While it’s always fun going down memory lane, you’re probably finding yourself reminiscing about the past and the “good times” a lot more than usual lately.
Whether it be 10, 5, or even just one year ago, nostalgia and thinking about good things that have happened to you in the past can have a positive effect, including on your mood and even possibly on your mental health. Studies have even found that when people look back on old memories, they’re not just reminiscing about the event themselves, but they can feel proud of themselves for seeing what important parts of their personality stuck through with them, or they might feel pride in seeing how far they’ve come.
It can be really easy to stay stuck in memory lane however, especially now. Nostalgia, while having a positive effect on your mood, is ultimately bittersweet, and getting too caught up in old memories can have you stick in that “bitter” side. This can be particularly true for your child. During a developmental period where every event holds some sort of emotional weight, they’re probably feeling frustrated, regretful, and sad that they aren’t making any of the cliched fun, new memories now and can’t do the same things from the past that made them happy today.
That doesn’t mean that your child can’t be nostalgic and use it to boost their mood. For example, keeping something nearby to remind themselves of things that make them, happy may help spark those memories, and they might even find ways of recreating them in a new way. Your child can change the background of their phone and/or your computer to a place they really enjoyed visiting, or they can keep a physical object like a concert ticket in a clear case on their phone. To recreate the feelings of the former, they can watch a movie that has the same or similar setting of that place, and with the latter, they can see if the artist whose concert they attended has any recordings online and watch it virtually with the friends they attended the concert with (in fact, many artists have been giving “quarantine performances” lately).
Whatever memories make you and your child happy, we hope that you can explore them in a way that makes you happy, and we hope that you can even find a way to mimic them in some way today!
What are some of your favorite memories? How do you feel when you look back on them? Do you consider yourself a nostalgic person? What about your child?