From FOMO to Fulfillment: Revamping Your Summer Perspective


Since Memorial Day does mark the start of summer for so many, we wanted to spend some time today talking about this transition into the summer season. There seems to be a lot of weight placed on the “summer experience.” 

Summer is such a vibrant time for so many! However, it's also one of those seasons that has some deep layers of expectation imposed on it for so many. 

We are going to focus on something called Summer Envy...but before we do, we must revisit the "swimsuit issue" for a moment. If you're like us, the first thoughts of summer are bright and cheery.  But, we know as soon as many of us start contemplating our swimming attire, there’s a cold chill that runs down our spine.   

One woman noted that the evolution of fashion has not been good to us in this area. Back in the day…whenever that was… swimsuits were engineered with the everyday woman in mind. They were sturdy, durable, and brought dignity to the woman wanting to enjoy her day in the sun.  But today’s swimsuits, as this woman joked, are made of “stretchy fabrics designed for the woman whose figure has been carved from a potato chip.”

Unfortunately, this means that the non-potato chip resembling woman has a choice: "she can either go the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander from store-to store seeking a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.” 

So, ladies, we just want you to know we get it. We’re with you as you navigate the tricky and ergonomic wonders of the modern swimsuit. But do know what we also don't talk much about?

The Imposed Pressures of Summer.

These pressure can feel like an ache that comes when our summer experiences come up short… either in comparison to others experiences or to our own expectations. It’s not just the fact that others may be having a better experience than us. That’s certainly part of it.  But, the real issue is that we feel bad because the deficit we perceive often targets our identity and self-worth.  And it’s not always conscious, but we’re feeling pressured (much like we sometimes do around the holidays) by perceived shoulds.  

The real problem is not usually the circumstances. It's how we interpret the circumstances. 

We often see it displayed as Summer FOMO (or this fear of missing out because we do not have/ are not experiencing what we believe should be present in our lives. The pressure of summer seems to surface most when our circumstances do not measure up to what we see in others or to the narrative scripted by our own expectations.

Helpful Tips To Revamp Your Summer Perspective:

  1. Try to avoid the comparison trap.  This will always leave us feeling like we do not measure up.   It’s the whole “compare-despair” cycle!
  2. Remember that our emotional responses to social media are often a barometer for the state of our soul. So unplug if you have to! 
  3. We must continually remind ourselves of those things we have to be grateful for!  

  4. We can practice to being kind to ourselves…especially about the way we look and the circumstances in our lives. How would you treat yourself if you were your best friend?
  5. If you have "Body-Image Blues" (Which apparently is half of us), then know upfront that skimpy, warm-weather fashions may cause some issues. Recognize that the media sets unrealistic expectations of how we’re supposed to look. So, find ways to celebrate who you are in this season. Find some summer clothes that provide the coverage that makes you comfortable.
  6. Make a short list of some things you would like to experience this summer. Then, plan accordingly. But remember that every moment doesn’t need to be memory-maker! 

But most of all: more than simply trying to craft a great summer experience for ourselves, what if we approach this summer asking God what he might want for our summer? What if this summer was one of him drawing close to him than our fun IG posts, our holiday plans, or our perfect vacation?  

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