Are you feeling pulled in a million directions in the middle of this holiday season? This time of year can be a mad dash to the finish line for many of us. The holiday season can test the endurance of those of us who suffer from the incurable disease called “FOMO,” also known as the “fear of missing out.” As a person infected with a severe case of “FOMO”, I can tell you how I approach the holidays every year. I throw all rest to the wind! Us FOMO victims will be at all the parties and the last to leave them, probably host a few of our own, see all the family, and spend whatever free time we have left baking and watching our favorite Christmas movies multiple times because it will be another year before we can watch them again. Oh, and don’t forget New Year’s Eve is right around the corner!
I can’t help but look back on how I ended the year in 2022. Everything came together, but it was a doozy! Would you be surprised if I told you how I ended up spending December 26th and 27th? I was absolutely miserably sick from pure exhaustion. I have no one but myself to blame. I am fully determined to make sure this doesn’t happen as I end 2023, and hopefully, you can learn from my experience.
Seek what brings you joy in this season and start early!
I have neighbors at the entry of my neighborhood who put up Christmas lights the second Halloween passed, and I LOVED it. In a season where a few extra hours in the day would be helpful, we have even less daylight, thanks to daylight savings. I loved seeing the beautiful lights as I drove in from work, and it was pitch black before 6:30 pm. They inspired me to start decorating and busting out all my favorite holiday things before Thanksgiving this year! In previous years, I would scoff at people who listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, and now I’m one of those people. To quote Michael Scott from The Office, “My, my, my how the turn tables.” Looks like I may have been missing out this whole time. By setting up earlier this year, it freed up more time in December for all the festivities!
Set aside time for just you and your household.
My husband and I started this tradition since the year we were married, we set an intentional date night just the two of us right before all the holiday craziness starts. Our first Christmas married was December 2020—what a year—and was very simple and I loved it. We made popcorn, poured a glass of wine, and watched “Married at First Sight.” Note this was historic because it was a rare moment when he watched my trashy reality TV with me. We upped our pre-holiday date plans in 2021 by going to a cute Italian restaurant in Tampa called Olivia. We laughed over pasta and yummy desserts, then ended the date with a jaunt to Trader Joe’s like the true Millennials we are.
If you’re wondering what we did last year, well, we missed it. Let me tell you, I felt this and partly blame missing our date night tradition for my post-Christmas sickness. Sometimes, the people who tend to get lost in the mix of all the Christmas chaos are the ones that mean the most to you. Be sure to set aside time to enjoy together with the ones in your own house.
If you’re a fellow FOMO-er, your sleep motto in the month of December is “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Well, speaking from experience, that doesn’t work out so well. If you want to be fully present in this season, plan your rest and recovery. Each week, assess the calendar and plan your bedtime that week around the events or preparations you have coming up. Most health experts recommend 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep helps strengthen your immune system. If you don’t want to miss out on the special family moments together or fun gatherings, keeping yourself healthy is essential. Get a head start on that New Year’s resolution! I know I will! Maybe you’ll enjoy feeling well-rested that your FOMO will become JOMO, the joy of missing out.
The month of December can be such a fun time of year to gather with those you love and create new memories. A very wise person once reminded me that your body and mind are the vehicles to get you to your goals and dreams. If you especially want to be your best self in this season, don’t forget to prioritize your health and mental wellness to make sure you can be fully present and partake in all the festivities. I hope this helps fellow FOMO survivors thrive as we wrap up our 2023 together! You got this!