2 min read

Resist FOMO to avoid burnout

If and when pandemic restrictions lift, here's permission to ease out slowly
Resist FOMO to avoid burnout
Photo by James Lee / Unsplash

Sustain issue #13 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

In the last two weeks, I’ve had more plans than I’ve had in more than a year, combined. And honestly, I’m exhausted.

It’s strange to have plans. It’s taxing to keep a schedule. And, as New York Magazine wrote, we have the much maligned return of FOMO.

We spent much of the last year plus quarantining from each other. Now, as one person in that article notes, “I quarantine myself from over socializing” after going out four nights in a row.

If you haven’t lifted weights in a while, you’re not going to immediately jump back to lifting your personal record. Your ability will be far lower than your peak. You need to walk before you run.

As you emerge, pause for a moment to reflect on the silver linings from this horrid time. Things like living more locally, being at peace going at a slower pace, and accepting when it’s not your day.

As your Instagram feed fills back up with everything you’re not doing (cue FOMO), remember the boundaries you have and the bliss you feel when not over-committed. Remember that there’s not just the fear of missing out, but there is also great joy in missing out.

This moment is complex. I didn’t want to be forced in the house last March but I’m not sure I now want to get forced outside the house much, either.

I’m personally happy with a world where I rarely enter a workplace and where I have social plans once a week-ish. I’m happy with maintaining the handful of close relationships I have in an effort to not stretch myself too thin.

As we head into a summer where we can let our hair down (I don’t have hair to let down but ya’ know), aim to ease back in.

Summer is to enjoy. It’s for relaxation. And it’s hard to do either of those when every minute is meticulously planned out and you have FOBO – fear of a better option – lingering in the back of your mind.

Like many things, it’s not all or nothing like it may appear. This isn’t a choice between maintaining a hermit life or sprinting through plans 4-5 nights per week. You can emerge slowly, ramp your way back, and find a happy middle ground. A middle ground where you’re not overextended.

At a sustainable pace,


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

Get my top tools and courage to quit burnout weekly without leaving your corporate job 😌

✉️  Sustain is my signature weekly email that readers describe as an 'epic message'.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

✉️ How I Quit Burnout is my premium newsletter containing all my tested and data-backed strategies.  Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain and How I Quit Burnout

📣 Have ideas, want to contribute, or book me? Let's chat