Gift to Self: Just Say NO
Every year, I tell myself that THIS is going to be the holiday season I slow down and soak up. That is, actually enjoy the best parts: family, friends, trimming the tree, even cookie exchanges. And every year I find myself Googling “gifts for one-year-olds” over my lunch break, or doing my nails in the car (at the stoplight) en route to some tinselly boondoggle when I’d really rather be curled up with Mr. Bets, watching Love Actually and sipping port. I realize my plight is far from uniqueâ€”and I don’t even have to host or shop for more than a handful of peopleâ€”but even the best laid holiday plans can lead to a near meltdown if you’re not careful and purposeful. The only solution? Learn to say NO.
What? Did you think I was going to suggest a massage or tropical vacation? Those work, too, and I’ve done both. But the fool-proof solution to keeping your pretty little head sane is to get your priorities straight and stick to themâ€”even if that means saying no. It took me the better part of my twenties to figure this out, then another few years to actually follow through. Turns out that NO is the most empowering, life-changing word in the dictionary. When used correctly, it will fill you not with guilt and grief, but with an overwhelming sense of relief and freedom. That’s the true test.
At Beauty Bets, I get questioned daily about the best product for X, or treatment for Y. We’re all searching for a way to look and feel better, and that’s a good thing. But if you cover up those dark under eye circles (answer: Bobbi Brown Corrector + Creamy Concealer) without figuring out why you’re so spread so thin all the time, you’re doing yourself an injustice. Sure, we’re all sleep-deprived and stressed out, but if you feel that way because you’re not living a life of YOUR intentions, then it’s time to start saying NO. No to the things that don’t bring you joy, fulfillment, peace, health, positive challenges, or personal growth. No to people that make you feel less instead of more. No to activities that deplete your energy instead of boosting it.
Some of you will ask: But what about work? I hate my job! Been there, done that, and will surely be there again some day. Work is a part of life, so start making it work for you. You can’t say NO to deadlines and bosses, but you can shift your attention to the aspects of you job that you do like (the paycheck, perhaps?), and start exploring new outlets. Ask someone whose work you admire to coffee. Volunteer doing something that genuinely interests you. Let people in your network know that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Once you get good at saying NO, a funny thing happens: You have more time to say YES to the things you really want.
Wishing you a beautiful and happy holiday season!