Overcoming Summertime FOMO

Summertime FOMO
© Kaspars Grinvalds via canva.com

Summer can be hard. Discussions surrounding summer activities for kids are everywhere this time of year. And on social media you see post after post showcasing special activities, lake life, and family trips.

As a result, comparison starts taking over and your thoughts and feelings start spiraling downward causing fear of missing out (FOMO) and wondering — Am I doing enough?

Hello, mom guilt.

The sense of not creating enough memorable experiences haunts us. Or the fear of not doing enough with our children can take over, even more so in the summertime.

Our beautiful summer weather is limited, so we place a high importance on savoring each moment, getting the most out of our days.

Consequently we try to overpack our summers with experiences for our families. In doing so, we often leave ourselves feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and anxious.

We try to ‘have it all’ but we can’t.

We have a misconception that summer needs to be perfect, that we’re not doing enough as mothers. This only intensifies when we compare ourselves to others. Ultimately comparison results in FOMO.

Let’s recognize we are not alone in feeling FOMO. Here are some ways I have found to overcome those feelings.

Ways to Reduce Summertime FOMO

Decrease Social Media Use

Social media can increase our fear of missing out. It creates an illusion that others are living more fascinating or glamorous lives. As a result, scrolling can leave us feeling like we don’t measure up compared to what others are doing.

Focus on connecting in person instead of using social media. Also, make a goal to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. Social media breeds social comparison, hence why they call it “comparison culture.” The less scrolling, the less comparing you’ll do. Thus offering more opportunities for in person connection, and potentially less mom guilt.

I’ve taken this approach one step further and reduced the amount of posts I share on social media. My priority is to be intentional in the moment, instead of focusing on what I will post. In doing so, I avoid worrying about whether to share it or what to say.

You’d be surprised how much anxiety is removed when you take a minimal approach to social media. I find myself caring less about what others are doing simply by reducing my time online. Equally important, my children see me on my phone less.

Increase Excitement Around Your Plans

We can find contentment in recognizing what we are doing is enough and eliminating comparison. When you find yourself not measuring up to other families when talking about summer plans, pause, and focus on what is most important to you this summer.

Remind yourself, what works well for others families isn’t necessarily the best for you and your family.

Sometimes we pack so much into our summers that we can’t appreciate each moment. There are so many activities to choose from. Recognize what you can say no to, in order to enjoy a better yes. Then, we can do fewer things with greater intention and focus.

Saying no can be very freeing. To help reassure ourselves in our own decisions, we can verbally share our intentions with those around us. For example, we can reply with, “I am happy your family gets to experience that, this summer I am focused on creating memories in our backyard.

To help increase excitement for your summer plans, write down the top three experiences you are looking forward to. In addition, ask your children to share what they are most excited about. You might be surprised by the simplicity. It might be getting ice cream or sitting by the fire, rather than an extravagant family trip or activity.

Make This Summer FOMO Free

Unfortunately we will never be able to fully get rid of mom guilt, but we can reduce our anxiety if we stop comparing ourselves to others. Implementing simple reflection by practicing gratitude or mindfulness can help us be content and recognize we are doing enough.

One way to practice gratitude is to start a journal this summer noting the most memorable experiences with your children. This reflection can help you recognize that unplanned, small moments can be memorable. Maybe even more memorable than family trips.

Being mindful in each moment can help us better appreciate our own circumstances. Think more about each moment when you are in it, not the places you are or aren’t traveling to. Try to be intentionally present.

To all the moms, let’s walk away from the comparison culture we live in, find contentment in what we are doing (and recognize it is enough!) to ultimately overcome our summertime FOMO.

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Amanda Torok
Amanda Torok is a native of the Fargo area and enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband, two children, and crazy chocolate lab. As the Senior Vice President of Culture at Gate City Bank, she oversees the Bank’s social media, internal communication, philanthropic giving, and more. Amanda’s diverse work and volunteer history has fueled her zeal for creativity and engagement. In 2021, she was named a Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business magazine. Having a passion for dance since a young age, Amanda has been teaching classes at Red River Dance, a non-profit dance studio, since 2007 and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Amanda also volunteers her time speaking to local organizations about philanthropic giving, social media, company engagement, culture and more!


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