When life felt normal: the power of nostalgia

During lockdown, nostalgia has permeated many aspects of our lives. COVID-19 derailed our sense of control so it is not surprising to learn that in this time of great uncertainty, there is comfort in familiar pastimes. 

Many of us are revisiting our favourite television programmes, listening to old music playlists, trying forgotten hobbies and family recipes, and reconnecting with old friends. Marketers are tapping into these feelings of nostalgia, apps are sharing annual ‘on this day’ memories and even social media influencers post ‘Throwback Thursday’ photos of simpler times. 

At Dellar Davies, we look back fondly on the pre-COVID-19 days when we could host large-scale conferences and parties in some of the most spectacular cities in the world. We recall organising glitzy award ceremonies, exquisite dinners and networking events at iconic locations such as the House of Commons and the Savoy. From partying in Diocletian’s Palace in sunny Split to witnessing traditional Japanese drumming in Tokyo and salsa dancing in Seville– we have endless memoires. 

However, rather than reliving this idyllic past, we adapted and innovated to tackle COVID-19 head on. As social distancing measures ramped up, we quickly moved forward to offer OnAir event services to our clients – a first for us – and we are preparing now to deliver hybrid events once a live audience is permitted again. Whilst we are proud of our progression, we have never forgotten our past. After all, it is these memories that fuelled us to push on through the challenges brought about by the coronavirus. 

Psychological studies show that feeling moderately nostalgic; particularly in times of crisis can be a positive influence. The longing we feel for a world pre-COVID-19 may seem unproductive, but looking back can help us to make sense of where we are now and where we will transition to next. 

Reports show that as long as we do not overindulge and stay trapped in the past, then nostalgia can be a stabilising force. It can reunite us with our roots, increase feelings of social connectedness, and evoke optimism. In the words of psychologist Clay Routledge: “Nostalgia mobilises us for the future. It increases our desire to pursue important life goals and our confidence that we can accomplish them.”

So next time you start to feel a little nostalgic, don’t feel guilty – it may just be the positive inspiration you need to thrive.