How putting holiday decorations up early can boost your mood…

If you’re looking forward to 2020 being over, you’re not alone. From the pandemic to election-related stress, it’s been a tough year for many people.

And if you’re working from home every day, you might feel a bit stuck in a rut by this point. Shorter days, cooler weather, and no end in sight to the pandemic can certainly take a toll on your psychological well-being.

You also might be feeling a bit down about the holidays. Perhaps you can’t throw your annual holiday party or maybe you won’t be flying home to see your family this year.

Decorating for the holidays might be the last thing you feel like doing, but putting up those decorations might be the best activity you could do for yourself. In fact, putting those decorations up extra early might do wonders for your mood — especially if you’re working from home.

Holiday nostalgia

The holidays stir up feelings of nostalgia unlike any other activity. Whether you remember the activities you did as a child or you recall the last holiday you spent with a loved one, there’s something special about the holiday season.

Studies have found nostalgia can help you find more meaning in life, bolster your sense of social connection, and provide an antidote to collective angst. And who doesn’t need those things right now?Doing things that stir up nostalgia — whether it means eating the cookies your mom used to make during the holidays or it means looking through old family photos — might be really good for you.

And there’s a good chance that decorating for the holidays is a great way to stir up those nostalgic feelings.

How and when to decorate

This year, it may make sense to start decorating now — or as soon as you want. There certainly aren’t any rules this year about what’s appropriate when it comes to decorating. You can certainly do some unprecedented things during unprecedented times.

Whether you’re putting out ornaments or you’re lighting candles, your decorations can remind of years’ past. And that just might be what you need to feel socially connected during a time when your in-person contact might be quite limited.

Perhaps you feel more connected to family and friends you can see when you have your decorations up. Or maybe, decorating your lawn helps you feel more connected to the people in your neighborhood. It might help you feel like we’re all in this together.

Research has even found that people view those who decorate their homes for the holidays as being more approachable and friendly. This might be more important than ever during a time when your friends might not see your smile behind your mask and your neighbors might be missing those early morning waves you used to give one another on the way to work.

And during a year when nothing feels normal, decorating for the holidays may help you gain a little peace. You might not be able to observe your traditions or celebrate in the exact same way, but decorating now can be a reminder that the holidays are still going to happen this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider