Summertime: the days are longer, weather is warmer, and with the ample number of activities happening, it can feel like saying ‘no’ to a single bbq is wasting daylight. But we only have so much energy.
Enter JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out. Instead of fretting about missing a good time, take a night or weekend to appreciate your own company. Call it "me time" or practicing self-care, but embracing the joy of missing out can feel magical. If you think you could use a quiet night in, these are six of my favorite things to do when I dive into JOMO state:
One of the biggest kick starters of FOMO—fear of missing out—for me is social media. Seeing everyone dressed to the nines having the time of their lives can feel like a slap in the face while I'm at home chilling in my bathrobe. While I try to remember that just because it looks like everyone is having an awesome time doesn’t mean they actually are, it is still all too easy to get sucked into other people's lives when social media makes it so easy. If you to do feel like having a night to yourself, I recommend keeping social media away so you can really focus on you and not the world outside.
2. Indulge in your favorite everything.
When I’m constantly around other people, sometimes I lose sight of what stuff I actually enjoy. The thing about other people’s parties is that they can be curations of all of their favorites—what music they like to play, food they like to serve, scents they like their home to smell like. When engaging in JOMO, queue up your favorite tunes, light your favorite candles, savor your favorite dish: you only have yourself to please!
3. Have a spa day.
After an extra-hectic week last week, I treated myself to a day of luxury, and it didn’t break the bank. I woke up early and did a deep conditioning hair treatment, used a mud mask sample that I’d had for months, and had a long soak using a bath bomb I’d received as a gift. The only time I left my house all day was to get a back massage, and by Monday morning, I felt totally refreshed and ready to go. Pampering yourself is a great way to remind yourself that you matter.
4. Cook something decadent.
During the week, cooking typically feels like a chore to me. I usually cook big batches that will last for 3 or 4 days where I focus on getting it done quickly and affordably, and I definitely rely on takeout more often than I should. But having time to really enjoy the process of cooking when it doesn’t have to be rushed really relaxes me. I like to cook comfort foods that my mom used to make like meatloaf or homemade spaghetti, but I also like to attempt semi-complicated new recipes I discover on Pinterest.
5. Visit a new world.
Though I’ve always loved books, these days I do most of my reading on the train or waiting rooms since I usually feel like I should be doing something more ‘productive.’ When I find a book I really love, I like to put my phone in a different room and spend the day on my couch reading. It makes the day go by incredibly quickly, and I completely lose track of time. It's like visiting a different world because I get so wrapped up in the characters’ lives that I don’t even consider what anyone is up to in real life.
6. Rediscover the past.
Though so much of the summer is spent making new memories, revisiting old memories is also worthwhile. Rereading my journals from college reminds me of how much I’ve grown since I was in school, and it’s pretty amusing to see how situations I spent so much time worrying about eventually played out. I also love checking out a scrapbook my high school best friend made for my birthday one year. Focusing on positive moments from the past makes me excited for what future memories are to come when it’s time to stop missing out.
Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology.