Decorating for Christmas in November 'could boost your mood'

Decorating for Christmas before December could give your mental health a boost. [Photo: Getty]

It may only be November, but that doesn’t stop some getting in the festive spirit.

“Decking the halls” before Christmas Eve was traditionally considered bad luck.

But, with festive adverts on TV, mince pies in the supermarket and twinkling lights on the high street, the so-called “silly season” starts much sooner than it used to.

While Scrooges may say “bah humbug”, psychologists claim decorating for Christmas early could do your mental health the world of good.

READ MORE: Simple DIY Christmas decorations you can make at home

“Putting up decorations reasonably ahead of Christmas Day can help one get ‘in the mood’ for the festivities,” Dr Natasha Bijlani, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory’s Roehampton hospital, told Yahoo UK.

“The decorations act as a reminder of the anticipated holiday break and may provide some superficial stress relief, as the end of the year nears.”

While some may turn their nose up, another expert insists many could benefit from getting into the festive spirit in November.

“Decorating early for Christmas is a bit like Marmite - you either love it or hate it,” Dr Meg Arroll, chartered psychologist and Healthspan ambassador, told Yahoo UK.

“However, for those Scrooges who would rather wait until the last minute to deck their halls, it may be interesting to know the nostalgia boost we receive from Christmas decorations can be good for our mental health.

“Studies have shown eliciting feelings of nostalgia can protect us against depressive symptoms, lifting overall mood and wellbeing.”

READ MORE: Christmas gift ideas for Dads: Presents to buy in 2019

For the traditionalists who would rather wait, you can still get a boost come December.

“Human beings like embellishment, we dress for occasions,” Dr Bijlani said. “Putting up a decoration with glitter and shine and colour makes things feel different to everyday life.”

Christmas also helps bring people together, regardless of their background, with decorations being a symbol of that connection.

“Christmas is a festive occasion the world celebrates, even if you’re not Christian,” Dr Bijlani said. “We all decorate at the same time, shop for decorations at around the same time.

“Our lives are very modern but Christmas connects us to a tradition we are all part of.”

Getting the house ready for the festive season may also tap into our nostalgic side.

READ MORE: Christmas gift ideas for mum: Presents to buy her in 2019

“Decorating is a tradition; we reminisce on joyful experiences,” Dr Bijlani said.

She warns, however, Christmas can be a difficult time for many, particularly those battling depression.

“You think the whole world is celebrating and happy and you’re not; it can make depression worse,” Dr Bijlani said. “A superficial decoration won’t make you feel less depressed.”

For those who feel up to it, getting in the festive spirit may also connect you with your neighbours.

Scientists from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City found people assume “sociable” and “open” people live in homes that are decked out for the holidays.

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