Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday "shoulds"

Yup, the holiday season is here!  This is that special time of year when most people are bombarded with constant and insidious "shoulds" from children, parents, spouses, partners, media, culture, department stores, advertisements, and about a dozen other sources.  Is it any wonder why people experience more stress, anxiety, and substance abuse this time of year?  Do we really have to question why there are 5% more heart related deaths in December than any other time?

Going through the holidays with "shoulds" dictating how you think and what you do is like living in prison.  Those steel bars may have been created and sustained by the external sources around you.  Fortunately, YOU have the key to your freedom, that is, celebrating life without "shoulds."

Over the next few weeks on this blog I will be presenting various tips/tools/insights on how to cope with the holidays without "shoulds", or at the minimum, with less "shoulds."  It is my strongest intention that anyone reading will begin to assert their power over destructive "shoulds" and have their most peaceful and fulfilling holiday season ever.

As always, comments are welcomed here, or email me at with any thoughts or questions. 

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist seeing individuals and couples in New York City. He specializes in issues related to addiction, bullying, caretaking fatigue, gay/lesbian issues, stress management, depression, and with couples in non-traditional arrangements. He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve." To schedule a visit, email at

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