JOMO: An introvert’s perspective on isolation
Kylie Garrick is the Director of Allied Health at Metro North Mental Health and loves nothing more than a quiet room, a good book and something yummy to nibble on.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but the call to stay at home and bans on non-essential activities has been a great relief for me.
All too often I’m found trying to think of an excuse to enjoy some much-needed me-time at home, and even more frequently, I’m left without a good enough excuse and am pressured into more social events.
Don’t get me wrong – I love connecting with those near and dear, but it’s important to recognise that for some of us, down-time is a good time. Our extrovert friends are missing a busy social calendar, but I personally am finally having my time and experiencing JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out.
JOMO means that introverts like me can enjoy making the most of isolation. It’s a welcome relief to not feel obliged to make an appearance at Saturday BBQs and Sunday brunches as, for some of us, socially busy weekends can be exhausting on top of a busy work week. Sometimes the social butterflies closest to us just don’t understand that it’s not personal, but we need some time alone.
I’ve enjoyed social distancing, taking part in virtual gym classes without the pressure of making small talk and those awkward ‘hi there’ acknowledging smiles–you know the ones I’m talking about!
But while I am savouring stay-home life without feeling bad, how does JOMO translate for my friends who love a busy weekend packed full of social events? It can be hard for them, even if not for me, and this is important to acknowledge. For many, isolation can bring feelings of loneliness and despair.
So as I revel in the Joy of Missing Out, I call on you to use this time to relax and recharge for yourself but to also check in on those around you. Introverts, extroverts and those of us in between all still need to feel connected.
If anything, now presents the best time yet to make those phone calls to those you care about or to make the extra effort for a friend or family member who may feel isolated in this time. Further, it brings us opportunity for deeper connection with our families or those we live with.
In fact, JOMO could be the thing that brings us closer together and increases our connection with those we love whether we are introverts or extroverts–we just need to make the effort.