We all have different values that we hold dear to us, and when we live out of alignment with our values it causes us stress. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of stress over the holidays by writing about how to figure out your holiday values. When you understand what you value of the holidays you can have a more enjoyable holiday.
Many of us throw the word value around and really don’t understand how important our values actually are to us. We may say “I value family”, but then when it comes to spending time with our families, we put it on the bottom of the priority list – behind work, chores, and “have tos”. If this is the case, we usually feel a sense of shame or guilt for not spending time with our families, which we value because we are living out of alignment with our values and, for that, we experience stress!
This holiday season, why not make it easier on yourself and figure out what your values are? Then do your best to live within those values, honour yourself!
How to determine your holiday values is simple. Take a few minutes to reflect on the past few holidays and ask yourself:
What brings me the most joy over the holidays?
When am I the happiest during the holiday?
If I had to give up something what could I absolutely not give up?
What does my dream holiday season look like?
Take the time to really feel into the questions, allow your imagination to go wild. Write down a few things that really stick out to you. You will probably notice that some common themes start to emerge.
Whether the answers revolve around such things as having family present, or having some downtime, to seeking adventure, or maybe even solitude…the possibilities are endless. Whatever the answer(s) may be, really tune into yourself.
Perhaps you notice that in all your answers your family is present, or that your answers all revolve around peace and quiet or downtime. Maybe they all revolve around adventure or solitude. Whatever it is, really tune into yourself.
Once you have a few common themes, take a few minutes to evaluate if this is a true value for you. For example, the value of peace is arising and when you check in with yourself, this doesn’t feel like something you would value. Ask yourself “Is this something that I really want or is it something that I believe that I need? Is this something that really matters to me or is it something that others say I need? Does this feel like a priority to me or does it feel like an obligation?”
Take this time to really check in with yourself. Does this feel authentic to you?
Yes or No
If yes, then you have your list of values for the holidays. If not, then you have identified the things that are most likely causing you stress. You are doing these things out of obligation or out of belief that you need to be doing them. This sense of obligation has overridden your values and is causing you stress. If this is the case, you need to take the time to really evaluate what it is that you love about the holidays, use your imagination to identify your dream holiday season. What is it that you are doing? Who is there? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
If you can answer these questions and come up with your dream holiday season you will be able to identify your values. The following questions will help you to narrow in on your value:
Is it that you are surrounded by family or out at social events?
Are you following traditions or are you creating new memories?
Is it in a place that you know and love and feel comfortable or is it an exciting new place?
Make it Happen
Once you have that picture clear in your mind, you can identify what is most important for you about the holidays. Now all you need to do is make the decision…then make it happen!
Knowing what you value most about the holidays can spare you added stress during the festive season. You can take steps to make sure that your holidays are in alignment with your values instead of fighting against them.
Wishing you a holiday season that is all you have dreamed of that aligns you with your highest values.