It’s easy to get sucked into the trap of FOMO (that’s Fear of Missing Out). After all, social media is filled with people who are seemingly more popular, beautiful and accomplished than us. And now studies are starting to show that too much time spent on social media can lead to unhealthy behaviours such as comparing ourselves to others, feelings of jealousy and, surprisingly, social isolation. All of which has a negative long-term effect on our mental health. That’s why this Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re encouraging you to take a step back from online socialising and to find JOMO – the Joys of Missing Out. Here’s how.
- Work more efficiently when you are online. We can’t avoid being online altogether as many of us rely on the internet for our jobs or to keep in touch with loved ones. So when you do have to be online, make sure you use that time productively. Do what you need to do so that you have more time available to do the things that don’t require you to be online. There are a number of apps, such as Timely, that can help you monitor how you spend your time, and mobile devices now also track your screen time.
- Make plans to spend time with people IRL. Do activities that don’t rely on technology, such as hiking or going to the beach. If you struggle to meet people, join Meetup. Whether you’re interested in learning a new language, sailing or dancing, you’ll be able to join groups filled with likeminded people who regularly get together to take part in activities.
- Set a daily goal to spend less time online. Start by switching off your electronic devices for an hour before bed each day and use that time to read a book or spend time with your family. Slowly build it up by including an hour each morning until you’re able to spend one entire day a week without access to technology.
- Learn something new. With all the free time you’ll find yourself with now that you no longer spend as much time online, advance yourself and/or your career in some way. Enrol in an in-person course or take up a new hobby. Who knows – you may discover a hidden talent or passion!
For more tips, read this article about evaluating your mental wellbeing.