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Feeling the winter blues? Try decorating to lift your spirits

A detail photo of decorative Christmas lights. Experts say that holiday decorating may be closely linked with spikes in happiness, especially for those with seasonal affective disorder or winter-oriented depression. (Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A change of scenery is always good for the soul, and experts are saying that holiday decorating could be closely linked to happiness.

According to a study by Wakefield Research, people rate those who decorate for the holidays early as more sociable and generally happier. Nearly 80% of participants say that decorating early in the season puts them in the holiday spirit.

As the seasons change, those with seasonal affective disorder will begin their struggle with winter-oriented seasonal depression.

The Mayo Clinic reports seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men and occurs more frequently in younger adults than in older adults. Roughly 5% of Americans have been diagnosed with the disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Symptoms specific to winter depression may include, oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, tiredness, and or low energy.

While there are many ways to keep your mood balanced year-round, experts suggest that “setting up your decorations early can improve your mood due to a switch up in routine, feelings of nostalgia or just the look of the décor.”

If you are feeling sad, consider hanging up new decor. It can cause a dopamine spike, leading to positive feelings and a positive space that may lighten up your living area.

Mental health resources