If you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and come across pictures of your friends out at dinner or pictures of that event you meant to attend, you may experience FOMO – fear of missing out. It’s hard to understand the exact reason for FOMO – did you genuinely want to attend or did you just want to feel included? But there is a new trend emerging and I am embracing it wholeheartedly (or at least trying too as I type away at 1am).

In a blog post on Psychology Today , Kristen Fuller said “JOMO” is essentially the “emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO” and it is “about being present and being content with where you are at in life.” Some people are born with it, others learn to embrace it.

If you’re constantly fretting about missing out on something, you’re not likely enjoying yourself wherever you are. This isn’t a healthy way to live your life, and Fuller wrote that you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people’s lives or experiences. “JOMO allows us to be who we are in the present moment, which is the secret to finding happiness,” she said. “When you free up that competitive and anxious space in your brain, you have so much more time, energy and emotion to conquer your true priorities.” “Instead of having FOMO over silly experiences on social media, we should be wary about having FOMO over missing moments with loved ones, watching sunsets, laughing at jokes, traveling, walking barefoot through the grass, hearing the sound of the ocean, and enjoying good food with family and friends,” said Fuller.

How am I embracing JOMO?

According to a recent survey on LinkedIn , 70% of employees say they can’t disconnect from work when they go away. It’s hard to completely switch off, but with stress and burnout steadily increasing over the past decade, many employees would likely benefit from turning their FOMO to JOMO once in a while. In an article for Inc , writer Justin Bariso discovered JOMO after he published his first book. He found it hard to switch off, worrying that his editor would contact him for re-writes, or he would miss an important email. It wasn’t until he was abroad with his family and his daughter asked him to play that he thought: “What am I doing?” “Did I really want to go to Starbucks to sit in front of my computer, responding to emails from people I barely know, when instead I could be spending time with my family on a beautiful beach?” he wrote.

It doesn’t come easily and it needs constant work, but I feel that I am at a place where I am happy with not attending every networking event, dinner party or even being the one to initiate a gathering. I have also discovered that my ability to switch off needs some work and that is becoming my main focus. After a very interesting chat with a client this week, I discovered that even though we take a day or a few days to rejuvenate, we aren’t truly relaxed and fall back into the grind of things, so easily, when we’re back at work.

Vacations vs. Working Holidays

I travel quite often and I always work during my holidays. Now, I know my career allows me to work from remote locations; it’s a pro but also a con. The con is that I never get to switch off – I make myself available 24/7 (literally) to compensate for being away. But after spending time really reading about JOMO, I promised myself that my next break (which sees me travelling to Bali in October) is going to be a vacation, and not just a working holiday. How can my clients rely on me wholeheartedly if I am pouring from an empty cup?

Learning to say “not today”

So, there’s no denying that I am a people pleaser. If a client or potential client needs something, I always aim to deliver immediately – often stopping whatever I was doing to action their request. That’s just ridiculous. Unless there is a crisis occurring, I am going to learn to say “not today.” I am so blessed to work with such amazing people, who also never expect me to drop whatever it is I am doing for them. So, this is no fault of anyone else’s but mine – it is because I have been conditioned to place such high expectations on myself, and sometimes, you just need to sympathetically look at yourself in the mirror and say, “IT’S OKAY.”

These are the two ways I am embracing JOMO, for what’s left of 2018. Will you join me?

We are so consumed with feeding our pockets, feeding our brain, staying in shape physically, but what about the soul? The most important part of us needs the most attention!

“Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling–
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won’t go through it;
The anxious clamoring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favor of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out”

—Michael Leunig

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