Fear of missing out is a serious condition. So serious, that the kids gave it a text friendly name: FOMO. This ailment affects everyone from the new mother sitting at home with her baby to the acne ridden 17-year old debating if he should start another online round of Call of Duty. This condition can wreak havoc on your psyche, so here are seven ways to avoid FOMO.
1. Grant yourself permission to stay in.
Do you feel like lounging on the couch with a warm laptop propped up in front of you? Then do it. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to sit back and relax. Whether you’re consumed with Office reruns or reading Mockingjay, you have to let yourself rewind every now and then. The key to enjoying this is allowing yourself to slow down for a night. If you don’t grant yourself permission to rest, you’ll think of a thousand things you could be doing instead. So chill out, you can even take a nap if you want.
2. Write down your goals.
My father once told me that the best goals are the ones that you write down. Accountability is everything, even when it comes to your social life. If you have a hard time going out and meeting people, schedule a day or time to go out and strike up a conversation with a new friend or even a stranger. If you know that Tuesdays and Fridays are your social days, you won’t spend Wednesday and Thursday beating yourself up for hibernating in your apartment.
3. Go see live music at least three times a year.
Tired of missing out on great concerts that your friends Facebook check-in at? Go to jambase.com, a website of all upcoming shows in your area, and pick out one show every four months to attend. Music feeds the soul and if you space out how often you attend concerts, it doesn’t even seem like an expensive hobby. You can go to shows alone or with a group of people, just make sure you buy your tickets beforehand. Few things are more heartbreaking than sitting at home while your favorite band plays a sold out show three miles down the road.
4. Read the local newspaper.
Every city that I have lived in so far has had a local, creative paper. Pick up your town’s publication and check out what’s going on. Be aware of what is happening around town you so you don’t spend Monday morning hearing about a coworker trying out the new brewery that you didn’t even know existed. Be choosy with what events you attend but you won’t miss out if you’re well informed.
5. Throw a party.
Sometimes it can feel like everyone was invited to the party, everyone but you. There is no reason to sit around waiting for someone to invite you to the party of the year. Make the party of the year. Start small with a gathering of ten friends and move towards a full blown party that taps not one, but two kegs. Also, by reaching out to other people to attend your party, you’ll receive invites for future parties.
6. Say yes.
If you spend more time thinking about the things you wish you would have done than remembering the amazing memories you made last weekend, I have a challenge for you. Say yes to all social engagements. Even if you aren’t sure if it is an event or person you would enjoy, ask yourself, “Do I have something better to do?” The answer is usually no.
7. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
This is the most obvious way to tame FOMO symptoms. Remember that social media is a reflection of the person we want to be seen as, not the person that we truly are. So next time you think that Sally has an amazing life, remember that she goes through hard times and even binge eats ice cream while watching Grey’s Anatomy too. No one is perfect. Some people look like they are having more fun and one thing we can learn from them is to say yes more often and do the things that little voice inside of us tells us to do. It’s time to put fear aside and take control of your life and your happiness.