NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You may be familiar with “FOMO,” or the fear of missing out. But have you heard of “FOGO,” the fear of going out?
Recent studies show many Americans are worried about re-entering society after more than three months of isolation.READ MORE: New Flood Mitigation Projects Kicking Off On Long Island In Wake Of Ida's Damage
For the first time in months, New York City streets feel alive again. Many people are emerging from quarantine ready to take advantage of dining, shopping and other outdoor experiences.
But others, like Andrew Beguin, are a little more hesitant.
“I’m more worried about people being relaxed about the situation and not taking it seriously,” he told CBS2.
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He’s not alone. Many people aren’t just scared of going out, they’re scared of going back to work.
In fact, two out of three Americans polled by the survey site Qualtrics say they feel uncomfortable returning to the office for a variety of reasons, like fear of getting sick, fear of exposing loved ones to the virus, or general anxiety about returning to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.READ MORE: New Study Shows Certain Nasal Sprays Used To Treat Allergies May Protect Against Severe COVID-19
“This anxiety can be a first-time thing for people. In fact, that’s what I’m finding more – is that somebody was emotionally health and are really being struck down by this level of anxiety that’s preventing them from getting back into the world, and they are still isolating,” said integrative psychologist Rosann Capanna-Hodge.
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She calls it “re-entry panic syndrome” and says it’s a little more extreme than your typical stress or anxiety.
“The first thing people need to do is they need to find a place or an activity that they feel comfortable attempting to re-enter the world, they need to start small and get out for brief amounts of time,” she recommended.
Something as simple as taking a 10-minute walk can help mitigate fear. After all, Capanna-Hodge says anxiety sparks from fear of the unknown.MORE NEWS: Gov. Hochul Moves To Prevent Health Care Worker Shortages After COVID Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect
If you are not seeing any improvement in your mood, if you are becoming irritable or spending more than an hour a day feeling sad, experts recommend seeking professional help.