Fighting FOMO in 2021
Our last year has been a tough one for FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Whether locked down or muddling through loosened restrictions, we haven’t been living our lives in any way like we were pre-pandemic. Even pre-pandemic, in 2017, we were struggling with the idea of FOMO, so it’s no wonder that around the world people are finding the current situation even more challenging.
Many of us have now spent months without seeing friends or family, with only the increasingly cancelled Zoom to sustain us. We’re having to live our entire lives within a bubble, whether that’s parents, children, strangers (not so strange after nine months together), friends, or even just a house plant. Yet through social media, we can watch as those around the world, and those in less restricted regions than ours, can meet up and spend quality time with each other. It’s no wonder many of us are suffering with FOMO and reaching breaking point.
Embrace your bubble
Our first piece of advice is to embrace JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) instead of being stuck in a FOMO-only state of mind. We’ve written about it many times before- even once during the US presidential election when the news was getting a bit much for all of us. JOMO is vital to a healthy life in lockdown. If you have a good relationship with the people you live with, cultivate it. Try to enjoy home life so much that you no longer feel isolated by the restrictions. One tip for this is to get involved with analogue activities such as puzzling, board games or cards which you can get everyone involved with. Once you are fighting it out to the death in the final round of ‘go fish’ you won’t be worried about everyone else having a better lockdown- we promise!
One of the many causes of FOMO is social media. Comparison culture, no matter who the comparison is with, makes COVID-19 and staying home even harder. Just the use of social media makes you more likely to break restrictions, and we’re pretty sure that’s because of comparison culture and the feeling that everyone else is having a ‘better’ pandemic than you.
How do you fight that?
Well, our advice is, as usual, log off! A social media detox will do wonders for your mental health, and if it helps you to stop breaking restrictions it could also do wonders for your physical health! We don’t mean don’t stay in contact with your friends and family, but why not stick to private messaging services such as iMessage and WhatsApp? If you’re talking to people you know, directly, you’ll be less likely to struggle, and the connection you make will nourish you far longer than an hour scrolling.
Remember we are all struggling
Despite what you see on social media, we know that COVID-19 is hitting everyone hard. Try to remember that for everyone you see having a great night in with their friends, those same friends have been in a fair few fights no doubt, about dish washing or whose turn it is to hoover. Even when restrictions are lifted, social media will remain unrepresentative of the truth of all of our lives. Take a deep breath, and ask questions of every post you see, message the poster to see how they are doing, or stick to our advice above and log off!
We’re looking forward to a time in 2021 when we’re nostalgic for all the time spent at home, so appreciate every moment you have with your loved ones, each day is precious.