17 Time-Honored Practices Our Grandparents Followed That We Should Bring Back

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By Darryl Henderson

Due to our modern, fast-paced lifestyles, it can be refreshing to take a step back and reflect on our grandparents’ timeless practices and societal habits. To guide you, here are 17 practices our grandparents followed, which you can start reviving today!

Home-Cooked Meals

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Our grandparents often prepared meals from scratch, relying on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This practice led to healthier eating habits and created opportunities for families to bond over cooking and shared meals. You should really give it a try!

Sharing With Neighbors

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In the past, neighbors frequently shared resources, whether it was tools, recipes, or childcare. The streets were filled with kids, and everyone helped each other when needed. According to the National Institute of Health, a sense of community is associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, so let’s bring this back!

Growing Your Own Food

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Growing your own food is a hands-on way to lower your carbon footprint. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small vegetable garden, a window basket, or a backyard orchard; growing food at home is always possible, a common practice from the past that we’d love to see revived.

Writing Letters By Hand

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Long before email and text messages, handwritten letters were the primary mode of communication. This personal touch added warmth to relationships and allowed people to share their thoughts in a meaningful way. So, instead of sending your grandparents a text message, why not send them something more thoughtful?

Repairing and Reusing

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People of the past would repair and reuse broken items instead of discarding them. This practice extended the life of possessions, reduced waste, and fostered resourcefulness. The Gen Z of today knows nothing about such skills, but it’s never too late to learn.

Hanging Clothes Out To Dry

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Line-drying clothes was common among our elders, especially before the widespread use of electric dryers. It saved energy, preserved the quality of fabrics, and allowed families to spend time outdoors, so why are you so insistent on using a dryer?

Making Homemade Remedies

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Our grandparents often turned to homemade remedies and natural ingredients to treat common ailments. This knowledge of traditional medicine provided effective solutions and reduced reliance on pharmaceuticals. Sadly, today’s kids know nothing about this; they should have a chat with their grandparents for some tips!

Walking Everywhere

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Harvard Health mentions many benefits of walking, including increased physical health, improved balance, and better mental health. In the past, walking was a primary mode of transportation for short distances; it was a healthy, eco-friendly way to get around, something young Americans should return to!

Using Cloth Instead Of Disposable Products

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Disposable products like paper towels and diapers were less common in past years; instead, they relied on reusable cloth items, reducing waste and saving the family money in the long run. Sadly, mass consumerism changed this forever, but you can always take a stand against it!

Keeping A Budget 

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Our grandparents were often meticulous about budgeting and saving money, a disciplined approach that helped them weather economic uncertainties and build a stable future for their families. These days, people claim they’re broke just because they can’t afford takeout; proper budgeting needs to be brought back.

Enjoying Simple Pleasures

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Instead of seeking entertainment from screens, people in the past found joy in simple pleasures like reading, playing board games, or spending time outdoors. These activities promote relaxation and quality family time, which can never be a bad thing, so make sure to put some time aside for it in your life!

Practicing Mindfulness 

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As the NHS points out, mindfulness involves paying more attention to the present moment and the world around you, which can improve your mental well-being. Life in the past often moved at a slower pace, being mindful without even knowing such a term! We should really take a leaf out of their book these days. 

Mending Clothes

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Rather than discarding worn or torn clothing, our grandparents would mend it. This practice extended the lifespan of garments and promoted a more sustainable approach to fashion—a huge step away from our throw-away fashion culture today. That needs to change ASAP.

Making Homemade Gifts

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Crafting homemade gifts was a common practice in the past, especially during holidays and special occasions. These unique, personalized gifts showed thoughtfulness and creativity while also saving a lot of money to spend on more important things. Think about that next time you’re buying tacky gifts!

Multigenerational Living

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Living with extended family was far more common in our grandparents’ time; it wasn’t unusual for adult children to live at home and care for their elderly relatives. This arrangement strengthened family ties, provided support, and provided a sense of community, so it’s tragic that it’s mostly gone from our lives these days.

Keeping a Journal

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Many of our grandparents kept journals to document their thoughts, experiences, and daily lives. This practice was a way to reflect on personal growth and preserve memories for future generations, with Psych Central agreeing that it helps you process emotions and promote well-being. Nothing is stopping you from starting today!

Practicing Gratitude

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Finally, gratitude was a fundamental value for many of our grandparents. They understood the importance of appreciating what they had and often expressed thanks for the small blessings in life. We’re more polite than ever these days, but it’s all fake small talk! Try to be more thankful for what you have–you can start today!

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