How to handle FOMO for summer during the coronavirus pandemic

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Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean summer is canceled.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people across the country — and the world — have had to adapt to major changes to their day-to-day lives, and for many, this included canceling long-awaited trips or seasonal vacations. And as summer draws closer and most lockdowns have yet to be lifted, some may be feeling anxious that they’re going to miss out on summer.

Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean?summer is canceled.

Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean?summer is canceled. (iStock)

Fox News spoke with Dr. Tony Ortega, a licensed psychologist and the author of "#IsHeHereYet: Being The Person You Want To Be With," about how to handle the fear of missing out (FOMO) on summer in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ortega recommends thinking outside the box, and not letting life reflect the current situation. Doing what you can to take control of your own reality (while also taking the safety of others into consideration) can help fight the fear of missing out.

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One of the first things people can do is reschedule events (when possible).

“Sure, you want to celebrate an event on a certain date,” Dr. Ortega explains. “But what's more important, the event itself or the date it falls on? Dates are just numbers. Events are so much more than that. Let go of needing an event to occur on a specific date and plan for the event of the century in the future.”

Similarly, he said you shouldn't feel like you're disappointing people if you can’t attend their events, as this is a situation none of us could ever have planned for.

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When possible, Ortega also advises celebrating summer events virtually.

"Just because Summer 2020 may be canceled, it doesn't mean your event has to be canceled as well. Sure, the way you go about it may look vastly different than what you had planned. We have seen amazing events conducted virtually. It's not the same, but it allows for the events to go on.”

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Lastly, he recommended that it’s OK to feel FOMO — just don't “beat yourself up about it.”

“The key is to allow yourself to feel the feeling and then choose a course of action that is in alignment with who you want to be regardless of external circumstances,” he said. “This is a philosophy you can carry with you in your life post-quarantine.”

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