How to deal with FOMO

A young person with green hair and a blue top is standing on their own looking content, despite being surrounded by fireworks and signs of other people having fun. This represents coping with FOMO

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Hi, my name is Sharvari and I’m 20 years old and studying Psychology. I love to use writing as a tool to continue my self-discovery journey and improve my mental health. 

What is FOMO?

So, what is FOMO? It means fear of missing out, and it is made out of expectation and jealousy. We spin an ideal story for ourselves about what everyone’s up to and we get jealous of this ideal. Maybe it’s the ‘perfect’ family Christmas you see pop up on your feed, where everyone smiles and opens presents. Maybe it’s the new party where everyone looks so hyped up and are dancing like they’re the main characters in a movie. 

But FOMO robs you of this present moment. We’re either spiralling into the past with thoughts like, “Why did I cancel?” or, “I bet they had so much fun without me”, or we’re worrying about the future, where we kid ourselves that we won’t be able to have great lives like the people on our phone screens. So let’s embrace the present… I hope you have your journal out, because I’ve got some great prompts and ideas to help you deal with FOMO.

How to deal with FOMO

Get moving!

Get out of your room, preferably outside in fresh air, and walk around, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. When our body starts moving, we can shift that stuck state that FOMO has kept us in. If it isn’t possible to get outside, just move into a different room and maybe do some stretches, walk around it, shake it out, and have a solo dance party.  

Redefine what joy/connection/fun looks like for you

This one is meant to be journaled, so get your journal, candle and a nice pen and sit down for 10 minutes and write about what fun means to you. Other people’s definitions may not be the same as yours; you might not like going out to all those Christmas parties and you might instead, if you’re like me, prefer to curl up on the sofa with a Christmas movie.

Learning what brings you joy will also allow you to connect with like-minded people and then socialising doesn’t have to feel like you are emptying your energy cup every time you go out. 

Embrace your main character energy

Treat this moment like a self-love date – what do you love to do that you don’t get time for? Maybe it’s reading a good book, wrapped up like a burrito in a blanket with a hot chocolate, maybe it’s walking around and seeing the lights, maybe it’s cooking yourself a new recipe.

Whatever it is, put on a great soundtrack and vibe to it – who says we can’t have fun by ourselves? I actually have a main character playlist ready for these moments and I dare you to make one after you’ve finished reading this!

Record past events meticulously

As a good friend always says to me: “If there isn’t a photo then it didn’t happen,” so take great photos wherever you go. FOMO lies to us and tells us that we’re never going to have fun like the people we see in front of us on our phones, so instead of scrolling through other people’s Instagram, scroll through your own photos and remember all of the amazing memories you have made and have the capacity of making soon.

You can also take one-second videos or set up a causal magic Instagram (like me) to romanticise daily life and look back at mundane moments in a new light. 

If you’re experiencing FOMO or struggling with jealousy and need some support, take a look at The Mix’s resources on looking after yourself.

If you’re feeling bored and starting to get FOMO, here are 10 fun things you can do at home!

Next Steps

By Sharvari Patil

Updated on 20-Dec-2023

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