December—a time that should be dedicated solely to family, friends, and enjoying life—is when life gets even more hectic for me, and probably for you, too. For me, it means wrapping up this year’s business, searching for the perfect gifts for my children and grandkids, celebrating numerous birthdays, attending countless holiday parties, planning a Christmas celebration for my whole family, and prepping for my daughter’s New Year’s Eve wedding (and the list could go on). All this magically fits within the time span of four short weeks.
My to-do list is never ending, yet there is one important to-do I have to remember to add: me. In the month of December, perhaps more importantly than ever, I need to remember to make time for myself. This past year has been a whirlwind. With the expansion of Pure Romance in South Africa and Australia, the launch of the e-book I co-wrote, working to raise funds and awareness through the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health, and always improving the Pure Romance product line and business, I have been so busy I’ve lost touch with myself a little bit.
When you have your business, family, and demands of life on your to-do list, it’s more than easy to nix “me” time from the mix. “Why do I deserve time to myself when there’s so much that needs to be done?” you might think. Well, think again.
There is a quote that is everywhere right now. It says, “Keep calm and carry on.” Ninenty-nine percent of the time, women do just that. We feel stress, but we suppress it and carry on until the tasks at hand are complete, or the other people in our lives are happy. This month, I challenge you to stop and take a minute to yourself instead of powering through. Stop, breathe, read a magazine, take yourself out to dinner, get a pedicure—whatever it is that you want to do, do it. And then carry on with your tasks. There is only one you, and people understand that.
It’s also important to remember that not everything needs to be done. It’s not the end of the world if something waits an hour. Do not see this as giving up. Instead, think of it as giving yourself a mental break. Stress bodes well for no one. It can negatively affect everything from your sex drive to your sleep—and we all know what stress can do to one’s mood. If for no other reason, put yourself on your to-do list so you stay relaxed (as relaxed as possible, that is), happy, and healthy during this holiday season.
Give yourself the biggest gift of all: Make yourself a priority. You’re likely to have everyone and everything else on your to-do list before carving out time for yourself. It’s time to change that. Those closest to me know I have an impossible time slowing down, relaxing, and doing things for me. But this December, I’m making the impossible possible. I’m making myself a priority in the midst of chaos, and because of this, I’ll be able to enjoy my own company as well as my family and friends even more. Having a happy holiday season means making yourself happy, too.