The increase in cases of anxiety and depression at Christmas time is more than evident. As is also evident the negative influence that Christmas has on our mood. One of the reasons that generate the most anxiety on these dates is the absence of loved ones.
An absence of our loved ones that is generally due to death, but which is often simply an impossible distance to bridge for economic, work or health reasons. In any case, the absence of a loved one is much more noticeable at Christmas.
Why absence hurts us more at Christmas?
We have all felt it. That deep and heartbreaking pain of the lack of a person we love when we are sitting around a family table. That pain due to the absence of a person who has died never disappears, if at all it decreases over time. But at Christmas it becomes more intense, the absence hurts more.
We ask ourselves the reasons for that anxiety that the absence of a loved one generates in us at Christmas because it is still a contradiction that the idea of family reunions terrifies us and, nevertheless, we wish with all our might that those who do not join are. Why would we want them to be by our side if we don’t even want to be there?
It is a contradiction that we cannot resolve because deep and uncontrollable feelings come into play, such as nostalgia, sadness, impotence, grief or dependency. Because as much as every year we come face to face with reality, deep down we continue to believe in that family Christmas where everything is harmony and peace.
How to reduce anxiety due to the absence of loved ones
Especially difficult are the first Christmases that we spend without a person, because we are still mourning death. In this case, depression, sadness and crying are considered normal and, unless we are facing a pathological duel , which prevents us from carrying out our daily activities, we must let it be the time that makes us feels better.
But there are some attitudes that we can transform to somewhat alleviate that anxiety due to the absence of loved ones at Christmas. And it is to change our way of remembering them. The memory of a loved one who is no longer with us can come joyfully, with affection, with a certain nostalgia, but without sadness, especially if we dedicate ourselves to visualizing the funniest moments.
Something that has nothing to do with love or the affection we felt for people who are no longer here is the feeling of guilt. A feeling of guilt that does not allow us to be happy without those people, that does not let us enjoy Christmas because they are no longer there. But if we could ask all those absent how they would like us to spend Christmas, the answer would be very clear.