Almost three quarters of Brits are now ‘scared of going out’ due to a pandemic.

Seven in 10 have more apprehensions about going out since Covid restrictions were lifted – and half even need to practice mindfulness to calm nerves

Almost two-thirds of Brits now avoid crowded public transport for social reasons
Almost two-thirds of Brits now avoid crowded public transport for social reasons

Forget FOMO, 72% of adults are now struggling with FOGO — or “fear of going out.”

A study of 2,000 adults found that more than a quarter (27%) who were exposed to FOGO claimed it had a “significant” impact on their lives.

More than two-thirds (67%) feel their fears have kept them from socializing and 60% will try to avoid public transport because of their fears.

But 68% believe they have felt more apprehension about going out since the pandemic, with half being more concerned about going out with Covid restrictions now fully lifted.

Nearly six in 10 (58%) are more concerned that people will no longer need to isolate after testing positive, and 54% feel uneasy about not wearing masks.

Over half fear people will no longer need to be isolated after a positive Covid test


Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

As a result, 44% often need to take a moment to collect themselves before leaving the house, and 47% practice mindfulness to relieve their nervousness.

Almost a third (29%) also find that listening to music can help with hesitation, while 36% like to have a clear plan for their trip.

However, over three quarters (78%) admitted they would simply try to put on a “brave face” to hide the worries they have about the venture.

The survey commissioned by Mobility Super App NOW FREErevealed that it will take an average of almost five months for people to feel as comfortable as they did before the pandemic.

But more than half (57%) are “determined” to try harder to overcome these fears.

Robert Fernandez, Director of Operations at FREE NOW, said: “This study clearly shows how widespread concern about COVID is and that this concern continues to influence the decisions of people in the UK.

“While we’re happily transitioning from living in a pandemic to learning how to live with COVID, it’s important that even after all restrictions are lifted, we remember that not everyone is ready to be fully back out there just yet.

“This is an understandable and shared response to a difficult time for many, and we must recognize and respect that everyone is adjusting to this new normal at their own pace.

“For this reason we have contacted the qualified psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll to help people arrive at their destination more relaxed and ready for more fun.”

Almost half of Brits now practice mindfulness to calm their nerves


Richard Baker/In Pictures/Getty Images)

The study also found that more than half of those who experienced FOGO tried to allay their concerns – but admitted the concern lingers.

And almost a fifth (18%) are more likely to take a taxi to their destination than public transport to collect themselves.

dr Meg Arroll, who has teamed up with FREE NOW, said: “Life has been challenging for the past two years and now that restrictions have been fully eased and the world is opening up again we are all preparing to step out.

“But given that we’ve been through such a long period of uncertainty and anxiety, it’s not surprising that there’s still a sense of unease about going out — or FOGO, the fear of going out.”

“However, there are many strategies we can all use to calm those anxious thoughts, reduce stress and enjoy social life again.

“Try these three simple steps to stay calm on your journey. All of this can easily be done in the back of a taxi or other mode of transport, whether you have five minutes to arrive or a longer journey ahead.”

  1. Rest and Digest: Relax your mind and body by grounding yourself in the vehicle with both feet flat on the floor and your back against the seat. With one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen, focus on regulating your breathing with deep inhalations through your nose and out of your mouth for three seconds.
  2. The Three Five Method: Use three of your senses – sight, hearing and touch – and identify five different elements of your environment. For example, what five things can you see (whether inside or outside the car), what five things can you hear, and what five textures can you feel? Pay close attention to your surroundings, take deep breaths, and notice how much calmer you feel afterwards.
  3. Self-expression: Imagine yourself at your destination. As you envision your future reality scenario, you can prepare yourself cognitively – script your social interactions and begin to see how you would interact with others once you arrive at your destination. Acknowledge your fears, but push them to the background and focus on your positive mental images.

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Fry Electronics Team

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