What is kidulting, a viral mental health trend among millennials?


More and more people are rediscovering their inner child by actively engaging in activities traditionally reserved for young people

jokingKidulting is gaining momentum among millennials (Source: Pexels)

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When reminiscing about our childhood, we often remember the carefree days when we enjoyed life’s simple pleasures, like popping balloon, blow bubbles, slide down the playground slide, and even enjoy the thrill of a shopping cart ride, among other things. However, as we grow older, we often find ourselves hemmed in by the demands of our relentlessly busy lives, succumbing to the innocence and magic of our youth.

To counter the same, more and more people are rediscovering their inner child by actively engaging in activities traditionally reserved for young people. This phenomenon gave birth to a new mental health trend among millennials which is commonly called ‘kidulting’.

The term that appeared at that time pandemicis a combination of two different words – ‘kids’ and ‘adults’, captures the youthful spirit that reignites amidst the responsibilities of adult life.

This trend gained momentum during the first few months of the pandemic with a 2021 Bloomberg survey revealing that 2,000 US parents had purchased toys for themselves. Several brands have also jumped on the bandwagon with McDonald’s introducing adult-oriented Happy Meals.

Opening the same point, Dr Sonal Anand, psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road said that kidulting is a contemporary term that refers to the act of engaging in activities or behaviors normally associated with childhood or youth, despite being an adult.

β€œIt’s about embracing the childlike joy, curiosity, and playfulness that many adults might feel disconnected from the responsibilities of adult life. Kidulting involves enjoying hobbygames, and experiences that evoke feelings of nostalgia and carefree joy,” he says.

More and more people are focusing on their mental health (Source: Getty Images)

Engaging in kidulting activities can have several positive effects on mental health and well-being, says Dr Anand. Here are some of them:

* Stress reduction: Participate in activities that bring back fond memories of childhood can help reduce stress and anxiety. The simple pleasures of kidulting can serve as a form of relaxation and escape.

* Mood boost: Kidulting can release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, which can lift your mood and create feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

* Improved creativity: Engaging in imaginative and creative activities, such as coloring or playing with building blocks, can stimulate your creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

*Attention: Kidulting activities often require you to be fully present in the moment, promoting attention and help you take a break from worrying about the past or the future.

* Social relations: Kidulting can be a social activity, allowing you to connect with others who share your interests. Social interaction contributes to a sense of belonging and enhances mental well-being.

* Balanced life: Integrating kidulting into your routine can help balance the seriousness and responsibilities of adult life, encouraging a healthier work-life balance.

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In essence, kidulting is a mental health trend that encourages adults to reconnect with the simple joys of childhood, says Dr Anand. β€œEngage in fun, embracing activities nostalgiaand finding happy, carefree moments can have many mental health benefits.”

β€œBy consciously practicing kidulting and integrating this activity into your routine, you can improve mood, reduce stress, increase creativity, and a greater sense of well-being. Remember, allowing yourself to experience the joy of joking is a reflection of self-care and self-compassion, contributing to a healthier and happier you,” he concluded.

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First published on: 17-08-2023 At 16.30 WIB

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