Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Are you suffering from FOMO? That horrible Fear Of Missing Out.

  • How often do you spend your weekend wondering what your friends or colleagues are up to?
  • Does it give you a sinking feeling when you think other people might be doing something more fun or exciting than you?
  • Are you worried that you’re missing out?

The advent of social media has brought huge opportunities to share what we do; to upload photos and videos of us having fun and living life. However, for many people it has also created a sense that we are somehow missing out. Everyone seems to be having a better time than us; having more fun in exciting places. This can lead us to fear that we are missing out on the world around us and that everyone else is somehow having a party without us.

This problem creates a doubly negative impact – not only do we feel like we are missing out but because we are too worried about everyone else having a better time than us, we are not fully present in the moment  so don’t enjoy what we are doing either. Caught in this state of being neither here nor there we can feel inadequate or rejected.

So, how do we conquer FOMO?

Acceptance:  Firstly, accept that you will miss out on some things. The world is such a busy place with so many things going on all the time that you cannot physically attend to all of them.

Identify: Workout what you really want. What’s important to you? Spending time with family, hobbies, work, travel? Do you want new experiences? Do you want material things?

Prioritise: Now you know what you really want you can prioritise the things you do / places you go / people you see etc. By choosing to spend time on the things you value, you know if you are missing out on other things then it doesn’t really matter because you are doing things that are most important to you.

Practise being mindful: Whatever you choose to do be fully present. Make sure you focus on what you are doing and give your full attention to the people you are with.

I love this quote from Jim Rohn who explains it simply

“When at work, work. When at play, play”.

For example if you are on holiday with your family or loved ones concentrate on spending quality time with them and don’t start checking  your emails – you’ll only feel guilty if you do as you’ll be aware that you are not giving them your full attention and you’re likely to not be giving your best to your work either.

If you notice your mind drifting off to other things, acknowledge what you are thinking about and gently bring your focus back to the here and now. I find the following mindfulness exercise really helpful for this as it engages all your senses to make you more aware:

  • Look around you and name 5 things in your head (e.g. chair, pen, plant)
  • Listen deeply – identify 4 different sounds (e.g. hum of traffic or air conditioning, birds singing)
  • Notice what 3 things you can feel (e.g. clothing on your skin, the breeze on your face)
  • Breathe in and notice 2 things you can smell (e.g. coffee)
  • And lastly notice 1 thing you can taste.

An even simpler version of this if you need a really quick nudge in the right direction is to look around you and literally name 3 things, taking a deep breath after each one.

Lastly, set yourself some boundaries. Be a little more savvy about how you use social media, for example:

  • Reduce your time on social media
  • Restrict your use to certain times of the day (going on before you get out of bed is not a good idea!)
  • Set a timer and only go on for short periods of time.

Whatever you do, be there and enjoy it!

Resilience

Resilience,  is a  hot topic at the moment. But what does it mean, why is it important and how can we build it? Is it just another buzz word?

What is resilience?

The Collins English Dictionary defines it as ‘(person) recovering easily and quickly from misfortune or illness; (object) capable of regaining its original shape or position after bending or stretching’. I’ve also heard of it being described as ‘bouncebackability’. Basically, it’s our ability to cope when things go wrong and how quickly we can get back on track.

In uncertain times like these we are experiencing now – political unrest, threat of terrorism, economic hardship – resilience is a useful thing to have. It’s also useful in our daily life and relationships. We all experience pressure from various sources. Resilience helps us to cope better with stress, feel more optimistic and gives us strength to keep going. That’s why it’s important.

Over the last 12 months I have had some difficult circumstances to deal with – both personally and work wise. At times I have felt as though I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. I would say I’m a pretty resilient person and take my well-being seriously but I recognised the need to start taking more conscious care of my mental and emotional state.

I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors, particularly walking and I believe over the years this has helped to build my resilience. I think if I didn’t have this level of resilience I would have felt far worse. During  stressful times I went outdoors more often; not necessarily going far but the fresh air and act of walking made me feel better. Movement got my blood flowing, it helped to distract me from the negative emotions by enabling me to connect with the world outside my own little bubble. I could literally feel the stress start to dissolve the further I walked.

Castleton Hills
How do you navigate life’s ups & downs?

Building resilience

To build resilience it’s important to make time for yourself and do the things that matter, even if it’s just 5 minutes peace and quiet. If you don’t look after yourself then you aren’t going to be any good to anyone else. There’s a great saying ‘Meditate for 20 minutes a day, if you haven’t got time then meditate for an hour’. It’s essential to build time for self-care into your weekly routine, but preferably daily. The more you say to other people, through your actions, ‘I matter’ the more likely they are to respect you and your boundaries. Sometimes you just have to say ‘no’.

I understand that not everybody can get out walking but if you can, I highly recommend it. Other things you could do to build your resilience include:

  • Being physically active (anything from household chores, to gardening, to cycling)
  • Spending less time on social media and more time with people who inspire you (people generally post about all the great times they are having and don’t mention the stuff in the background. This can make us think everyone is living a great life apart from us).
  • Setting a routine and sticking to it, which might include going to bed earlier and getting up earlier.
  • Connecting with other people (even if it’s as simple as smiling at a passer-by and saying ‘hello’).
  • Stretching your comfort zone by trying something new.

Try out a few different things and take note of what works best for you. Let me know what you do to build your resilience.

If you would like support to move forwards or increase your resilience, get in touch to see how Life Coaching can help you.

 

I’ll do it later…

As I sit and write this I’m feeling slightly bemused (and maybe a tad hypocritical). I had intended to start writing this yesterday but other things got in the way. There are normally many things (excuses?) that prevent us from starting or continuing with tasks – a classic example of procrastination.

So, what are other signs of procrastination? What’s the problem with procrastinating? How do we overcome procrastination?

Continue reading “I’ll do it later…”

Lessons I learned in Zumba class

I’ve been going to Zumba on and off for about a year now and as I was busy enjoying the session this morning, I realised that I’d learned a number of things about life in general from that class.

Just keep moving

When I was learning new moves, especially at the beginning I found it difficult to follow some of the sequences. I recognised that as long as I kept moving  Continue reading “Lessons I learned in Zumba class”

Failure or Feedback?

I’ve been through a few ‘learning’ experiences recently. Things have happened that weren’t what I planned. Some of this was disappointing (for example deciding to cancel a workshop) but I haven’t lost faith.

I reflected on the experiences and looked at what went wrong, where it went wrong and when. I also asked myself what I could do differently going forwards. I believe in the saying ‘feedback not failure’.  Continue reading “Failure or Feedback?”