Survive the holidays stress-free by prioritizing self-care

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Holly Wright

I don't know about you, but this time of year the stress always seems to sneak up on me. Maybe it's that to-do list that keeps getting longer, maybe it's all the preparation to be done for that picture perfect, fun, old-fashioned family Christmas - or perhaps it's all the events to be attended that make my heart beat faster.

Sometimes it's just hard to put your finger on it. Inevitably, I become agitated instead of grateful and it becomes a struggle to remain calm and to remember what this time of year is really about.

But this holiday season, I'm determined to stay merry and bright, because I'm making self-care a priority. And in doing so, my family will get the "hap, hap, happiest" version of me.

When it comes to self-care options, everyone's personality and schedule are unique. You will find that some self-care techniques are more appealing than others and some are just better suited for a busy schedule.

Try on a few to see which ones fit best. I have included a few of my favorites:

Feed your mind and spirit: Author Jon Gordon has a quote that suggests one should "Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself." When you're feeling a little harried, this is wonderful advice.

In our house, we find that posting a few inspirational quotes helps us find the words to do just that. My husband is really good at finding meaningful quotes. I use these to put me in the right state of mind and help me focus on being grateful instead of agonizing over daily difficulties.

Find an app on your phone to deliver these quotes daily or just Google a few and put fresh selections up weekly for your daily dose of enthusiasm.

Treat your soul: Take some time to go to your happy place. I love spending quiet time on Pinckney Island bathed in the sunshine, gazing out across the water and reminding myself how blessed I am to live in such an incredibly beautiful place.

Granted, your happy place may be a remote island in Fiji, but for the sake of keeping self-care attainable, grab a good book and keep it close at hand. This way, you can steal away for 15 minutes and escape to your favorite place in the world.

Journaling: I schedule 10 to 15 minutes each day to sit down and write. This helps me contemplate the blessings and the challenges of my day. When I reflect on past entries, I'm reminded to express gratitude for the challenges I have overcome.

Writing can be incredibly therapeutic. Just remember, you're not going for structure or a Pulitzer - just sit down and let your thoughts come.

No matter what self-care technique you choose, make sure it is something you can fit into your predetermined time slot and stick with it.

You deserve at least 30 minutes in your day to remember who you are, to give yourself grace and show yourself love. You, in turn, will have that much more to give away to others.

Holly Wright of Bluffton is a Reiki Master, reflexologist, NASM certified personal fitness trainer, and co-owner of Trinity TheraSpa in Moss Creek Village. trinitytheraspa.com

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