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Woman in hat. She doesn't have FOMO because she read this article.

The fear of not being heard, not being a strong ally, not being everywhere at once — FOMO — plagues the modern world.

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This weekend marks the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and across the nation, as well as the inauguration of quite possibly the least-dignified president of America’s history, Donald Trump.

There’s a tremendous amount of pressure, both internally and externally, to be at every rally, every protest, every act of resistance. The fear of not being heard, not being a strong ally, not being everywhere at once — the fear of missing out — plagues the modern world, especially millennials.

The fear of missing out or “FOMO” doesn’t end there. Have you made the best decision for dinner? What about all of the partners that you could possibly be meeting while you’re arguing yet again or having a boring evening with your own partner? Your outfit may be cute, but there are a million others out there that you covet. There’s 10 parties you’re missing, a networking event and a club that looks way cooler than the bar that you’re currently at with your old friends — who aren’t as hip as your new group of FB friends that you are trying to court.

Whew.

That’s a lot of anxiety to juggle for something as seemingly silly as FOMO. Joke about it however you want, it’s real and it’s genuinely messing up lives.

Here are 4 FOMO-fighting tricks to try.

1. Turn Your Phone Off.

Seriously, turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode when you’re out with your partner or at a friend-function that you truly want to savor. Our compulsion to constantly look at our phones means that we’re missing out on truly important connections with people who care about us — or would, if they, too, could put their phones down in order to have a meaningful interaction. If you must, check it only when there is a bathroom break.

Related: 6 Alternative Ways to Protest This Weekend

2. Quality, not Quantity.

Cultivate the love of quality, not quantity. In order to truly enjoy and savor each moment that you are experiencing — be it a meal, a shared experience, or something else — you can’t be going 100 percent at every moment of the day. Take time to yourself, and take the time to enjoy what you have, making sure you don’t take it for granted.

3. Stop Comparing Your Life To Other People’s.

In the age of social media, this is easier said than done. Everyone these days is a social-media expert, creating their own brand, presenting their life exactly just-so. There is such a great deal of curation that goes into this, it’s so easy to get caught up in the lives of others and compare our own lives to theirs. It’s time to really make an effort to put an end to this behavior.

4. Relationships > Things.

Start truly putting human interactions above the pursuit of ownership. We place such tremendous importance on how much stuff we have, but when was the last time you took a moment to exercise genuine gratitude for the people in your life? Put your money and time into cultivating those friendships and relationships — instead of acquiring more junk.

 

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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