STEP BACK IN TIME! EMBRACING JOY
Wellness takes a retro turn with these feel-good nostalgic trends
From cargo pants and jelly sandals to double denim and tube tops, it seems like everything ’90s is new again. And it’s not just the fashion or cultural icons we’re falling back in love with. Whether it’s the foods we eat, what we do to relax or the way we work out, there’s a longing to return to simpler times that’s translating into the latest wellness trend.
THE NOSTALGIA FACTOR
Why the ’90s? Firstly, it helps that they happened more than two decades ago, long ago enough to be rediscovered and embraced by gen Z. For those who were lucky enough to experience them firsthand, it’s a flashback to the good old days.
“The 1990s remind us of a decade of plentiful peaceful times and prosperity,” neuropsychotherapist Joanne Wilson says.
“We, therefore, seek cues that commemorate and reinvigorate that former happier state through leg warmers, big shoulders, prawn cocktails, coconut ice and roller skating.”
Although we’ve been flirting with a ’90s revival for some time, it’s safe to say that certain events (hello, COVID-19) may have helped things along. “It’s common to yearn for nostalgia when negative emotions
arise,” Wilson explains. “Why wouldn’t you seek to relive the days when you were achieving, travelling and freely celebrating until the wee hours?”
Another bonus is that shared experiences can help us to connect with others and feel better about ourselves. Whether it’s discovering you had the same boy band crush or cringing about clothes you used to wear, taking a trip down memory lane is a guaranteed mood booster. “Nostalgia bolsters social bonds and can increase positive self-regard,” Wilson says.
Of course, our new-found nostalgia could also stem from a wish to go back to pre-digital times. In an era of Bitcoin, TikTok and smartphone addiction, it’s logical that people want to return to a more tactile world – which may explain the sudden rise in popularity of typewriters, film cameras, vinyl records and cassette tapes.
While looking back at the past is something we can happily enjoy, it’s important that our experiences inform healthy choices that positively affect the present day and beyond. While the priority is always to bring joy into your life, make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of avoiding problems you’re currently facing.
“It’s helpful to consider what former existence you are seeking to re-create,” says Wilson. “Is it helping you or do you need to stay more grounded in the present and seek positive emotions that way?”
Taking a break from everyday routines can also give you perspective on the good things in your life. “[Ask yourself what you] can be currently grateful for, and what you can plan and hope for in the future,” she adds.