An increasing number of states are allowing more people to be vaccinate. New York is the latest to announce that those 16-years and older will be eligible soon. This is exciting but also anxiety inducing, since, having lived through the past three months, vaccines aren’t all that easy to come by.
When people upload a photo of their “vaccinated” sticker, there’s usually two reactions: positivity, because we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and envy, because these people will be able to hang out with everyone with practically no concerns while the rest of us are still baking bread at home alone.
Envy is normal, especially in an unprecedented life or death situation like this one. Still, this doesn’t mean you have free license to be rude to people or to question what they did to get the vaccine. Some things should be thought, not said.
Here are 5 tips to help you deal with vaccine FOMO (fear of missing out):
Accept your emotions and let them go
It’s okay to feel frustrated by the current moment and by people who’ve somehow managed to get vaccine appointments. Vaccine FOMO isn’t like regular FOMO, where you’re just jealous of someone else. This year has been challenging for everyone; now that many are getting vaccinated and have carte blanche to do what they want, it’s very sad for those who are exhausted of being alone and depriving themselves of the company of other people. Let yourself feel sad or angry but try your best to move past the feeling and to not let it taint your every day life. If seeing the selfies on social media upsets you, take a much needed break.
Find balance between being proactive and not losing your mind
If you desperately want to get vaccinated, use this as fuel for productivity. Stay on top of your local news since more and more states are opening up their eligibility, loosening age and comorbidity restrictions. There are also resources out there for people who want to get vaccinated but aren’t eligible, like TurboVax, an NYC Twitter account that informs people of openings for vaccination spots. There’s also Dr. B, a service that connects you with leftover vaccines.
You’re not alone
The pandemic is a global event and while you may feel like everyone and their mom is getting vaccinated, the vast majority of people haven’t been able to get their shot yet. The more time passes, the easier it’ll become for you to find a vaccine appointment.
Try your best to think about other things
You know when you get obsessed with something, and you can’t stop thinking about it? While this is good for getting things done, especially if there’s an expiration date, there’s no set date for the end of the pandemic. While things are looking up right now in terms of vaccination rates, it’s difficult to predict when you’ll find a vaccine appointment if you’re not constantly glued to your phone refreshing the CVS website. So try your best to think about other things. Now that the weather is changing, find safe activities you can do out in the open. We’ve all hit pandemic burn out, so try to nourish yourself by doing other things.
Have some perspective
You’ve made it this far. What’s a couple of more months in the grand scheme of things?