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The value of values: Understanding yours may help you find balance

Being self-aware means knowing what's important to you—what makes you tick—and living in ways that are consistent with that. If you know what's important to you and use that to make decisions about how to spend your time, you'll be more likely to feel at ease, successful, happy and well.

But what are values? Why are they important? Why is it important for us to be clear about our own values?

A lot of people talk about "finding life balance." For adults, it's often about work and family. For kids, it usually means having a good mix of school, activities, time with friends and family and time to just relax.

What sometimes gets missed in this conversation is talking about values. Values are really the foundation for how we can find balance. If we know what's important to us and make decisions about how to spend our time based on that, we'll be more likely to feel at ease, successful, happy and well.

Teens, especially, may have a hard time determining their values. To help them think about and understand how values are working in their lives, check out these Change to Chill activities: the Value Circle Chart worksheet and the Balance Mobile. Then ask these questions:

  1. What do you notice about how your values compare with how you spend your time?
  2. Are you happy with what you discovered by doing this activity? Why or why not?
  3. What's one thing you'd like to do differently in order to have your life more in balance with your values?

Visit Changetochill.org to learn more tips on how to help your teen stress less and find balance in their life. While the program is geared toward teens, adults can use the site to benefit as well. We encourage you to share with the teens in your life and maybe even complete the activities together.


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