Recent chat with my dearest friend, reminisced our old memories during college and how much we still miss the good times. We literally could not remember what we studied but we definitely remembered the moments of pure Joy, fun, laughter and endless conversations. Because of covid and lack of socialization with near and dear ones, one can get into a tendency of nostalgia which can be a bittersweet feeling. It can be bitter because you're longing to go back into time and re-experience those wonderful memories. At the same time, it can be sweet as well, as during difficult times those sweet memories can make the pain of your present circumstances a little more bearable. Of course getting too much stuck in nostalgia can drain your energy and make you a little sad but here are certain things that you can do when you feel extremely nostalgic so that instead of feeling sad, you feel energized by those memories:
1. Read an Old Journal Entry or Look at Photos
If you are a person who journals a lot, revisiting your old journal entry can help you to go back into the time and relive those memories for the time being. If you are not a journaling person then, browsing old photos can help you achieve the same. Listening to music that reminds you of past moments can also have a similar effect. Express gratitude that you got to live these moments which you cherish now. Ensure though, that you set a time limit to do these activities otherwise you can get swept away too much into the past.
2. Call a Friend
If spending time with your friends is the thing you are feeling nostalgic about, then calling them up can help you process the nostalgia in a better way. It can be a friend or any person you are missing. Not only, you get to relive those moments but also a sense of feeling connected can help you enhance your mood. Especially amidst covid and lockdown, a sense of connectedness is something, everyone is craving and speaking to people you miss can help you enhance your connectedness.
3. Make a Memory Collage or Doodle
This idea was shared by a friend wherein you can select some of your top moments spent together and create a doodle out of it and frame it up in your house. A photo collage can also do similar wonders. This way, not only you will be constantly reminded of their presence in your lives and the beautiful moments spent together but also whenever you feel low, just by looking at the doodle or the collage, you will get strength and hope that good times can again come in your life.
4. Recreate Memory
When I had started living independently, away from my family, I used to feel homesick and nostalgic all the time. The way I dealt with it was to recreate the memories I missed or recreate stuff that I missed most when away from home. I used to miss mom-cooked food and hence I tired making those recipes that really reminded me of home and this way, instead of nostalgia bogging me down, I not only learnt a new skill but also was able to let nostalgia empower me and make me feel grateful that I had such memories. So try to recreate memories that you miss. Maybe it was walking or swimming or dancing, watching movie, or playing board games with friends or family you miss, recreate those moments on your own or with your current friends and create new memories worth cherishing.
In many of my articles, I have emphasized the importance of Journaling. When nostalgia takes you over, letting your feelings out in a journal can help you process them in a better way. Also expressing gratitude for the past memories can help you feel empowered rather than feeling remorse for not being able to live those moments any more.
Nostalgia, if handled right, can help you feel energised but if not handled properly, the same memories can make you feel sad for what could have been. Thus, the above steps can help you gain strength from the past memories instead of them weighing you down. What are the ways you handle nostalgia, comment below and share your knowledge.
New York Times