If you feel like you woke up one day to the sudden influx of engagement announcements from your peers, you’re not alone. Whether you’re like me, perpetually single and always tagged in the “forever alone” memes by friends who know you oh-too-well or if you just got out of a relationship, scrolling through photo after photo on social media may make you feel like you’re missing out.
I will be completely honest – there are days where I find myself using someone else’s happiness as a yardstick for my own. However, the comparison game is a long and windy rabbit hole, and truth be told, is an adventure best left to Peter Rabbit and co. Wherever you are in life, whether you’re ready for a relationship and are actively looking (to which I say, you go girl!) or if you’re taking a break from the dating scene, here are some things we can all focus on right now.
Are you taking care of yourself to the very best of your ability? Are you putting your health and mental wellbeing at the top of your priority list? Maybe you’re someone who is used to caring and prioritizing others, and you should extend that same level of care and consideration to yourself as well. We live in a society where how busy we are is sometimes seen as an indication of accomplishment, and we could be burning ourselves out without even realizing it. When the last thing you want to do is to go out after a long workday, don’t drag yourself through it for the sake of it or because you’re worried about missing out. Staring down the thunderous waves of FOMO is by no means an easy feat, but by putting your wellbeing first over all else, you’ll eventually learn to still the roaring waters.
What are Your Passions?
Spend some time with yourself and find out what you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s a hobby, maybe it’s your profession. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with people who are so passionate about what they do, that they radiate excitement when they talk about it, and that’s something I hope for all of us to discover for ourselves. There’s no better time than now to find out what makes you happy and what your goals are, and how that aligns with where you are at present. Sometimes you’re not fully aware of the things you’re capable of – and by trying new things you give yourself the opportunity to grow and maybe even surprise you every now and then.
The People Around You
Over time, we see old high school or college friends turn into acquaintances, and we keep up with each other’s lives in a more passive manner, usually via social media and yearly birthday wishes. As we get older, we learn that it’s not so much about the number of people you’re surrounded by, as it is the type of people you’re choosing to invest time into, and vice versa. Having a good group of friends who encourage, support, and push you when you need it is invaluable.
There are so many ways we can show our appreciation to the people we care about – and one of the best is to be fully present when you’re around them. Maybe it means making a conscious effort to put your phone away for a little while when you’re together. Perhaps it could also mean taking a backseat and being fully engaged and listening to them when they need to talk.
If there’s an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, make an active effort to establish contact and rekindle friendships. The more time that goes by between interactions, the more hesitant we tend to be about reaching out, but the truth is, we’re probably more than likely to respond positively in situations like this. Even if you’re not in constant communication, the occasional message will make a world of difference in letting them know that you’re thinking about them.
Also, be conscious of the people around you, and be kind to them. This doesn’t just mean your family or friends, but also the barista who makes your coffee, or the person at the grocery store checkout. By smiling or asking how someone is doing, you can easily turn a frown upside down with little to no effort at all. Who knows? You may even walk away with a new friend.
Enjoy Every Minute
Instead of investing all your time in trying to find the perfect partner, use the time to fully take care and get to know yourself, and work on thriving in your professional and personal life. Whether you have a partner or not, your happiness, wellbeing and sense of fulfillment are important, so why not make them a priority now?