When You're Feeling Nostalgic...

Nostalgia - the sentimental emotion that sends us down that sweet memory lane. Our favorite memories brewed together into emotion and feeling. Our direct link into the past. The closest thing we have to time travel. Sometimes it can be painfully bittersweet - longing to be back in a certain time and place that was so satisfying and good. Certain songs and photographs are typically triggers for me - memories attached and being rehashed every time I look at those photos or listen to those songs. It is important to remember that you are in the here and now - do not get stuck reminiscing in the past. Do not dwell on the past for too long, especially the negative memories. Think about it, enjoy the memories, and snap back to the present. However, nostalgia can be a good thing once in awhile so I've listed a few things to do when the nostalgic feeling hits.

Revisit your junk drawer/box
I have a small box containing small items that hold special memories for me. Whether it was a physical photograph from a trip, tickets from a concert, or a handwritten letter from a dear friend. Every time I go through that box, I have all sorts of flashbacks of adventures and moments from the past. Maybe you keep an old diary stored. Read it. You might laugh or cringe, but reading through the pages you poured your heart out on in the middle school and high school days will give you a good glimpse back at your teenage self.

Look through old photographs
Looking at old photos from my child is easily one of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling nostalgic. I have a box with photos stacked from the bottom to the top and I love grabbing a handful, studying each photo closely. Memories come back, one after the next. Scrolling through Facebook or Instagram can also help bring back some of those feelings if you don't have physical photographs to look through. If you have access to home videos from your childhood, watch those. For instance, my grandparents always videotaped us as kids at all the holidays and watching those bring back the best memories, some of which I thought I had forgot.

Listen to music
I have so many songs that spark nostalgia that I've even created a private playlist on Spotify specifically for those songs. Each song, summarizing a moment and an emotion attached. Put your playlist on shuffle, go for a long drive, and let the memories all stir up.

Watch a movie
Watching movies from your childhood is a great way to bring back *all the feels*. Old, animated Disney films are a classic favorite of mine. The different songs and bright, colorful scenes bring back all the memories of watching them as a kid. 

Coffee with a friend
One of my favorite things to do is get coffee with a friend and chat for hours, talking about all the memories and past events we've shared and experienced together. If you are unable to meet up with them due to distance or conflicting plans, give 'em a ring. Calling someone will make them feel so much better than if you were to just send a text message.

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