This is Part 4 in our series about relieving wedding anxiety and stress – feelings that are all too common for brides when planning their weddings. We have attached links to the earlier posts at the bottom of this post and hope you will read and share them.
Realistic Expectations Eliminate Your Wedding Anxiety
Be realistic about your wedding goals and expectations. Foremost, are they a fantasy, or something that you can realistic achieve? Are they manageable considering your timeline, budget, venue, etc.? When you decide you can achieve them, create a plan and go for it. Likewise, when you know ideas are beyond your bounds, don’t stress yourself by comparing your wedding to a photo-shoot you saw in a magazine or online. Wedding anxiety and stress are often rooted in unrealistic fantasy.
Wedding planning is filled with images of fairy tale weddings that are beyond many of us. (Did you know that many of the weddings in bridal magazines and online are not even real weddings? I know, I was bummed when I learned that. However, it does make me feel better about the real weddings I officiate because none of them are as over-the-top as the magazines and I am working with real people.)
Be realistic in terms of time, money, and your own abilities. Are you going to be in the frame of mind to enjoy your wedding when it arrives, or are you going to be a hot-mess from the planning that created your wedding anxiety and stress? Your choice. Choose wisely.
Staying Hydrated Relieves Wedding Anxiety
Drink lots of water and herbal teas. Mint tea soothes indigestion, heartburn, gas and stomachache, and is awesome for calming bridal nerves and relieving stress. (The effect is magnified when you take a few moments to relax and sip your tea rather than guzzling it on the run.) Carry a small thermos when attend planning meetings or are performing lengthily planning tasks. A few sips of water or tea will make wash the wedding anxiety away.
Furthermore, health experts tell us that drinking water gives a radiant, healthy, younger-looking complexion, in addition to reducing stress.
Win – Win.
The Power of Scent – Slowly Inhale and Feel Wedding Anxiety Vanish
Aromatherapy is the use of scents to treat your moods and an effective stress reliever. Burning a scented candle or using essential oils can reduce your feelings of stress and elininate wedding anxiety. It is also an effective way to improve sleep.
These are some of the most calming scents:
- Roman chamomile.
- Orange or orange blossom.
If you don’t have a candle or oils, peel and eat an orange. The scent will have the same short-term effect as orange oils. Keep the peels close by for a few hours and give them a twist to release more the natural oils. It’s unbelievable, how well this works.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve wedding anxiety. When you walk, jog, stretch or participate in your activity of choice, your body releases endorphins. Because endorphins make you happy, you feel better about yourself, and are less anxious. Works like magic!
Remember you must plan and schedule your exercise. It does not just happen and is one of the first things people tend to give up when they get busy. Make an exercise date with yourself (and a friend). Be sure to keep it.
Believe it or not, chewing gum is a quick and easy wedding anxiety buster. There are many theories about why it works. One suggests that chewing gum creates brain waves that simulate relaxation, another is that chewing promotes blood flow to the brain. One study says the harder people chew, the greater the stress reduction. Not sure why it works, but apparently it does, so chew as you will.
Create Your Vision Board
A vision board or dream board is a powerful tool that helps to narrow your wedding wants by making choices. You will be able to see the big picture, and how everything fits together, so you can lay out a plan of how to reach your goal and dreams. A realistic plan is a major wedding anxiety reliever.
When you see your wedding in its entirety, you can plan the steps you need to get there. You are taking the edge off your wedding anxiety and avoiding unexpected surprises when wedding elements conflict. Your vision board creates a series of stepping stones, so you can see your way to get what you want for your wedding. Wedding anxiety and stress – Poof. Gone.
Three Deep Breaths
When you feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, take three slow deep breaths – in through your nose. Then three deep exhales – out through your mouth. Repeat as many times as needed throughout your day to relieve your stress and anxiety. It seems to simple to be true. Trust me it is a game changer – you just have to remember the exercise when you are anxious or stressed.
Change Your Mindset
It is easy to become overwhelmed and as a result a bit depressed when you are planning your wedding. Details seem to be endless and you are constantly called on to make decisions. Can your say Overload?
You are going to have to practice self-love (OK, most people will call it being self-centered, but it is not), and put yourself first. Learn to say “No”, when you may prefer to agree, and even step on a few toes. (We’re not talking bridezilla here, just being able to kindly and pleasantly say “No” when an idea is presented that you really don’t want for your wedding.) Be open to new ideas and making important decisions about what you want – and yes, the results do fall squarely on your shoulders.
Furthermore, give yourself pep talks. Talk positively to yourself. (Yep, I mean right out loud.)
Yes! Yes! Yes!
When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is shout Yes! Yes! Yes! while pumping my fist in the air. It gets my blood flowing and starts my day with a can-do attitude. That may be too much for you, but promise me you will at least try it once, before you pass judgement,
Believe you can make the wedding of your dreams happen, and you will be surprised how quickly your positive outlook will impact your actions and those of others.
Henry Ford is responsible for one of my favorite quotes. He said: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.”
Old Henry really knew what he was talking about – not only did he create the first assembly line for using standardized parts for making cars (It also works great if you are doing DIY wedding crafts – standardize and simplify, works every time.) he also understood that what we think about ourselves and our own abilities has the biggest impact on how we face a situation and the stress we will feel.
Wedding anxiety and stress will be a distant memories when you have a positive outlook about what you and others can do. “Yes, I can.”
Get Plenty of Rest
There really is no way around this. Lack of sleep affects your physical health and contributes to increased wedding anxiety. If you are not sleeping well at night or were up very late, it is OK to schedule a quick power-nap in your day.
When I am home on a weekend, I schedule a nap into my Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It is surprising the big difference a short nap makes and how much more productive I am when I wake up and get back to my wedding planning.
Celebrate Your Daily Successes
Finally, before you fall asleep at night, think of three things that went right with your day or that you feel grateful for.
I keep a pad beside my bed to jot them down with the date. I call it my “TahDah” list. You know like on TV when they say “TahDah” and someone takes a bow.
We all have “To Do” lists that help us remember what needs to be done. I also have my “TahDah” list so I can remember and celebrate what I have accomplished. Make your own list. They are a fantastic way to focus on successes and when things are not going so well, to look back and see all that you have accomplished. It is an awesome way to conclude the day, by putting everything in perspective and reminding me there is no need to stress. You’ve got this.
For those who read Part 1-3 of this wedding stress relief series thanks for lighting up my inbox. I love hearing from you and appreciate that you are sending comments and personal stress relievers that work for you. Thank You. I (and all the brides reading this) appreciate that you took the time to share. I look forward to reading more ideas and comments and am working on the article to include them. If you have a tip to share, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Don’t forget to include a picture and we’ll post that too (with your permission, of course. )
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