I have tried, with some success, to incorporate the typical basics when it comes to self-care into my life. Admittedly, I can always do better job of moving my needs up the priority spectrum.  The room for improvement is directly linked to my lack of time.  It’s not that I want to neglect myself.  But those hours in a day – they tend to slip right through my fingers. That, my friends, is changing.  I recently found that I have more time for ME. I am so excited to share my little trick with you:

I say no.

I say no to everything that is not going to improve my mental or physical well-being. I know that is a broad definition.  Purposely so.  What I need to be happier, more content, or lift my mood changes based on the circumstances surrounding the root cause of my melancholy.  Sometimes I need a cozy, silent room and time to escape with a good book while other days I need my girls and a few uninterrupted hours to unload my anxiety and stress.  What typically stands in my way of saying no and what I’m trying to overcome is my Fear Of Missing Out or FOMO.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the term?

According to Urban Dictionary, FOMO is defined as: a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.  For example:  Sunday’s weather here in Connecticut was unseasonable and beautiful.  Maybe you were able to take a family bike ride or go for a hike.  You really enjoyed the day.  You did not miss out.  However, maybe you were stuck inside doing your taxes or maybe you were making around 60 calls in an hour and fifteen minutes in order to register for swim lessons.  You check social media and you see that EVERYONE is doing some cool outdoor activity.  I AM MISSING OUT!!! Wasting time!  Burning daylight!

BUT…in the vein of my new philosophy you can choose to look at those scenarios from a different perspective that will eliminate the guilt. By doing your taxes, you are mentally unloading a task and alleviating stress (unless you have to pay Uncle Sam.  I can’t help you there).  By successfully registering for swim lessons, you can stop ruminating about which session to choose and feel confident that your kids have a fun activity planned for summer.  Yay, happier!

So, my recommendation to you is to DO YOU. There are tradeoffs in every single decision we make.  You cannot eliminate opportunity cost, but you can focus on what you need to be better and do better.  Remember that it looks different for everyone.  Don’t fall victim to FOMO because of social media.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, et al are not real life.

And lastly, there may come a time when I decline an invitation of yours. This may make you feel crappy and I’m sorry about that.  Just promise to remember it’s not you, it’s me – I need to take care of me.

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