Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a common problem. You may enjoy a cosy night alone, only to find some of your friends are at a party or having fun on vacation. FOMO can be challenging, especially when you’re on a sobriety journey, but don’t feel like you have to tackle it alone. Here are five ways to combat FOMO on your sobriety journey and thrive.
1. Take pride in your journey
The first step in battling FOMO is to take pride in your journey. The road to sobriety is challenging, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You should be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come. You could be on day one or day 300 — either way, you’re doing a fantastic job and should pat yourself on the back.
Try framing your sobriety journey in a different light and think about it positively. You’re opening the door to a new and better life. The path is going to feel more rewarding each day you spend sober. Being open with your story is OK if you want to share. You may inspire others by discussing it with friends or documenting your journey on social media.
2. Adjust your social media
Social media can be fun and provide places to take your mind off things. You likely use apps like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and more to see clothes, watch educational videos or scroll through memes. However, social media can become a liability in your sobriety journey. All it takes is one picture of a friend on a night out to remember the past.
Try adjusting your social media habits if you want to combat FOMO. One solution could be to stay off apps where your friends post. For example, refrain from looking at Instagram or Snapchat after 8 p.m. Your friends are more likely to post about alcohol at this time. Social media algorithms allow you to take control of your feed. For example, TikTok curates the For You page by tracking the accounts you follow and videos you like. Unfollow or hide those that trigger your FOMO feelings on your social media.
3. Lean on support
Some people may cause FOMO, but others in your life can help tremendously in your sobriety journey. Your friends and family know you better than anyone. Receiving support from them can significantly help get your life back on track. Lean on their companionship and find fellow sober friends as inspirations. Another outlet you can rely on is health professionals. Experts like physiatrists help sobriety journeys by increasing independence from alcohol and improving your quality of life. As you get to know a physiatrist, they’ll be better able to pinpoint treatments and remedies for you to thrive. It’s critical to remember you’re never alone in your sobriety journey or any other facet of life. There’s always someone willing to help.
4. Find alcohol-free hobbies
Sobriety journeys are about finding who you are. Alcohol used to be a hobby, but now it’s a part of your past. One of the best ways to take your mind off it is to find hobbies that don’t include alcohol.
Hobbies could incorporate anything you’re interested in. Do you like music? Take up piano or guitar lessons. Learning to read music is like studying a new language and can become a beautiful expression. Do you like to get outside? Take up gardening and feel accomplished when you produce lovely-looking flowers. Research shows gardening reduces stress and helps you become one with nature.
5. Remember your goals
It’s helpful to remember why you’re getting sober in the first place. First, you’re trying to become the best version of yourself possible. You’re perfectly capable of having fun on a Saturday night without alcohol. You’re also doing it for the betterment of your kids, friends, family, co-workers and everyone around you.
It’s also helpful to remind yourself of the negatives of drinking. Staying out late at the club or bar seems fun until morning arrives. Then, you wake up with a hangover and feel lethargic. Those nights could lead to embarrassing moments you’d want to take back. At worst, an accident could happen to you or a loved one.
Fighting FOMO and Feeling Fabulous
The journey of sobriety is hardly linear. You’ll likely face ups and downs, but that’s normal. One source of temptation may come from FOMO. You see friends post pictures online from their nights out and they bring back bad memories. Use these five tips to stay on track, fight FOMO and live your best life.
Written by Mia Barnes
Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine.