to Dubai without giving a second thought.
And sadly, I couldn’t go. The reason being I was tested Covid-19 positive, but here’s the twist. When my test reports arrived, my anxiety kicked in again. So without giving it a thought, I immediately canceled my tickets, before even getting another test done to cross-check the results.
Once I got my calm back, I got another Covid test and then another. Both of them came out to be negative. Ergghhh! But by then, I had already created a mess. Deep down under, I knew I wasn’t being rational, but I totally blame my anxiety for this crazy behaviour!
That was one instance, but the fear of missing out on many things stayed with me for almost 7-8 months. It made me feel miserable, worthless, and purposeless. And everyone knows it’s not a good state to be in.
I felt less productive, low on energy, and everything felt pointless.
To be honest, I still get paranoid thinking of the time lost, but now I just tell my mind to relax; because this too, shall pass. It wasn’t so easy to get into this zone, because when FOMO hits you, it creates a lot of ripples even in still water.
I got myself enrolled for online therapy. I don’t know if that worked for me or not, but there are some small efforts that I made to help myself. Here’s what I did:
I won’t say that FOMO is a myth, because losing precious time will make you feel that way. But the thing that you need to remember is that you need to fight it out, because the kind of anxiety it will lead to will make you feel claustrophobic and helpless.
So, if you too, are in a tug of war situation between your mind and heart, try to talk to yourself. Because looks like the worst is over, and Covid is now going to be here with us just like any other illness – which can be tackled with some simple precautions.