What's The Deal With JOMO – And Why You Need It

Picture you on a serious date with the couch and Netflix when you scroll past a selfie of two friends sipping cocktails poolside on Insta. What if, instead of over-thinking why you didn’t get an invite and going for a pass-agg double-tap, you felt good about not being there?

JOMO – The joy of missing out. An upbeat antidote to its glass-half-empty cousin FOMO, the term exploded into the mainstream thanks to US blogger and entrepreneur Anil Dash. “It came up a few years ago but I don’t think we were ready then,” says Leanne Hall, clinical psychologist and author of Head First, Health Fast. “Now? We’re exhausted. We’ve got to challenge the irrational fear we feel that if we miss an event or don’t check our social media profile, then we’ll get left behind.”

Boost the joy

Learning to relax, press pause and practice self-care isn’t being ignored. JOMO was one of Collins Dictionary’s ‘Words of 2016’ and #SelfCareSaturday is definitely a thing. Injecting your life with more JOMO starts with identifying what you actually don’t mind missing out on.

“Once you’ve realised what’s important to you, there’s no need to constantly do everything else that doesn’t drive and energise you, or enrich your life,” explains life coach Lauren Trlin.

She suggests writing a list with what you love doing on one side (hello, friends’ birthdays and beach days) and on the other? What matters less and you’d be happy to skip (say, after-work drinks). Then diarise some time each week to do what you love, as well as relax… ideally sans phone.

The thing is, your phone is often the biggest triggers of FOMO. One in ten of us find keeping on top of social media stressful, according to the most recent Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey.

If yours is a FOMO trigger, don’t necessarily go cold turkey. Start small by silencing or leaving your phone in another room for a few minutes, suggests Hall, “Like any skill – it takes time and practise.”

A little kindness

At its heart, FOMO often crops up when we’re feeling vulnerable and unsettled – stress from work, a fight with your partner or a string of late nights. When we pinpoint the source, we can steer toward self-care.

“Hit pause and ask yourself, ‘What’s going on here?’ Then give yourself permission to feel a bit yuck,” says Hall, “it’s normal – but once you accept it for what it is, it can be like a weight off your shoulders. Then you can say ‘OK, now I’m going to do something nurturing to make me feel good and help me move through this feeling.’”

Things that focus on movement and sensations are great, she adds (yoga and massage, come at us!). The reason? They’re physical ways to anchor yourself to the present moment.

Whatever your self-care mode of choice, add it to your diary quick smart. Now, back to Netflix and that couch, but leave your phone in the bedroom.

JOMO, we’re so ready for you.

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