How To Make Peace With FOMO
Picture this situation: I'm sat in bed, probably with a scented candle flickering somewhere near me. I'm watching Netflix, maybe I have a face mask on my face, and I'm feeling utterly peaceful in my own company. I pick up my phone, maybe have a casual scroll through Instagram or snapchat, and see my friends having fun. Bam, FOMO floods me with full force and suddenly my evening went from blissful to anxiety inducing faster than you can say "feeling left out".
FOMO is a bitch that many of us have to deal with, and living on a campus that takes merely five minutes to walk end to end, knowing that your friends are nearby having fun, is downright disheartening. Even if all I wanted to do was curl up in bed because university life is so tiring, not going along to things is really difficult. I can't even tell you how many times I have gone to events just because I wanted to be a part of something, even when a quiet night in would have been infinitely preferable and so much healthier.
Coming to terms with these feelings is something I've been trying to do for years, and I'm sort of, almost getting there. It's definitely something I still struggle with, though, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on how to avoid it.
Make plans for another time: If I want to be in bed early one night but I know the creeping thoughts of loneliness and feeling left out will ruin it for me, I always try to have something coming up to cling on to. It's okay that I'm staying in tonight, because tomorrow night I'll be with my friends, and a girl has to do both, right?
Stay away from social media: Social media is a recipe for FOMO, plain and simple. Scrolling is inevitably what induces these feelings within me, so now I know to switch it off and leave it under my pillow. This helps me better focus on the fun I'm having, without the constant reminder of what everyone else is up to.
Remember you are not alone: Not only is staying in a valid choice, it's also a choice a lot of people make. Sure there may be plenty of people out having fun, but there are also plenty opting for the same kind of night as you. Take comfort in their existence, and remember that everyone else feels like this way from time to time too.
You do you: Try to keep the thoughts away from others, and focus on yourself. Are you enjoying this activity? Is this what you need right now? If it's not, then it's 100% fine to try and make other plans, but invariably the night started as an active decision that I was making for myself. When I place the lens on that, rather than thinking about the people living around me, I'm always happier with what I'm doing.
This is no perfect solution, but hopefully a little step forward into happiness. I've come to realise that the only difference between me in bed watching Netflix and me in bed feeling FOMO is the feeling bad part - which is just stupid, right? Instead, I'm trying to reclaiming enjoying being alone. Join me, won't you?