FOMO Vs. JOMO: Reconnecting With Your Inner Voice | Escape Haven

FOMO Vs. JOMO: Reconnecting With Your Inner Voice

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If you happen to be unfamiliar with the craze of FOMO, this trendy acronym means a ‘Fear Of Missing Out.’ It has become a popular term, and an even more popular hashtag, in recent years and refers specifically to a fear of missing out on being somewhere or doing something, particularly a social event. You may experience FOMO if you are called into work when your friends are headed out to a popular concert. The fear of missing out is particularly apparent in the modern world of social media, where there is great pressure to be out, about and engaged every moment of every day. 

The rise of FOMO goes hand in hand with the rise of burn out. The pressure to be switched on 24/7 and show your face at every social event of the season allows for very little downtime. Often times, going out to social events can be a result of feelings of obligation as opposed to feelings of desire, willingness or pleasure. Being able to watch events unfold in real-time through social platforms and apps increases this feeling of FOMO as you literally watch where you ‘could’ or ‘should’ have been from the palm of your hand. 

Of course, FOMO is a bit of a fun term too. It is certainly a millennial term if there ever was one. As if daily life isn’t hectic enough, the pressure that comes from being at every event, workshop, wedding, baby shower, birthday, Hen’s weekend, family gathering, concert, work party etc inspires a dairy that is choc-a-bloc full with events all vying for your time, attention and energy. If you choose not to go? Guilt, shame, fear of being excluded, left out, ‘uncool…?’ Are these emotions real or justified? Will the world end if you miss yet that karaoke night or hip hop vinyasa workshop? Is FOMO a real thing or just a hashtag that has been swiftly adopted, embraced and slotted into the frenetic existence of modern-day life?!

Don’t Despair: Enter JOMO

JOMO can be seen as the wellness worlds backlash against FOMO. JOMO stands for the ‘joy of missing out.’ Let’s just breathe a sigh of relief and read that one again: the joy of missing out. At first, this term seems contradictory – how can missing out on something be joyous? Have you ever been getting ready for an outing, feeling less than enthusiastic as you strip of your work clothes and pull on your going-out clothes, only to receive a phone call saying the event was cancelled? As you pour a glass of red and slip into your PJs, life seems oh-so-perfect. Sound familiar?!

Sometimes we need this permission to be let off the hook of social obligations. However most of the time it is up to us to really check in with ourselves and determine whether or not we want to say yes or no. It is up to us to navigate our way through our feelings of desire and obligation and determine whether going out or staying in is in our best interests.

JOMO is not a blanket excuse to dive into never-ending series of Netflix and hang up your going-out clothes for good! It is, however, a very good reminder that sometimes staying in, saying no and opting out is what we need. In the wellness world in particular, JOMO has been embraced as a way to prioritise self-care. Reclaiming your Saturday night and indulging in a long bubble bath, a nourishing home-cooked meal, and an early night is a guilt-free option that many women are now opting for. 

What FOMO and JOMO really offer though is an opportunity for us to check in with ourselves and follow our intuition. Feelings of obligation or guilt can sway us to make decisions that are out of alignment with our truth and our deepest needs. Yes, there are times when our appearance somewhere is important and necessary. Yet there are also plenty of examples where our presence is only obligatory in our mind, and we do in fact have a choice. Sometimes we also need to push ourselves- making an effort to catch up with a girlfriend or going along to that spin class after a long day- these types of things may feel easier to cancel in favour of a cosy night in, but they have real value and leave you feeling happier and far more satisfied than if you had of opted out. On the other hand, forcing yourself out to a party or event after a long week when you really feel that you just need to rest and take some time out- this is the perfect chance to practice your JOMO skills. 

Both FOMO and JOMO can be sneaky. While FOMO has us doing things we may rather not do, JOMO can have us slinking into the shadows and saying no to opportunities that help us to grow and transform. Especially for introverts, JOMO can be just as hard of a habit to break as FOMO is for extroverts. Returning to the world of wellness, what we need to find is a place of balance- to know when it is right to be social, to push ourselves, to try something new, and to say yes, and when we would benefit from some solo time, taking a break, and feeling comfortable and confident in our own needs regardless of other people’s opinion. 

Phew, when did things become so complicated?! 

The good news is that we are all innately intelligent human beings. As women, we are deeply intuitive. We know what is best for us and we often get swayed by our dedication and commitment to people we care about. We need to remember that filling up our own cup and taking time out enables us to be the best version of ourselves and to be there fully for the people in our lives. We also need to remember that just as much as we need downtime, we are social creatures. We thrive in the company of others and we grow through new opportunities and experiences. When we have the ability, confidence and self-respect to mindfully choose what is best for us, life becomes easier and we are able to thrive. 

Everyday life pulls us in different directions. There are many ‘sliding doors’ moments. We have to constantly choose and weigh up which path to take and which door to open. We may not even be aware of all the choices we are presented with. We tend to operate on autopilot and sway towards being a ‘yes’ person or a ‘no’ person without actually taking the time to pause and check-in. When you accept the position of being captain of your own ship, life becomes pretty magical. So regardless of the fancy acronyms, start taking the time to feel into what is right for you. Be the author of your own story, not just a character within it. 

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