There are so many benefits of nostalgia! Remembering happy times can help your loved one get out of a bad mood, brighten a difficult day, or even make life more bearable. Nostalgia also helps us realize that we have value, we belong to a community, and have social connections which can help us rid ourselves of feelings of loneliness or depression. Research has shown that nostalgia is beneficial, it can help us maintain a sense of identity, remind us of our values, and provide us a sense of stability.
Nostalgia Can Help
If you have a loved one or spouse who has been diagnosed with memory loss, then reminiscing can be something that helps them feel comfortable and relaxed. There is stress release, and your loved one may be able to cope with problems more effectively by simply spending time each day looking back on the past. Here are a few ways to do this with your spouse:
- Start scrapbooking! Pull together some photos, gather them into events or timeframes, and go through them.
- Start a blog together, posting photos and personal stories.
- Find mementos from the past, write down the memories and stories that go with them.
- Update hard-copy photos with the names of people on the back so that your family knows who everyone is when you are gone
- Go back through high-school yearbooks and see how many classmates you can remember
- Reconnect with friends and family that your loved one has lost touch with
- Start working on a genealogy project to get in touch with family roots
Did you know that individuals who are natural nostalgic have a higher self esteem and are less prone to depression? If you provide caregiving services to your spouse, another way to help them might be to start reliving the past! Here are a few great activities to try:
- Re-live your first date
- Take a trip in the car and listen to all of your favorite songs together
- Go through family photos and compare notes on the activities that were captured
- Track down old friends and invite them out to dinner
How Nostalgia Can Be Part of Your Everyday Life
Whether you are caring for your spouse temporarily, or they were diagnosed with some kind of memory loss that may end up affecting them for the rest of their life, nostalgia has been shown to help your loved one feel better about being cared for. You can make nostalgia a part of your everyday life by ensuring that you are setting aside time to share memories, laughter, and good feelings each and every day. Whether you incorporate nostalgic activities into your daily routine, or you simply find time to set aside each day it is important. Nostalgic feelings can help you as a caregiver, and your loved one, feel less depressed, and more like yourselves.
Another aspect that can help is sharing a story with someone who wasn’t present. An example of this might be your loved one sharing their memories with another caregiver. This can significantly improve memory function. Remember that it is important for you as a caregiver to have time for yourself, and respite care is perfect if you simply need someone to sit with your loved one and listen to stories that come to life through photographs. If you need help, Homewatch CareGivers of Bryan College Station is here for you, we can also assist with transportation and care. Keep browsing our website for more information or contact us today to learn more.