Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and published every week on a Tuesday where readers can post about their top 10s for the week’s topic😊. Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s topic was to list down books with single word titles but I have just one or two such books. So instead, I decided to write about something that has been affecting me a lot lately and leading to stress and anxiety – FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
So this is what happened this morning – I woke up and while having my glass of warm water, was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, when I came across a post by an author whose books I’ve been enjoying recently. She was looking to have more people join her street team. Needless to say, my first reaction was to go and sign up quickly on that link. I mean, all my bookish friends were on her street team, so I should be in there too right?! But reality struck when I realised while filling in her form, that you needed to put in some effort and time to be a good street team member as well (DUH). I’ve already been a lousy street team member for another author, so how on earth would I make time to support this popular author’s expectations?!
This got me thinking about all the times I bought a book because a blogger I love recommended it, adding to my already over flowing unread shelf, all the times I thought of quitting my job so I could find more time to go on that solo trip to that certain place, or almost signing up for a half marathon knowing that I wasn’t prepared enough just because all my running buddies were doing it. And, inadvertently falling into the pitfalls of stress and anxiety brought about by trying to do too much, unrealistically.
That’s why, I decided to use today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt, to write a message to myself on how to deal with FOMO. This is a generic list so you can use it for all kinds of FOMO triggers – book, travel, fashion, the perfect home, the perfect family, business – the list is endless 😏
Top Ten ways to put FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in its place 😉
- The first one is obvious and the hardest or nearly impossible to follow – just don’t log into social media! Better, disable all social media accounts!!
- Since I for one don’t want to be absolutely anonymous and literally have all my friends in the virtual world, I’ll skip the first advice and move on to the others. Create checklists in advance and try to stick to it. Don’t give it to temptation! It’s almost like being on a diet plan. You want to read what everyone else is reading and get enticed by all those new releases, but please go back to your checklist! You can have one cheat day in the diet, so maybe I can allow myself to replace one book from my checklist 😬
- I’ve got to remind myself to set realistic expectations from myself and the time I have. No matter how much I want Hermoine’s time turner, I can’t get it. So Prachi, you’ve got 24 hours and a major chunk of it is already blocked for work and family and sleep. So go figure out the rest and plan accordingly!!
- Make a priority list. I know you want to really read all the books RIGHT NOW, but ahem, you kind of need to prioritise office work that pays for all those books, exercise, and spending time with your daughter higher than reading all those books TODAY!
- An easier way of attaining point 1 advice is to distract yourself with real life activities so you don’t have time to check social media and get FOMO!! Genius eh?!eh?! 😎
- Get your ideologies to battle FOMO for you. Do you really want your FOMO to feed over consumerism and over capitalism?! 🤔
- Try brainwashing your brain. No, bad word, try talking to your brain to explain that it’s OK to not have read all the books all your friends and their friends are reading this month. It’s OK. Let it go.. Woosa!! Inner peace ☮️
- If you’re still not able to control your impulses Prachi, check your budget. Finances are a finite resource after all.
- If you’re doing this to be a part of a group or a community or look cool or be popular, it won’t work really. Instead, try talking to your friends – real or in the online world on a one to one basis. Instead of signing up for everything and not enjoying anything and burning out..😰🥵
- Finally, I get it when budding entrepreneurs do this. You aren’t one yet Prachi. But suppose you want to be one day, then choose your target audience and channel your FOMO impulses accordingly. May the force be with you. The truth is out there. (No idea why I’m quoting movies and my favorite shows lol)
I would love to hear your thoughts on battling anxiety caused by FOMO in the age social media as well✌🏽
Have you tried to sign up for an author’s street team before?
Disclaimer : I’m no expert on mental health. This is just a light hearted personal post on my opinions. Please treat this as a story rather than actual professional advice 🙂🙏