JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out – has been slow to take root since Anil Dash first coined the phrase way back in 2012. In a blog post, he wrote about it as a response to FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out – which was taking off as an acronym around that time.
Talking about why he found missing out on things a ‘joyful’ experience, he prophetically said: “I think more and more people are going to retake this agency over their feelings about being social, as well.”
Last year, JOMO increasingly popped up on our Insta feeds and articles, and this year, it has become something of a badge of honour. Fed up with over-booked calendars, and being hyper-connected, staying in has never been so – well, in.
Sushma Sagar who runs wellness company The Calmery, says she’s definitely noticed an increase in people being drawn to JOMO.
“Modern life is so ‘on’ all the time,” she says, “it’s actually intrinsic to our internal balance to have some off-time. Certainly in a busy city, we need a break from just existing - that is performing, achieving, the demands of work life and showing up for other people and dependants.
“Self care has thankfully become a topic of priority in our culture and I see that a lot people are now attempting to be there for themselves, by doing something nourishing for the soul at home. The rise of meditation apps and online yoga shows this trend in full force.”
Puja McClymont, life coach and NLP practitioner says that JOMO is one of the best ways to care for yourself.
“We don’t realise how much we give of ourselves daily,” she says, “and how much our minds consume through everyday activity.
“For instance, the commute to work is filled with distraction, be it TV, podcasts, social media, emails, and the sheer physical energy it takes for us to do the commute in the first place. Recognising and spending time with yourself indoors allows you to slow down, take stock of how you’re mentally and physically feeling and nurture what needs some attention from you.”
The idea of JOMO is about making a conscious choice to stay in, versus a panicked cancellation. It’s about carving out time in a thoughtful way, and making your home a place that’s inviting to spend time in.
Stylist, photographer and interiors blogger Abi Dare, who runs the These Four Walls blog says that making your home JOMO friendly doesn’t have to be expensive.
“Accessories can make a huge difference,” she says, “consider a couple of cosy blankets, a soft sheepskins draped over a sofa or armchair or a soft rug underfoot.
“Look out for hardy materials that add texture and warmth - linen and wool are always good bets. There's no point adding lots of things that make a space look warm and inviting if you're too afraid to actually sit on them for fear of causing damage.”
It might also be worth considering whether pieces of furniture might be due for a revamp, depending on how hard you want to commit to JOMO.
One of the most important pieces of furniture in your lounge is your seating.
“Good-quality seating is key,” says Abi. “Well-made, comfortable sofas and armchairs can last for decades, and if you tire of the look in future years you can easily re-upholster them. Don't just think about appearance, but consider how you like to sit and choose a design that works for you.
“For example, do you want low arm rests which are comfortable when lying out, or higher ones that you can lean against? Seat depth also has a big impact – a larger depth is ideal for curling up in comfort, whereas a smaller depth works well for those who sit in a more upright position.”
If you’ve got the time and inclination, it might be worth re-evaluating your space. JOMO doesn’t necessarily always have to mean staying in alone – it can include having people over to your place.
“Start by identifying how you want to use each room,” says Abi. “Would you like an area for dinner parties or relaxed family meals? Or a cosy nook where you can curl up with a book? Large open-plan spaces can seem particularly daunting, so think about how you could ‘zone’ them to create defined areas for different things.
“I find it helps to begin with the largest and most essential item – the bed, the dining table, the sofa etc. It’s normally the focal point for the whole space, so get that right and then position smaller pieces around it.”
And fundamentally, JOMO is all about comfort. There’s no point creating a show home. Abi says that practicality comes front and centre. “In the living room, for example, make sure you can easily reach the coffee table from the sofa, and consider pulling seating out from the walls to create more intimate spaces where you can chat with family and friends,” adds Abi.
Once you’ve created the right space, then you’re ready to JOMO.
Main image credit: Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash