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The meaning of traditions

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Traditions, that is a behaviour or activity which is repeated on a consistent basis which holds some form of meaning to the individual or to a broader group, and can have an impact on the lifestyles which we lead and the decisions which we take.  After a period of significant uncertainty due to the COVID -19 pandemic, traditions may have become of increased importance to you personally.

If you don’t currently have any traditions or if you want to revive an older family tradition, periods of change or uncertainty offer a unique opportunity to start a fresh and attempt to form a new tradition which you can then carry on throughout your life. Some traditions have evolved over time, to include differing elements or meanings  The ability of traditions to mark the beginning, end of chapters or significant moments in your life, can provide closure and reassurance. During the pandemic, some people started to write diary entries to mark how each week was spent and to reflect on how it made them feel. In this way, traditions can act as a natural anchor and a constant during an evolving and challenging period in your life.

Traditions are not just about helping you to reflect on and understand external changes in your life, traditions can also offer a sense of community and belonging. This may be through physical groups setup specifically to do the activity whether that be with friends, family, colleagues or even those who you meet in passing whenever the tradition is taking place. There are also social media groups which you can join to discuss your tradition with likeminded individuals who share enjoyment for the same or a similar form of activity.  This form of community around traditions and the ability to share experiences whilst also maintaining a personal aspect which is unique to you as an individual can be beneficial to feelings of motivation and wellbeing. It allows you to have the space and time for personal reflection whilst feeling interconnected and united with others.

Traditions can be a great thing to have in your life, acting as a source of comfort during challenging moments or providing a sense of belonging. Therefore, traditions can play a part in improving your lifestyle and mental health and wellbeing, therefore can prove to be very valuable.

Feature image Credit: Jill Wellington

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