Expert explains how to cope with holiday depression

Expert explains how to cope with holiday depression

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It's that time of year again. The decorations are going up, wish lists are coming together and parties are being scheduled.

But according to Grace McLaren this time of year can also bring tough times.

“People have a lot of anxiety because they’re getting with family or they’re not getting with family, because they’re trying to buy gifts, and because they’re blowing their budgets,” said McLaren with First Responder Coaching out of Memphis.

McLaren works with people and organizations to identify those who may be at risk for depression or those already experiencing it.

She's developed a Personal Mental Wellness Plan. The goal is to help people better understand themselves.

During the holidays, McLaren says people tend to overdo it and forget about the concept “less is more.”

"Anxiety and depression rates go up. It's 37% all around and then for women it's 44%," said McLaren.

McLaren says when getting together with family around the holidays make sure to pay attention and speak up if you feel someone isn't doing well.

For those who may not have any family to spend the holidays with, McLaren says stay busy. Volunteering could be a great option for some.

"There are a lot of organizations that are feeding people on Christmas Day and what a gift to bring joy to them rather than focusing on your own sadness," said McLaren.

McLaren says suicide rates tend to go down during the holidays because families are getting together, but they go back up during the months of May, June and July.

"By May and June everybody's living their lives and all they're doing is texting saying, thumbs up, are you okay," said McLaren.

For more information on First Responder Coaching, click here.

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