When life is stressful, going back to old favourites can work wonders. The familiarity and comfort provided by watching something you have seen a thousand times before is often what the soul needs to properly relax and unwind. New films are exciting and thrilling… but they keep you alert in anticipation. Watching something old allows you to relax and properly unwind.
The amount of Disney films I got through when it was coming up to a deadline proves my point. I knew the stories. I knew the songs. And I could sit back, relax and allow myself to be entertained without having to use my brain. Often along with a cup of tea, my blanket and some chocolate, I was set. It would always be enough to calm me down and actually enable me to sleep – something I certainly didn’t take for granted during those months.
But it is not just during times of stress that returning to old films works wonders. There is a certain sense of nostalgia attached to them, a warm fuzzy feeling that takes you back to being a child or where you first saw them. A lot of my friends are also Disney fans, so there is that shared sense of contentment when letting them know what you are watching. They don’t need to ask if it is good or not, or what you think. They know. They know and can share in the feeling that all is right with the world when you’re curled up with a film you love.
Of course, it is not just Disney. It is not only films either. That sense of nostalgia can be attached to almost anything that has personal meanings for you. Although the stress is gone, I can’t wait to be able to re-read some of my favourite books. It’s like returning home after a long journey – I know what I am going to get with them and know I will not be disappointed. When everything else in life is a little unsure, losing yourself in another world you have visited before and know will welcome you back is a safety net, a security blanket of sorts.
For this reason alone, I don’t understand people who never re-watch or re-read anything. What do you return to for comfort when life is throwing hardships at you? How do you lose yourself for a few hours and be swept away, safe in the knowledge you know what is on the next page and there are no unpleasant surprises waiting for you? Since being home, I have started re-watching BBC’s Robin Hood. It’s been years since it aired, but it’s also been a long time since I watched them. There is always the danger of things not being as good as you remember, but there is a chance it is a touch more charming, a spark more enjoyable than you thought.
Personally, for me, returning to old films and books is always worth the risk. How about for you?