On the surface people would say joy, happiness, and cheer are all the feels during the holiday season but that's not all that's felt this time of year and I'm not talking just gift envy. For a lot of young girls it's the season to compare and OMG the anxiety of FOMO can feel like holiday depression on steroids.
Depression is a real and a serious consequence of FOMO. You might be feeling the downward spiral of always thinking others are doing more interesting things than you. The problem is this...If we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and constantly doing a deep dive on social media to see what they're doing it will no doubt affect your mood. The holiday festivities cause our nosey selves to focus more on others than ourselves and those right in front of us. It's tricky but I'm here to share my experience and thoughts on how to nix the holiday FOMO blues.
CREATE some new traditions and fun with friends. You don't need a bunch of friends, even just 1 friend can turn the holiday season into the most festive time of all.
Take a BFF sleepover to a new holiday level by gathering some paper and markers to create a little extra magic for others. Make some fun colorful inspirational quote cards to share with others. When you head back to school after the holidays or ring in the new year, make it a point to tape the quotes on lockers, bulletin boards, pass them out or take them to a counselor to use for those who are suffering. Not only is this super fun but it feels good to do good. FYI - it's pretty difficult to feel negative while you're doing good for others.
Dial DOWN the social media usage. Trust me...it's OK and you will live if you lessen the time spent scrolling. Give yourself a time limit and stick to it. I did this and with all honesty I realized just how much I was truly missing out on because my head was stuck in my phone. When I felt the urge to check my phone it was usually because I felt bored. So, I decided to take my cute dog for a walk or bake cookies or meet up with a friend...you get the idea right? When all eyes are on what everyone else is doing you're giving your mind permission to feel like you are missing out or your life doesn't equal others. FYI - Those post you see are highlight reels...those girls get bored too. I think of all they are missing out on because so much time is spent perfecting/filtering photos. Let that sink in a bit!
Embrace alone time. Solitude can be healing and motivational. I enjoy yoga and dedicate some "me time" almost every day. I use the time to reflect, think about my goals (big or small) and feel peace. We are so busy in our daily lives with deadlines, schedules and chores that if we're not careful we forget about taking self care of our mind and body. FYI - You don't have to spend hours on meditation. If you only take 5 minutes, that's a huge start! If you want to up your game, head on over to @grokrocksofficial and snag one of their super cute rocks or just be inspired by their Instagram. This small business is amazing & they have been a huge supporter of Girls Above Society.
Downtime during the holidays doesn't have to mean start scrolling social media. Don't fall into the downward spiral, instead try these ideas! Play a game with family/friends. Create something - Put your pen/markers to paper and write OR draw. Exercise - it's good for the mind & body! Baking or cooking a meal is super fun especially when you make if a family affair. Help your parents by cleaning or doing some extra chores. I know...this is not my definition of fun either BUT being grateful and helping out means more than any gift you could buy. If you're an older sister, spend some quality time with your siblings doing something they choose. Oftentimes we are so busy with school/sport/extracurricular activities that we lose that quality one on one time with our family.
"My friends received more and better gifts than I did." - This aspect of FOMO is sometimes the hardest. Again, we're looking in the lens of other lives believing that our life doesn't measure up. The number of gifts one receives never reflects the importance of us as human beings. Some families spend an enormous amount on gifts, some don't. Some gift throughout the year in small ways and some have a one time gift event during the holidays. Some families will earn a larger salary than others. Judging our friends based on the number of gifts received is a little crazy if you stop and think about it. I've had friends throughout the years from very wealthy families and yes, they often receive the latest and greatest gifts we all would love but along the way I had to stop and think about why they were my friends. It wasn't because their parents could afford expensive things, it was because they were truly good friends who were honest, fun, authentic and supported me (we supported each other) in every way. THAT was my gift from them and it cost $0.00. The same goes for my friends whose parents earned a lesser salary. Both worked hard to provide for their families. Perspective is so important. Forget the gifts, what you wanted vs what your friends received. Tomorrow we will carry forward and I can honestly tell you that none of the purchased gifts will improve your friendships and they won't change your life either. Stuff will come and go but our values, character and friendships will long last any bought gift.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! May your light shine bright and thoughtful with love & a sprinkling of Girl Power everywhere you go! XOXO Lauren