FluFOMO Is Real—Here’s How to Stay Healthy So You Don’t Miss Out This Season


If you’re someone who is prone to FOMO (aka fear of missing out), then chances are you feel it extra hard when you’re at home with the sniffles. Sadly, sipping soup while binge-watching TV isn’t enough to distract from the fun everyone else is having. And according to The Clorox Company, FluFOMO is real.

In a recent survey conducted with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics (KGRA), they polled participants on the psychological effect of being left out of work, school or social events while sick. Not only does it take an emotional toll, but one in four respondents reported that they actually feel physically worse when they see social media posts of events they are missing. Yet only 13 percent say they stay away from social media during times like these.

So, what can you do to avoid FluFOMO? The answer may seem obvious, but it’s key: Allow yourself time to get well. “Try your best to just enjoy your time off,” says Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician in Calabasas, CA, and an author of parenting books. Rest up and relax until you recover from whatever illness it is that’s keeping you from all of your friends and family.

Below Dr. Altmann shares simple ways to stay healthy during flu season so you don’t miss out in the first place.

Maintain healthy habits

During cold and flu season, it’s especially important to make sure you are getting plenty of sleep (at least 8 hours at night) and eating a nutrient-rich diet that is full of fresh fruit and veggies, vitamin D, and probiotics.

Suds up more

When you start to notice people around you getting sick, wash your hands more frequently—especially before eating or touching your eyes, nose or mouth, all of which are common entry points for germs into the body, explains Dr. Altmann.

Keep surfaces clean

Now’s the time to be aggressive about disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, as germs can survive for hours to days and can easily get transmitted from person to person in close quarters like a house, she says. Look for disinfectants approved to kill cold and flu viruses like Rhinovirus and Influenza, and pay close attention to the surfaces in your home that are touched most frequently, like doorknobs, light switches, faucets or toys. Find them in Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes.

Stay active (seriously)

Though it depends on how you are feeling, 30 minutes of activity a day is recommended. Light exercise and fresh air can help you feel better, says Dr. Altmann. Just don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids to help replace those your bod has lost due to fever or evaporation.