Growing up as the youngest in the family, I was plagued with a serious case of FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out. I was convinced that once I went to bed, my parents and older siblings were snarfing an endless supply of pizza, Twinkies, and soda while watching tons of amazing TV and laughing uproariously. In reality, it was much less fun—they were finishing chores, watching the news, studying, and completing homework. But I couldn’t get past the idea that I was being left out of all that fun I’d created in my own mind. Naturally, I was less than eager to hit the hay at my usual bedtime.
“You make a life of what you have, not what you’re missing.”
How do we revel in all that we have?
The upcoming holiday season is a universally crazy time for all families, full of loads of opportunities to make more memories and have even more fun. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tapping into good times, but what if we did it with a JOMO mindset?
JOMO, or the Joy Of Missing Out is the antidote to FOMO. It’s a way of life that seeks to revel in the moment instead of feeling guilty for not participating in the thousands of other things out there. Living more JOMO means you’ll be more likely to pay attention to what’s around you—from enjoying a walk in nature without seeing it through the aid of a screen to staying at home and enjoying more time together as a family. It offers a chance to stop running in a million different directions as individuals and enjoy more time as a family unit, partaking in family meals and beloved traditions. It doesn’t mean we have to nix the fun, but we seek it in different ways. In other words, your family’s fun quotient won’t necessarily be satisfied racing in and out of stores at the mall or spending countless hours hunting for the perfect tree.
It seems like social media has created an even greater FOMO problem in our culture. We are bombarded with picture-perfect snapshots of families enjoying holidays, making the perfect Christmas cookies, and posing for the most amazing holiday card. But what you don’t see is all the exhausting effort that goes into those brief moments. It’s important to be realistic about these polished photo shoots. In a lot of ways, it’s akin to advertising, but we all know the family on the J Crew catalog who are perfectly coiffed with their matching Santa hats, and the perfectly behaved kids and dog is a load of hogwash. Real family life is a heck of a lot less stiff and usually a good bit messier. Let’s embrace that reality!
4 Simple Tips to Have a JOMO Holiday Season:
Spend less time on social media. Period. If you tend to be someone who can easily fall into the trap of comparing your family to others, do your best to lay off Facebook and Insta. When you’re not feeling competitive with the Joneses, you’ll be better able to appreciate the amazing family you already have. Or seek out like-minded parents in our Thrive Families of Character private Facebook group where we tackle the real struggles of family life.
Challenge yourself to say NO more often. We all spread ourselves too thin by agreeing to partake in a cookie exchange, or hosting a bunch of events. Be pickier about what you say yes to and experience the calm that comes with not being over-scheduled. BTW, kids are infamously over-scheduled these days. Consider saying NO to some good things, so they can say yes to even greater things.
Slow down and consciously cut out the noise. Embrace a slower pace. A few weeks ago, I blogged about all the trouble that comes with constantly being in a hurry. You can read more on that here. Suffice it to say, your emotional and physical well-being benefits if you stop rushing. When you are stuck in traffic or have a moment of stillness, refrain from reaching for your phone or turning on the radio/tv/podcast. Just think. This opens your mind to have more space for the important people in your life—your spouse and kids. And what a powerful example to your kids that not every quiet moment needs to be filled with noise and distractions.
- Start/ Reclaim tried & true family rituals. It’s the perfect time to start having more dinners at home, cooking meals and deserts with and for one another, creating tables set with care, and taking pleasure in family togetherness. The idea is to compile low/no-cost activities designed to offer opportunities for bonding. Set aside scheduled downtime as a family. (Psst… If you’re looking for some help in getting your family back on track as a cohesive unit, check out our Adventure into Character Kit that walks you through the fun of starting a Family Huddle and much more.)
So, here’s to more JOMO this holiday season! This December, don’t make your family life merely about the passing fancies: pizza, Twinkies, and soda pop—there’s a whole lot more to experience: lasting memories and treasures that promise true joy.
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
If you have an issue you’d like our help with, drop us a line at Hello@FamiliesofCharacter.com. If you’re experiencing a problem, chances are thousands of other families are in the same boat. We’re ALL in this parenting boat together!
Remember to tap into our Thrive Community on Facebook. It’s free and our team’s very own clinical counselor offers helpful tips and encouragement to parents who are adventuring together.