FOMO. Fear of missing out. Whilst it is thrown around a lot on social media when you see some pals living their best lives and you are stuck at your Aunt’s birthday, FOMO can actually be a pretty difficult thing to deal with if you get it too much. Double booking, over booking, feeling guilty and not feeling happy about what you are doing can all be pretty crappy side effects of having too much FOMO. That’s why we wanted to bring you a few ideas that can help keep it bay, and get you back to enjoying life.
1) Have a detox
Try taking a little bit of a break from the social side of life altogether. This could be a weekend, a week or a little longer. Focus on yourself, and other aspects of your life like school or work. This time should help you get back to knowing who you are when you aren’t constantly chasing the next night out, festival or vacation.
2) Quit the multitasking
The world is pretty obsessed with multitasking. Everyone is doing a million things at once – eating, working, watching TV and answering the group chat all at once is a pretty standard Thursday night right?
Well, turns out, the more you multitask in your daily life, the harder you’ll find it to focus on one thing at one time, and the FOMO will be strong with you. Try to cut back on the multitasking in your everyday life and it should be a good step towards leaving the FOMO behind.
3) Stop comparing yourself
We know this is easier said than done, but FOMO often comes from comparing yourself to friends and total strangers online and in real life. We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to other people, but there are things we can do to nip this in the bud.
Next time you catch yourself comparing your life, or plans, to someone else, try this: stop the thought in its tracks by breathing in slowly for four seconds and out for four seconds, and repeat four times. Then think of three things that are awesome about you, your life and your plans that you are comparing. This is a great trick that is bound to help you mellow out and enjoy yourself.
4) Focus on where your feet are
If you have decided to skip out on the music festival in favour of working, or that your friend’s house party can’t be more important than your cousin’s wedding, focus on enjoying the time you have in the place that you have decided to be.
It can be super tempting to spend these times chasing down the Instagram stories of people who have gone to the event you chose to say to no to, but this will probably only make you feel super guilty about not going, and mean you can’t enjoy the decision you have made.
5) Listen to your body
We’re betting that, at some point, you’ve dragged yourself to a party or a dinner even when you’ve been completely exhausted? Maybe even when you were legitimately unwell? One of the most crucial things you can do to defeat the FOMO is to listen to your body and not feel bad about that.
Next time someone invites you out when you feel like this, try to sit and list the pros and cons of going. It might seem pretty long-winded for a simple decision, but the more you do this, the more you will get better at recognising what you are physically capable of, and what is the FOMO.
6) Put relationships first
Putting the people you want to spend time with over the activity is a great way to not only bat away the FOMO, but also give you major friend/family/partner points. Thinking about that friend of a friend on Insta who has hopped over to Europe for a big festival this year? Make some plans with your bestie or hang with the family, or anyone you really value. Putting the people above the thing, no matter what it is, will help you feel more grateful for the memories you are making right now.
7) Make the most of your alone time
Spending time alone can be pretty liberating. If you are dealing with FOMO on the daily, the chances are, you haven’t found that out yet. Schedule yourself some time alone to do a few things just for you – films, pampering, exercise – whatever it is, make the most of it. That way, if your FOMO is coming from not being able to afford that big trip away that all your mates are on, your time can be spent seriously chillin’, and you’ll be cool with that.
Feeling left out? Dealing with anxiety? Friends got you stressed out? Whatever is going on with you, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you.