How the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) is the key to prioritizing mindfulness in a chaotic world (an interview with Katherine Jansen, Founder of CozyHearted.com)
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katherine Jansen, who I discovered on TikTok last year. I’ve been following along as she promoted JOMO (the joy of missing out) and mindful living, all while launching a small business selling organic, ethically-made cozy blankets and being pregnant with her second child. I was touched by the story of her nephew Theo, the inspiration behind CozyHearted.com, and the charity Project Bubaloo. I can’t wait for you to hear their stories and discover how you can embrace the art of JOMO and have a cozier life!
Can you tell me and my readers a little bit about you? Where did you grow up, where are you now, what are your hobbies, etc.?
I grew up in a southern suburb near Milwaukee, WI, and currently live in a northern suburb of Milwaukee. My husband and I built our forever home in 2021 (locked in pre-COVID pricing) and have been making it ours with our 2 daughters, Ada (almost 3 years old) and Elena (almost 3 weeks old). While motherhood is my current priority, my favorite hobby that I also prioritize (some days better than others) is my soul-care, aka self-care. It is a huge part of my life and doesn’t leave a lot of time for other hobbies. It is mandatory for me and much more than a hobby. It is necessary. This includes meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga/Pilates, or simply escaping to my closet for some peace and quiet for a few minutes.
How did you first discover the power of mindfulness in this fast-paced world?
This is an interesting and long story, but I will give you the shortest version. After a broken engagement in my mid-twenties, I was feeling lost and very unhappy with myself and my life. I was getting into my car when I noticed a flyer on my windshield for a psychic reading. Normally, I would have gone on with my day, but I noticed I was the only car in the parking lot that had one. It sat on my front seat for a few weeks before I thought, “why not?” and called to make an appointment. It was this psychic that introduced me to meditation and changed my life.
Can you share a personal experience where practicing mindfulness or embracing JOMO has helped you navigate a busy and hectic lifestyle?
Ha! Every day! I notice on the days that I do not practice my mindfulness and meditation, my patience is lower, I get stressed easier, and I just don’t feel good. My morning mindfulness practice really sets me up for a better day, and I am able to move through my day with more ease and awareness. For example, in the morning, when I wake up, I try to take 1-2 minutes while lying in bed to think through my gratitude list. Some days, I come up with 1-2 things I am grateful for, and others, it’s 10 things. Starting my day with gratitude helps put things in perspective, especially when the chaotic day with 2 small children begins!
A simple moment was captured between Katherine and her oldest daughter, Ada.
I remember the chaos of the small children days well, even though that was a long time ago for me. I noticed that on your website, you talk about slow living a lot. With two small children, how do you define “slow living,” and how does it relate to cultivating mindfulness?
Slow living, to me, is carving out time in your day to practice the pause. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a hectic schedule and take care of others and not pause to check in with yourself. Practicing the pause could be a 30-second check-in with me where I stop to acknowledge how I am feeling. We ask others how they are doing, and I feel it is even more important to ask ourselves how we are doing.
Slow living also means saying no to the things that do not bring me peace. I used to feel obligated to do certain things or would have FOMO (fear of missing out) if I wasn’t invited to something or if my friends went out and I didn’t go, even when I really didn’t feel like leaving my house. I am proud to say I now suffer from JOMO (joy of missing out) and no longer feel guilty saying no to things that do not align with prioritizing my peace. I am completely content cozying up on my couch on a Friday night and being in bed by 9 pm.
JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)! I love that so much! But back to balancing motherhood with mindfulness, as a mom of two young ones, can you share any specific challenges that mothers face when trying to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives?
Finding the time! I am still in the one to three-hour newborn sleep stretch, so my schedule has been thrown off. Prior to the arrival of baby #2, I made a commitment to myself to wake up one hour before my toddler to incorporate mindfulness into my life. After she wakes up, it is off to the races, and sometimes it is very hard to carve out any time if I don’t make it a priority right away in the morning. As mothers, we prioritize our children, and their needs often come first, which can make it challenging to take some time for ourselves to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives.
Katherine practicing the art of JOMO while cuddling newborn Elena on a Cozy-Hearted organic cotton blanket.
Can you share some practical tips or techniques other than JOMO that busy moms can use to bring more mindfulness into their lives?
Give yourself some grace, always!
Be gentle with yourself without judgment.
Take 5-10 minutes (or whatever works for you) and journal. How are you feeling that day? What do you want to envision for your future? Anything you are stuck on that you want to let go of from your past? Write it all down. It feels so good to get it all out on paper.
Meditation has truly changed my life for the better, but I recommend starting small. I promise there is no need to feel intimidated by meditation. It is the most forgiving practice you will ever experience. I recommend starting with a 5-10-minute guided meditation. My favorite go-to meditations are Melissa Wood Health, Gabby Bernstein, Jay Shetty, or anything that resonates with you on Insight Timer (free).
Quick breathing exercises. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed and need to take a moment, close your eyes and focus on your inhales/exhales. Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold, breathe out for 5-10 seconds, and repeat. Focusing on your breath quickly brings you back to your body and the present moment while instantly calming down your nervous system.
