Summer and The Fear of Missing Out

Before I launch straight into this post, I apologise for the break I have taken from this blog. It was unintended and longer than it should have been but a break sometimes gives me perspective. It allows me to do other things which spark my creativity and well, sometimes life just gets in the way doesn’t it?

It’s been a month of uninspiring weather that I was desperate to escape from. All of my plans seemed like years away and I’d forgotten what it felt like to be warm. Until this weekend that is. The sun really brightens up my mood and we’ve been busy pretty much all weekend soaking up the rays, catching up with friends, eating BBQ food and enjoying live music. It’s been a blissful three days and there’s another one at the end of the month to look forward to!

The sudden heatwave got me thinking about how we’re all quick to make plans and sport these all over social media. It’s bank holiday, you must be doing something! There’s a sudden panic that if you don’t fill those three days with BBQ’s, friends and evenings spent in the beer garden then you aren’t doing it right.

Summer, in particular is a time when everyone is posting pictures of their cold ciders or their tan. Most people are outside enjoying the sun or planning road trips. Summer always holds a promise of long evenings, carefree days spent in the sun away from the stresses of work and everyday life.

It holds a certain sort of romance, summer lovin’ if you like and there’s a pressure to be out, to be doing something, to be making the most of the sunshine and living your ‘best life’. Of course, that’s okay. We should all be making the most of it. (Most of the year, it feels like we’re living in the Antarctic – thanks global warming).

However, if you have no big plans for Summer, no holidays, no weekend road trips planned then you might be looking at all the people on social media who do. Summer is a time for plans and can be difficult for those who are introverts or even those who long to be on holiday but can’t afford it.

It’s the Fear of Missing Out or FOMO. We’re all so worried about what everyone else is doing that sometimes we do these things just to impress others. Maybe I didn’t even want to sit in a beer garden but I felt like I should because everyone else was or else I’d be missing out on the fun. We scroll social media aimlessly, peering into others’ highlight reels wondering wistfully why their G&T looks so much more idyllic on the sandy shores of Spain compared to our plastic glass in the back garden.

Rich said something really interesting about not comparing yourself when I was having a wobbly moment a few days ago. He said something along the lines of you have to look at life like a clock. Some people are further on in life and seem to be racing along but for others it takes time. Your time will come, you just have to be patient as your path is completely individual to everyone else’s.

I mean, he put it a lot more eloquently that I did but you get the gist.

Social media plays a big part in FOMO and it’s definitely an addiction I need to break. My attention span has become so short and I think this is due in part to scrolling aimlessly through social media.

So how do we break this on those sunny days to come?

Restrict social media time

I’m vowing to try my best not to aimlessly scroll through social media whilst I’m out enjoying myself. Why do we do it to ourselves?

Focus on being happy

Do what makes you happy, not everyone else. If you’d rather not sit out in the sun all day trying to tan (or most likely burn) then don’t. Wear what makes you feel comfortable whether that’s trousers or a jumper. Not everyone wants to go bare legged or take their top off.

Don’t feel pressured to make plans

The Summer is for enjoying whether that be on holiday or in your back garden. Don’t feel pressured to spend money doing things that you can’t afford. I’ve got a few plans for the Summer months but I also know the importance of saving. Boring I know but essential for my future!

So here’s to the Summer, long may it continue! 🙂


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