23 Aug Case Managers – September 2022
Fall brings with it a number of new sights, smells, sounds and tastes, many of which evoke a number of emotions within me and fill me with a great feeling of nostalgia. Autumn is my favorite time of year, in part due to the weather and also because of the great memories I made as a child. This month let’s focus on something lighthearted and fun!
What is Nostalgia?
Nostalgia is defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. It is the perfect mix of happiness with a sprinkle of sadness mixed in, and for me personally, I love that feeling! It makes me feel cozy and think of my family. While it is obviously impossible to go back in time and relive the moments which ingrained this feeling deep inside of me, I can look back fondly thanks to nostalgia, and hope to create more of these happy memories.
Have you ever noticed how, during certain times of the year, the air just smells different? The smell of crisp Fall air takes me back to my days of playing youth sporting events and running around outside with my sister. It also reminds me of Halloween, which was my favorite holiday as a child! Growing up, my family would frequently go to apple orchards, pumpkin patches and any other fall activities we could squeeze into our schedule. Whenever I see a pumpkin, taste/smell apple cider or feel a slight chill in the air, I am taken back to my childhood. Many children (and adults) love the summer because of vacations, lazy days and hot weather, yet I am always waiting for it to end so we can get on to the good stuff during Fall! Ever since can remember, I have always preferred the cooler months and additionally, I have always enjoyed cloudy weather over bright sunshine. Whether it be a crisp, cool, grey Fall day or a snowy windy winter night, I would always take one of Summer afternoon. Now its your turn. Do you have any great memories tied to the Fall? Is there something about autumn that fills you with nostalgia? If you see me know, I would love to hear about it!
Hello everyone and happy September. I can’t believe the year is already three quarters of the way over; it flew by! I hope my article filled you with some of the same feelings of nostalgia that I enjoy during fall!
Drake Deno, Case Manager
History of Nostalgia
John Tierney, columnist from the New York Times, shared a brief summary of the history of nostalgia after writing an article in 2013. Tierney explained that the word “nostalgia” was coined by a Swiss doctor from the Greek terms for “longing for home.” Surprisingly, Tierney goes on to say that, for the last two centuries, nostalgia has actually been seen in a negative light and referred to things like hysteria, mental illness, depression, melancholia and even demonic possession! During this time when people experienced nostalgia it was thought that something was wrong because they were “trying to live in the past.” Thankfully in recent years many studies not only proved this theory wrong, but they have also proven that there are many benefits to experiencing nostalgia!
Benefits of Nostalgia
Since the early nineties multiple studies have revealed that people experience nostalgia around one time per week, and many people experience it three to four times a week. Additionally, studies revealed that nostalgia is experienced most by children and older adults. These studies have proven that people who experience regular nostalgia can in turn enjoy a sense of belonging and meaning in their lives, feel more motivated to connect with other people, feel more generous, and experience less anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Additionally, people who participate in specific activities that encourage nostalgia report feeling more optimistic, be in a better mood and have increased self-esteem.
While nostalgia is often experienced randomly, it can also be triggered intentionally. Here are seven common things that trigger nostalgia:
1. Listen to music that you loved as a child or during young adulthood.
2. Watch old movies.
3. Look at photo albums.
4. Do something you haven’t done in years such as swinging or finger painting.
5. Bake an old family recipe.
6. Have a game night of games you played as a child.
7. Talk to an old friend.
When I was a teenager, I became very interested in our family tree and documenting memories that were shared with me by my grandmother. My clearest memory is the joy on her face when I asked her questions and took the time to listen to her precious stories. We assembled our family tree, looked through photos and she shared stories about different people in the family. She shared happy, sad, scary and funny stories, all of which I wrote down. If you have the opportunity to do this with someone you love, I highly recommend it!
Happy Fall! Have you checked out any of our newer activities? If not, I highly recommend checking them out! We have added a variety of classes, presentations and some new games as well! Is there something you are interested in but don’t, see? Let us know as it may be something we can add in the future!
Julie Larson, Lead Case Manager