FOMO – How to prevent fear of missing out

By Sarah Herforth

Sometimes it is hard to be social and go to an event or party with your friends, family or colleagues, especially if you have a busy daily schedule. Some time off for yourself to recharge might be just what you need in a case like this. But you might continue to think that you’re missing out on all the fun, or that people will think you’re antisocial, and this can trigger anxiety.

This feeling of being afraid to miss out on something is called FOMO, short for fear of missing out. It is something we all experience from time to time, especially when you’re a student and expectations of your social life are pretty high. Luckily, there are some ways to avoid feeling stressed about missing events.

Talking about how you feel is an important way to prevent FOMO. It really relieves your struggle to say to someone that you need some time for yourself, that you’re a bit overwhelmed or maybe just that you’re not feeling very well without specifying. The chances are that your friends, family or colleagues will respond very friendly and  understanding, and acknowledge that they also experience that from time to time. In this way you’re also breaking the stigma on FOMO and help others who are struggling with this as well.

Another way to prevent FOMO is to look at your schedule and see what kind of activities give you energy and what kind of activities actually drain energy. For example, if you want to go to a talk about a topic you really enjoy, but you’re actually very tired and stressed from your university work, you might end up not enjoying the event at all because you’re not feeling well and can’t focus properly. Or you might realize that a party where you will meet and talk to a lot of new people is very overwhelming for you. Events like this might only take up energy instead of giving you energy and making you feel happy and satisfied afterwards.

In the long run, nobody benefits from you pushing yourself if it leads to you not feeling well!

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