We live in a world where we’re expected to be on all the time: on the go, on brand, on fleek, and online. The rise of FOMO—our favorite acronym for why we’re always “busy, but good” and unable to take a break to rest—shouldn’t be surprising in the least, because if you’re not on you’re certainly missing out on something that would radically transform your life, make you glamorous and thin, and solve all your relationship/work/financial problems. But as any good burn-out cycle goes, the sideways pride once associated with FOMO sufferers is on its own way out, being replaced with something that we should really fear missing out on: Joy.
Enter JOMO—the “joy of missing out”—which The New York Times lovingly characterizes as the “cousin” of FOMO and is a phenomenon that’s building its own kind of internal heat. Ways to disconnect from our smartphones—just having one is the first and likely only criteria needed to be a victim of FOMO—are literally being built into the phones themselves, and technology’s embrace of its own detrimental side effects is proof of its severity. But short of everyone simultaneously deactivating their social media accounts and pulling an Anne Hathaway-in-Paris on their mobiles, it will be hard to feel a meaningful lessening of the constant anxiety buzzing through the air in sync with the signal waves powering them.
In the midst of the summer, however, the air is also ripe with possibilities and “let’s try it” energy—so why not give letting go of FOMO a go? With abundant, socially condoned opportunities to get outdoors and escape the day to day routine, there’s probably less you could miss out on at work or school anyway, and more space in your schedule for joyful indulgences like a vegan ice cream cone or taking the long route home to enjoy the extended daylight. If you need inspiration, take these tips for making this the Summer of JOMO!
Learn to love the #latergram: There’s nothing wrong with taking pictures of your adventures this summer; we’ve been using cameras for the very purpose of remembering for over a century. What does feel wrong, however, is finding yourself experiencing time away through the other end of a small screen. Take a line from John Mayer and choose to not “have a camera by my side this time / hoping I would see the world through both my eyes.” The art of the #latergram allows you to snap what you like and curate later, giving you more in-the-moment time with your to-be memories. Once you’re back home, thoughtfully compiled collages and albums will show how much you reflected on your experience and show to your friends that you truly got to enjoy. Now that’s a vacation worth being envious of!
Have an eight-year-old-me day: For some reason, age eight stands out to me as one of the last times I was truly a kid. It was before the pangs of early-onset puberty and cliques in the lunch room, when summer was summer and not a way to build your resume. And it was certainly before the age of the smartphone. Get back to that headspace and have a day where you carry none of your adult baggage, even your purse full of emergency survival supplies like band-aids, nail files, and of course, your phone. What do you need to be truly joyful as a kid? Probably way less than you think. Did you care whether another kid was having more fun on another beach than you? Probably not, because you were too focused on making that epic sand castle.
Just eat your food: Summer is the season of simple fare—watermelon slices, infused water, flavored ices, greens tossed in light dressing with a dash of this or that for crunch. Nothing against minimalist foodies, but these decidedly un-fancy foods aren’t always the works of art we can compile to show off on Instagram when we make or order something rich and extravagant. Instead of wondering how to get the right shadow on a sweaty glass of water, just drink it! Your friends will be okay not knowing that you hydrated yourself, and you can turn food into fuel for more playtime instead of screen time.
Tune in to nature: For my fellow runners/joggers and cyclists—and anyone who braves the elements all year round to exercise outside—embrace the soundtrack of summer and let your ears breathe! In the winter months, you might really need the beat of your favorite songs to motivate you to get up and out in the cold, dark morning hours. But in summer, the sun and chirping of birds do that for you! Take advantage of the shift in circadian rhythm and let nature’s earlier wake-up time guide you toward deeper awareness of your surroundings. You might notice a part of your route you never saw with your music on, or meet a new friend on the way (furry or human).
What are your most joyful summer memories? Share on Facebook #summerofjomo!
Also by Jennifer: Chlorine Free Bleach Alternatives To Detox Your Home. Buh-Bye, Mold!
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Photos: Pexels.com; @VanLeeuwenIceCream via Instagram