Putting Up Your Christmas Decorations Early Could Make You Happier, Psychotherapist Says
Have you spent the whole of lockdown staring at the box of Christmas decorations in your cupboard which is gathering dust, and wondering if it's too early to deck the halls?
Well, it turns out that whacking them up now could actually be a mood booster, if your heart desires it.
Speaking to Tyla, psychotherapist, Ruairi Stewart, who goes by The Happy Whole Coach, said: "This time of year represents many different things in terms of memories, emotions or feelings of nostalgia.
"This has been a tough year for a lot of people and putting the tree up early might be helping them heal or connect to happier times."
He elaborates that with 2020 being "so hectic" decorating your home for the holidays could well be a way of "reconnecting to positive memories from childhood" or "setting the mood for something to look forward to" in the weeks ahead.
Essentially, for some it could be the mood booster they so desperately need.
"Anything can be a trigger for nostalgia, but Christmas decorations is a common one most people can relate to," he adds.
"It isn't so much the actual decorations and putting them up that lifts a person's mood, but the memories they may be reflecting on or connecting to.
"If Christmas was a positive time in a child's life, then they will remember the excitement of Christmas fondly - [associating the decorations with] spending time with family, receiving gifts and watching festive films on TV."
There's some science behind why putting your decorations might make you feel happier, too.
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"Christmas is often a time where people connect to happy memories of times spent with family and friends. Putting up decorations early could be a way of connecting to the inner child,' he explains.
"Anything that helps us connect to positive feelings of nostalgia will help us feel better as they release positive hormones like dopamine into the body."
Of course, all of this completely depends on the motivation for putting decorations up early, and the mental association you have with Christmas as a whole.
"Are they doing this because they feel they 'should' to appear a certain way to neighbours, friends or family, or because it genuinely feels right to them?," he asks.
"Emotional response can vary wildly from person to person depending on their past experiences and current situation".
He adds that while some people may love nothing more than getting into the festive spirit, "Christmas could be a painful trigger if there were a lot of arguments, stressed out adults, fighting, too much alcohol or other traumatic memories associated with their childhood for that time of year."
"It can also be difficult for people who have lost loved ones - bringing up mixed feelings of grief when they reflect on memories both good and bad," he says.
Ruairi advises: "There is no 'right' way or time to get ready for the holiday season or embrace traditions. It's unique for each person or family and if it brings a sense of joy or improves wellbeing by putting their decorations up earlier, I think that is a positive behaviour."
So, there you have it, the green light from a psychotherapist to whack up the deccos' if you want to.
You can thank us later.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
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