Asian woman having a solo picnic outdoors, reading a book and holding a macaron.

Summer’s just around the corner, and with it comes the alluring promise of fun in the sun and exciting adventures. But with everyone splashing their activities and matching OOTDs all over social media, there’s bound to be the inevitable FOMO. How do you avoid the comparison game? Here’s how to cultivate the joy of missing out and have a happy summer on your own terms.

Is FOMO Built-In?

As much as we hate to admit it, we’ve probably felt the fear of missing out at some point. Don’t beat yourself up about it; the need to belong is a natural human characteristic.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once you get past the physiological needs (food, shelter, air) and safety (health, job security) needs, humans crave love and belonging. Different studies may contest the kind and order of needs, but generally, people thrive on connection. We need to feel like we are part of a tribe, a gang, a crew – it fulfills our desire to be liked, accepted, and included in interpersonal relationships and, in these times, social communities, too.

Though the need to belong is a natural human instinct, the problem arises when that desire becomes obsessive. Although the desire to have a happy summer (or any occasion) exists in most people, some feel more pressure than others.

A defines FOMO as “the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.” The fear of being left out of a rewarding experience triggers this longing, which social media reinforces. Research shows that FOMO exacerbates envy, resentment, and the desire to chase perfection. At its worst, it can lead to sleep disturbances, social anxiety, a decline in productivity, and even clinical depression.

Now, hold up – why would you want to be friends with people who exclude you from their plans, anyway? A study reveals that the desperate need for affirmation stems from a “poor sense of self-worth, an intense need for approval, and even a touch of narcissism.”

The truth is, you don’t have to strive to be included in every group or liked by everyone. You only need an intimate group you trust; the rest are the cherry on top.

You Can Go Your Own Way

But whether it’s your own small circle or bigger groups of friends, there will inevitably be circumstances where you don’t feel like joining in – and that’s perfectly okay. Not feeling like going to that music festival, or don’t have the budget to blow on island hopping? Don’t let FOMO force you to join activities you don’t necessarily enjoy or trips you can’t afford.

There’s no shame in saying that your idea of a happy summer is staying home and reading a book or, let’s be honest, binge-watching dramas. However, say it in the nicest way possible so your friends don’t think you’re shunning their company.

The Summer of Your Dreams

Now that you’ve finally carved out some me time, grab the chance to pursue the hobbies or projects you keep putting on hold. Need some clarity? Try making a vision board, which helps you focus on and manifest your dreams. Tin Villanueva, Common Room Ph’s resident videographer, attests that a vision board is her secret weapon to success (check out her inspiring ).

Learn to sew, cultivate a pocket garden, start your own home baking business, or let your creative juices flow. Taking up a sport, joining a dance class, or simply keeping active are also great for boosting endorphins and avoiding the pity party. Don't forget to use Rexona Women Shower Clean Antiperspirant Deodorant Roll-on for 48 hours of protection from odor and sweat.

Whatever you do, don’t waste precious time doom-scrolling to monitor what everyone else is up to – value your own pursuits. Enjoy your own version of a happy summer, not somebody else’s.

Low-Key Happy

The best way to beat FOMO? Make your own plans! You don't need a huge party or an epic adventure in an exotic location to be memorable. Some of the best core memories for a happy summer can come from simple events that promote bonding – movie marathons, slumber parties with your girlfriends, casual backyard barbecues, eye-opening museum dates, starting your own badminton crew, or even spur-of-the-moment beach camping trips.

Before heading out, remember to protect your skin with POND'S UV Bright Sunscreen. This lightweight, broad-spectrum sunscreen has SPF 50 to protect against sunburn, dark spots, dullness, and uneven skin tone caused by UVB rays. It’s also fortified with PA+++ to shield collagen and prevent premature aging caused by UVA rays, as well as Gluta-Boost technology to brighten skin and fade dark spots.

Anticipating a lot of fun in the sun? Replenish your hair’s moisture with Sunsilk Naturals Coconut Hydration Shampoo. Infused with coconut and vitamins A, C, and E, this revitalizing shampoo hydrates hair fiber by fiber, making hair soft without feeling flat and heavy. Goodbye, dry and limp hair!

Whether you’re following your dreams, finally catching up on favorite hobbies, or simply getting well-deserved rest, create a world so compelling for yourself that you don’t even envy anyone else’s highlight reel. By cultivating the joy of missing out, you can have a happy summer and be content all year exactly where you are.