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Must we enjoy the spring summer?

Sunshine guilt and FOMO: maybe it's a problem of expectations

Must we enjoy the spring summer? Sunshine guilt and FOMO: maybe it's a problem of expectations

We spend months covering up, checking the weather, losing and forgetting umbrellas, cursing the gray sky, and enduring freezing temperatures. We wake up early to go to the office, work, or school, torn from our warm beds by an implacable alarm. We dream of the warm season, clear skies, and sun, afternoons on sunny benches, and we pray for vitamin D to solve all our problems, to heal our heartaches, and even our physical ailments while we're at it. Then the heat arrives, the sun too, and... we don't know what to do anymore. We see others always out and about, parks full of people playing volleyball, gathering around a beach towel on the grass, and... we feel guilty because we don't feel the same urge, because after months of longing for warmth, light, and sun, we just want to stay home.

Sunshine guilt: a generational issue?

According to Nadia Teymoorian, a psychologist at the Moment of Clarity Mental Health Center, sunshine guilt is exactly that: a feeling of regret and general displeasure we feel every time we stay indoors on a beautiful day. Contributing to this is the creeping awareness (though not necessarily true) that others, instead, are outside, enjoying their lives to the fullest. It doesn't matter whether you're feeling good or bad, whether you're tired, or whether it simply makes sense for you to stay home and rest: your mind is outside, but for some reason, your body just doesn't want to participate in spring. According to Teymoorian, as if that weren't enough, the guilt worsens when you're in places where sunny days are fewer. It's a sort of seasonal FOMO, in short, that can last throughout the spring and summer and doesn't exist in a vacuum. Indeed, it seems that these feelings of guilt, shame, or fear of missing out are particularly strong among millennials and Generation Z, so much so that they are even used in marketing, to push them to purchase or invest.

FOMO and social and societal expectations

Thinking about it, it's impossible not to attribute some of these negative feelings to social networks, or rather to the way they are used. Thanks (or because of) them, when we're not feeling well (physically or mentally), we just scroll through our feeds, being hit by everyone's outdoor activities. Activities that, in a world without social media, we wouldn't even have suspected. Moreover, perhaps, without social media, we wouldn't even have come up with the definition of sunshine guilt, which, while useful for identifying an existing problem, fits perfectly into the (extremely social) trend of pathologizing, fragmenting, and isolating any negative feeling or urge, detaching it from a broader context that is what we should really learn to look at before integrating it into our interiority. It's very difficult.


im sorry

original sound - Q | professional overthinker

Navigating Spring-Summer (and Ourselves)

Out of sight, out of mind? Sure, but the problem is deeper. Understanding what we really want, what we expect from ourselves and our lives, even in the most mundane daily activities, is always more complex. We have very high expectations imposed on us by our context, by what we think we should do. We don't listen to ourselves enough, we think we want to do exactly what others do, or maybe a little more, to win an imaginary race and achieve an imaginary victory that we intensely hope will make us happy. Freeing ourselves from these deceptive thoughts presupposes further reflection, detachment from envy, shame, jealousy, and guilt, a self-awareness that sometimes is truly scary. However, it's also the only way to rid ourselves of sunshine guilt and its ilk, to live a life that is truly what we want. Even on days when the birds are singing outside and we just want to rest a little.