Feeling Like You're Missing Out? 5 Helpful Ways to Deal With Losing Important Social Rituals

By Krista


Last Updated: February 5, 2022

FOMO (the fear of missing out) is all too real.

And with the pandemic, depending where you live, it can seriously feel like you’re missing out on a ton of good stuff. If you’re stuck in lockdown while others are out having fun, you might feel a little down and out about it. And this is completely normal. We’ve all felt it!

Many people have had to figure out if postponing their wedding is the right move. Even funeral plans have sadly been deterred, leaving their loved ones with little closure.

And for those with graduation announcements, boy, has it been a strange few years! The graduation class of 2020 and 2021 didn’t exactly get the same old rituals and customs many others have had.

Even Olympic athletes have found their dreams being deterred for another four years — something they’ve been working their entire lives toward!

So, how can you deal if you’re going through something like this? And how are other people dealing with it? What can you do? Let’s take a look!


The Importance of Social Rituals

Rituals date as far back as to when humans started keeping a recorded history.

There were celebrations for life, death, unions, and more. Research by social psychologist Shira Gabriel even shows how social rituals create community and togetherness.

And it’s undeniable, we need community to survive. In fact, this community collaboration is why the human race has survived as long as it has. National Geographic even hypothesizes that we need these rituals to avoid danger and disease. 

Social rituals further provide meaningful moments that create unchangeable bonds. They foster connections and give us events to look forward to. 

These have become real and significant losses throughout the course of the pandemic. We’re missing a whole vital portion of our lives. It’s no wonder most people are noticing their mental health hit the curb.


Social Rituals Examples

Maybe you’ve noticed this phenomenon too. Some social rituals you might notice you’re missing in your life include:

  • Funeral plans
  • Weddings
  • Graduation
  • Proms
  • Reunions
  • Birthday celebrations
  • New year events
  • Holiday gatherings

While many areas start to welcome these events back with restrictions and limitations, others haven’t been as lucky yet. So, how can we workaround this? How can we create new rituals for the time being and feel better?


5 Ways to Deal With Losing Social Rituals

It’s truly undeniable: So many people have missed out on significant celebrations and milestones because of COVID. 

So, let’s get you back on track with feeling those meaningful connections and having events to look forward to. What should you do?


1. Plan Meaningful Virtual Events.

Zoom hangouts are great. Yet, sometimes, it can feel a bit like you’re just staring at each other, unsure how to interact. Instead, make your Zoom hangouts meaningful. Have a reason to see each other. This might mean holding a virtual event for birthday or memorial celebrations.

It might also mean just adding a bit more purpose into your virtual hangouts, such as asking others to bring something meaningful or symbolic to your next online gathering. For example, you could have a hangout and ask everyone to bring something that elicits happy feelings in their life right now.

This not only gives you something meaningful to talk about, but also extends good vibes to everyone attending. 


2. Finding Meaning Within the Isolation & Your Local Community.

Finding purpose in the activities we do in our day-to-day life can help us feel mentally better. While isolation undeniably isn’t ideal, we are doing this for the greater good. If you can find that meaning, you’ll fare much better.

It can also help to support your local community. For instance, many individuals pasted signs onto their windows to show their support for their healthcare workers. This can further help you find meaning and feel as though you are doing something to help.

Related Article: Feeling Empty? 5 Tips to Help You Fill Up


3. Discover Alternative Emotional Outlets.

Creating ways to let out your emotions and experience different emotions is important! Dance away the evening. Dive deep into poetry. Find moments of silence and stillness in your life. Or do anything else that elicits feel-good emotional highs and gets you off the couch!

Movement is always good here since it can help your body release those feel-good endorphins. Simply changing your posture can even alter how you feel. Find ways to do this. And when all else fails, try calling a friend.

Talking with someone you care about can create a connection, which many of us desperately need right now.


4. Turn to Self-Care Rituals.

Take this time, and use it to your advantage.

Start self-care routines that help improve your mental health and your life. For example, you could start a daily meditation session or an every other day yoga practice. Find something that works for you. This is all about making new rituals that fill your heart and soul during this difficult time.

Related Article: What Do You Really Want Out of Life?


5. Check In On Your Loved Ones Regularly.

If social gatherings aren’t entirely possible where you live, make sure you check in on those you care about via phone. While you might need to physically be alone, this doesn’t mean you can’t socialize by talking with others who are also physically alone or socially deprived. Remember, connection matters!

So, pick up that phone and connect. You don’t have to be fully cut off from those you love!


Make The Most Out of This Time

We know it’s hard but do the best you can.

The hope is that these social rituals will return soon in some shape or form, and we’ll be able to have some kind of normalcy back soon, whatever that may look like! 

And seek out that connection with yourself and with others in the best ways you can right now.

As Brene Brown has said, “Connection is why we’re here: it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Read Next: FOMO – What Is It And Why It Can Be Hazardous To Your Mental Health

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


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