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Just Say “No” (to Overscheduling)

Do you sometimes feel FOMO? (If you don’t already know, FOMO stands for “Fear of Missing Out,” and refers to “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere”). The term may have gained significance in recent years due to social media; thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. we now have 24/7 access to what our friends and family might be doing—without US.

Children often experience FOMO because they’re still learning to manage their emotions. Ask a four-year old to go to bed during an adult dinner party and you’ll witness FOMO firsthand. Adults can experience FOMO not only for themselves but also on behalf of their children; if we’re not signing up our kids for every extracurricular activity available, we worry they’ll be “left behind” their peers.

How do you handle FOMO? Do you feel anxious and give in to it? As a result, do you end up overscheduling yourself and/or your family?

Maybe it’s time to turn FOMO into JOMO (“Joy of Missing Out”)?

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Consider the idea that we all feel left out sometimes. Instead of rushing in to fill a void, find something you enjoy doing alone and embrace the brief period of solitude.
  • Doing “nothing” creates the perfect opportunity for self-care such as taking a bath, cleaning off your desk, or sneaking in a cat nap.
  • Remember that FOMO is really just another form of feelings, and feelings (both positive and negative) come and go.

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