Practice savoring the moment. This could be as simple as enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
Are there any common misconceptions about mindfulness that you have come across on which you would like to set the record straight?
Mindfulness does not need to take up a lot of time, and there is no correct way to do it. Mindfulness can mean many different things to different people, and that is okay. You need to find what works for YOU! What makes you feel more mindful and present might not work for someone else and vice versa. Mindfulness is meant to be molded into a practice tailored to you individually without any judgment or comparison to others.
Practicing JOMO opens up space for joy to creep into everyday moments
How can mindfulness and JOMO contribute to a better work-life balance, particularly for women who juggle multiple responsibilities like you do with your business to run and kiddos to raise?
Mindfulness can keep you sane when it comes to juggling all of the things. JOMO stops you from saying yes when you know you should say no.
On the days that I do not meditate, practice gratitude, or do a quick check in with myself, I find that I get overwhelmed easier and feel less organized. Between my full-time job, starting a new business, running a non-profit, and raising 2 small children, I have found that there is no such thing as balance. That is not attainable in my life, but blending has been the attainable answer.
For someone who has a lot of responsibilities and constantly focuses on all their tasks to complete for the day/week, hustling and stressing to get things done, burnout will happen sooner rather than later.
Learning to blend mindfulness into my life and responsibilities has significantly helped with stress management. One of my favorite quotes by Andre De Shields is, “Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.” There are days I need to remind myself of this. Don’t get me wrong, you must work hard to get things done, but practicing mindfulness in your daily life brings more joy into those stressful days. When you feel more joy in your daily life it makes those harder days just a little easier.
In your opinion, what are some of the key benefits or positive outcomes that one can experience by practicing mindfulness in this fast-paced world?
Feeling at peace. Feeling joy. Feeling grateful. When you feel those things, it automatically helps you slow down actually to enjoy your life. It helps bring more awareness to the small things. For example, sitting on a beach…have you ever stopped to take in the beauty of it? The small details and sounds of the waves crashing, how the sand feels in between your toes, the smell of the fresh air and water, how the sun feels on your face, etc. Finding beauty in the small things by being more mindful and savoring the present moment helps you find daily joy. Living a life full of joy and peace is the ultimate goal in my life.
Katherine and Ada snuggle up in a full-sized Cozy blanket from CozyHearted.com
Have you noticed any specific trends or developments in the mindfulness space that are particularly relevant for moms or women in general?
I feel like mindfulness is becoming a buzzword that starting to be talked about more as mental health and wellbeing awareness is on the rise, which is amazing!
Are there any specific resources or tools that you would recommend for someone who wants to learn more about mindfulness and JOMO and their impact on our modern lifestyles?
My go-to influences for mindfulness are Melissa Wood Health, Evolve by Erika, Gabby Bernstein, Jay Shetty, and Joe Dispenza. I also have focused on quick + easy mindfulness tips and moments on my TikTok (@cozyheartedbykath) for those who don’t have a lot of time! Insight Timer is also a free app that has a wide variety of meditations.
JOMO is more joyous when wrapped in an organic cotton CozyHearted blanket in one of these soothing tones.
I know you recently launched a business, Cozy Hearted, selling organic and ethically made blankets that support Project Bubaloo. Can you tell us the story of why you got started in the blanket business and why you donate a portion of the proceeds to this charity? This story touched my heart, and I would love to share it with my readers.
Cozy-hearted is a brand started from a deeply personal place. In 2018, my family was struck by tragedy. At only six months old, my sister’s son passed away. My nephew, Theo, was born with congenital heart disease (CHD) and died of complications following three open-heart surgeries. He spent his entire six months of life in the hospital. As I watched my sister lose her baby, I felt utterly helpless and wished I could have brought her more comfort — no family should have to endure what we went through, but in reality, so many do. CHD is the most common birth defect affecting ~40,000 babies every year. It is the #1 cause of birth defect-related deaths in infants.
The loss of Theo hit a whole different kind of hard when I became a Mom in 2021. The hospital doors I was wheeled out of with my newborn were the same doors my sister walked out of without a baby to take home. At that moment, I knew I had to do more.
I wanted to start a product-based business that gives back and brings more awareness to CHD. I’m motivated to honor my nephew, help other heart kiddos, and set an example for my daughters that the most important thing you can do is help others and give back. To do that, you must prioritize your peace and care for yourself too. That’s where the idea for Cozy-hearted began. We provide peaceful comfort that warms your heart through organic cotton blankets and mindful practices that enrich your soul. 25% of profits are donated to a non-profit, Project Bubaloo, that my sister (Theo’s Mama) founded. The non-profit is dedicated to funding congenital heart disease research and awareness. She is doing big and amazing things for the world of CHD at Project Bubaloo.
No matter what season of life you’re in, we all want to feel comforted, and that is my hope for anyone who becomes a part of the Cozy-Hearted family. So, whether you are still letting go of FOMO or a well-seasoned expert in the art of JOMO, a Cozy-Hearted blanket can provide the comfort you need when you need it.
Buy a blanket (or two or three) and support Project Bubaloo at the same time.
Use these links to purchase from Cozy-Hearted.com and support Project Bubaloo! Either Cozy makes a wonderful gift.