FOMO stands for "fear of missing out." This term went viral and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. Have you ever had that nervous or anxious feeling when you realize you were not invited to be with friends because you saw the pics on social media? Did this revelation make you feel insecure about how you really fit in with friends? If you answered yes in your head, don't worry because you are not alone!
I don't believe we should rely or consider our self-worth based on popularity but FOMO causes girls to assume that they have a low social ranking. This belief can create anxiety and feelings of inferiority. Did you know FOMO is especially common in people ages 18 to 33? One survey found that about two-thirds of people in this age group admitted to experiencing FOMO regularly. Here's a link to the survey just in case you're up for reading more about FOMO (Australian Psychological Society)
HUGE problem! The obsessive worrying about what everyone else is doing only causes girls to miss out on their own lives even more. In fact, FOMO causes girls to keep their attention focused outward instead of inward. Girls begin to lose their sense of identity and struggle with low self-esteem. Struggling with FOMO means we are so focused on what others are doing that we forget to live our own lives. WHAT???? YOU have a life too, so don't forget that!
SPRING BREAK is a big dose of insta photo dumps full of what seems like glorious destinations for everyone...well almost everyone because YOU might be feeling a little FOMO and begin to believe it's only you who doesn't get in on all the fun. You might even have friends who have gone together and this leaves you feeling like you're not at the top of the list for invites, especially ones that take you out of your own backyard. I'm here to nix all the thoughts out of your head because we've all felt this way and been in the exact same boat...no pun intended since you might be stuck on land. :) Let's dive deep into this crazy phenomenon and get back in the right headspace so we can truly take that much needed break AND find some selfish fun to mix it up a bit.
Not all families can afford a lavish vacation. We expect celebrities to post all their exotic destinations and we never feel FOMO, although we might feel a little jealous but that's perfectly normal. The key to this is that again, we EXPECT celebrities to travel and be fancy. We see our friends as peers/equals but everything isn't always equal. I've had friends who never could go on a great vacation and I've had friends who always go on vacation and they think that's perfectly normal. Our lifestyles are a perspective of what is "normal" for us. It's not always normal for everyone else and this is where the FOMO starts to wedge its way into our soul. If you're feeling at a disadvantage because your family is not in a position to vacation, understand the realization and put your thoughts in a healthy perspective. And by the way, your thoughts are valid, always valid. When we learn to compartmentalize, we gain a better mindset and positivity prevails.
OK, so you're not going to vacation during Spring Break. I bet there's also another girl you know with the same situation and the perfect time to connect, have a sleepover, do a vision board craft together, bake cookies and decorate them, build a fort and camp outside in the backyard while gazing at the stars. Boredom takes over because the only fun things we see are social media posts and that makes life seem very small if we allow it. SO...
Ditch the social media - take a Spring Break from all the nonsense and be selfish, do for YOU and take that time to focus on the positives in your life. They truly are there if you can stop comparing even for a little while. Punishing everyone else because you feel slighted never makes life better...it just places focus on negative feelings. I've taken several breaks from social media and found myself noticing things around me I'd been missing out on. One on one time with friends, just talking and hanging out, being more present with my family, taking walks and seeing nature in it's raw form and just thinking with myself has given me a new perspective. I guess you could say focusing on things that truly matter can get lost when our heads are in our phones. We're so into everyone else's life that we lost sight of our own.
Remember, Spring break lasts 1 week and before you know it, all your peers will be back in the same spot...school. Life goes forward and while you listen to all the vaca details from your bff's, know that not being able to have their experiences doesn't make you any less of a person. Be happy that everyone made it back to school safely. I know...that might sound crazy but it's true. We take so much for granted and forget about being grateful. If you didn't go on a vaca be grateful for the down time. Be grateful for a new perspective. Don't feel sorry for yourself, be glad you understand that FOMO is a mindset and my hopes are that you have slayed it like a dragon so it never creeps back in your mind again.
XOXO ~ Lauren