Reassessing Our Values at Holiday Time
by Lametra Off
Halloween, election hoopla and Thanksgiving are over and the Christmas lights are up. With the double whammy of the holidays (the regular stress of acquiring the perfect gift for everyone, sending the perfect holiday cards, partaking in the perfect amount of holiday activities and the irregular stress of COVID), it may be difficult to get into the holiday season.
We want to examine what is truly important—our values—the things that we believe are important to the way we live and work. These values determine our priorities and are the markers we use to tell if our life is going according to plan.
For example, if we are most satisfied when the family is together during the holidays at the same place, with the same people, eating the same food, we probably value tradition. However, due to COVID and the accompanying anxiety and worry, if we cannot celebrate with our family this season, we may feel sad, disappointed or even enraged. For that reason, the 2020 holiday season comes with more stress than usual.
When the things we do and how we do them match our values, life is usually good—we’re satisfied and content. But when things don't align with our values, we feel wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness, discontent and disengagement, and is why making a conscious effort to identify our values is so important.
Using our values, we make decisions about how to adjust and make conscious choices about what is really important during this holiday season; how to honor those values and remain at a safe social distance; and whether to follow tradition or travel a new path.
Our values are usually stable; they don't have to be—our definition of what’s important changes. That is why knowing our values is a lifelong exercise. If we find it difficult to select or prioritize our values, schedule a time for guidance and direction.
Lametra Off, MS, CPC, GCDF, CCSP, is a life, career and transitions coach. For more information, contact [email protected] or