So the ring is on your finger. You’ve set a bunch of the plans in motion, found the perfect gown, asked your girls to stand up for you, chosen the flowers, and booked the venue. Suddenly, you notice that you’re a little distracted- jumpy, touchy, snarky and snippy… just, off balance. There’s still so much left to DO and you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed. How are you supposed to stay on top of these details, deal with the sudden influx of in-law issues (I know, your future mother in law was *totally normal* before you got engaged! She’ll probably settle down, I promise), manage your social life AND oh yeah, work full time? It’s surely enough to drive a girl batty!
Maybe a mini-bridezilla is about to rear her ugly head. Or maybe we can head that all off at the pass with a few simple stress-relieving tips.
1) Eat well and drink PLENTY of water. I know, you’re busy! But eating a well balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein helps keep you properly fueled, and the right amount of energy helps with the natural stress response. Make sure you’re staying hydrated as well. Drink water, iced tea, whatever you need to stave off thirst. Avoid empty calories though- your body and your skin will thank you!
2) Get enough sleep. What “enough” is of course depends on the person, but it’s probably safe to say that staying up until 3am every morning reading wedding blogs is not going to help your stress levels. 7-9 hours a night is a good range. A tired bride is an unhappy bride, and your psyche will thank you for getting enough shut-eye!
3) Get up and exercise! Do a little yoga, Pilates, go for a jog, head to the gym and take out your frustration in a kickboxing class (imagine that bag is your latest annoyance), shake your booty in Zumba, walk, dance, whatever gets you moving! Research has shown that the chemicals released during exercise help boost mood and improve brain function. I know I always feel better after a nice workout.
4) Don’t give up your social life. Keep your girls’ night out dates- spend time with your besties talking about everything EXCEPT the wedding. Shop, go dancing, have a spa day- do something fun that will take your mind off the many decisions that will need to be made. Goodness knows they want to stop hearing about the wedding just as much as you’d like to stop thinking about it!
5) Get away from it all. Take a break from the planning. Turn off the laptop, put the iPhone on silent, and go out with your fiance and just spend time together. Talk about something OTHER than the wedding. After all, you’re planning your life together- not just a wedding. Go out to eat and catch a movie, head out to people-watch, or just stroll along holding hands. Reconnect! Really enjoy each other and remember why you’re going through all this stress in the first place!
6) Ask for help and delegate. In my opinion, this is the best stress reliever! I know it’s hard, but it can take a huge weight off your shoulders if you hand over a few wedding related tasks to a responsible friend or family member. Planning a wedding can take up to 300 hours (depending on size and such)- why would you want to go it alone? Of course it’s your day but you should enjoy this process- not strain under the burden of it all! So hand a few things over and breathe a sigh of relief!
Bonus Tip: If you’re still feeling the pressure and feel like you might pop, it might be time to call in the big guns! A huge part of a professional planner’s job is to help you de-stress, take on what you’d rather not, and even talk you through those joyous in-law issues. Their goal is to get you down the aisle calm, cool and fabulous, with your sanity intact.
The stress that comes with wedding planning is about more than just the size of the event. It’s more than just the cost. Marriage is a huge life-changing event. The engagement period needs to be more than just the buffer between being in a relationship and being permanently attached. It’s really designed to help you adjust to the idea of being married. Following the steps above will help create the space you need in your life to process that adjustment.