We all experience stress on a regular basis, though the type and intensity can vary from minor challenges to major crises. When we add wedding planning stress on top of everything else in life, it takes stress to a whole new level. (Not a good way to level up!) It can become intense, and if not managed, will take a toll on your health, happiness, and the joy of your wedding day. Every bride needs effective stress relievers to restore her inner peace and sustain physical health.
When we started working on this article, our goal was to provide a few tips and a bit of advice to brides to relieve wedding planning stress. How hard can that be? Well, the reality is there are a wide range of stress relievers (some we knew about, others new to us too). Our research showed a couple of significant things that impact stress relief:
- Different stress relievers work for different people, and in different situations.
- You may not always be in the mood or able to practice your favorite stress reliever. You need multiple options.
More to Come Soon
There are so many stress relievers available (all free – we are not selling medications, though it may be something to discuss with your doctor if your stress is extreme) we could not share them in a single article. (And we only listed our favorites.)
So, we have created a series of wedding planning stress relief blogs (Five to start, but they may grow with your help.) I’ll add the links to the bottom as each is posted. They are designed with versatility in mind and offer proven effective methods of stress relief. They can be used in a variety of situations. Try them and see what works best for you.
Your Input Requested – Your Planning Stress Relief
We also included a comment box at the end of each post. If you have a wedding planning stress reliever that works for you, please share in the comments box. If we use your reliever in a future article we will, with your permission, give you credit (and thanks) for the idea. (Send a picture by email and we will include that too.)
Easy for Me to Say
I know that it is all well and good for me to say these things and tell you how to relieve your planning stress. The reality is that each of our situations are different, and we all react to stress differently. Some of you may even say you are not stressed. Congratulations. You are a lucky bride indeed.
Dealing with stress is very difficult and sometimes feels insurmountable, but you are very strong and very resilient. You can make the wedding planning process an exciting journey.
So here we go. We’ll start with a little background, then jump right in. Don’t forget to check back as more advice and tips are posted and let us know what works for you. You got this!
Acknowledge That Planning Stress Is Real
Start dealing with wedding planning stress by acknowledging that you are experiencing it. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. This may seem oversimplified, but it is an important first step.
For the bride who has been looking forward to planning her wedding for years, admitting to being stressed makes her feel weak and concerned that others will see it as an inability to manage the planning. It can be difficult to admit when stress becomes overwhelming, but the reality is that when you are stressed the people who are near and dear to you see it, even when you refuse to admit it to them or yourself.
Give yourself a break. You are the bride, not Superwoman. You are adding wedding planning to what is probably already a hectic full lifestyle. Take the time to take care of you. Pause the planning when you need a break. Seek advice when you need it and ignore it when you did not ask. Enjoy the experience and the memories you are making.
Treat Yourself! Chocolate – Poof! Planning Stress Gone
Oh, happy day, we now know that chocolate in moderation is good for us. (Growing up believing that chocolate was “evil” was a huge stressor for me.) Eating anything sweet, especially chocolate, curbs the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid. That’s the nasty little hormone that makes us eat the whole bag of candy instead of just one. The delightful flavor of chocolate, even a single Hershey’s Kiss, makes stress evaporate like a puffy cloud on a sunny day. And dark chocolate brings additional benefits too. I am so excited.
Recognize When You’re Stressed
It might seem obvious that you’d know when you’re stressed, but many brides spend so much time feeling frazzled when they are wedding planning, that they forget what it feels like when they are in balance – calm, alert and focused. Some signs you may be overly stressed include:
- Low energy,
- Digestive issues,
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles,
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat,
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
Once a Day – Get Away From Planning Stress
Quietly begin your day with yourself, reflecting on the things that are right with your life and the world. Think about the positive goals you have for the day.
When you spend 5-10 quiet minutes in the morning it establishes the tone for the rest of your day. This is particularly important when you have a hectic and potentially stressful day ahead, i.e. wedding planning.
Now, I must admit, I am a “jump up and go” type of person, and it took me quite a while to train myself to slow down and enjoy my mornings. (Experts tell us it takes 21 days to break or make a new habit, but it took me longer than that.) It was a personal struggle and well worth the time I invested in creating this new habit that I continue today.
If you are simply not a morning person, you can take your break any time (even multiple times) during your day. Find a place where you can be alone (without your cell phone) and clear your mind. Do whatever relaxes you: meditate, read a chapter of a novel, take a quiet walk, play with your cat, or sip tea.
It’s vital to take just a few minutes every day to allow your body to destress. It’s not how much time you allot but that you do this for yourself consistently that’s important.
Manage Your Time – Planning Stress Can’t Take Root
Having a few basic daily routines lowers the stress of larger projects – like planning your wedding. Resist the urge to transform your entire life into “Wedding Planning” mode.
Experts tell us that the average bride spends a minimum of 15 hours per week in the three months immediately prior to the wedding on wedding planning and preparation. That is a part time job!
So, how do you fit it all in? Most people give up the little things of daily life that are important to them and keep them grounded, give up on sleep, or both. (Wrong answers.)
Do not give up your rituals – like a quiet cup of coffee, your exercise routine or spending quality (not wedding planning time) with your future husband. You need these stress relievers.
There will be days when you must skip your favorite routines but make those days exceptions rather than the rule.
Instead of giving up what grounds you, schedule it into your planner and give it the priority it deserves. We are talking about taking care of the bride, here. What could be more important?
When someone asks for your time and you are planning to exercise, it is OK, to say “I’m sorry, I already have another commitment at that time”. You do not have to say “I was planning on exercising”. No one is responsible for how you utilize your time but you. You do not have to explain it to others. “I’m busy”. – Enough said.
Spend Time With Your Pet – George Is My Planning Stress Relief
Dog owners report lower levels of stress than non-dog owners. Interacting with our pet releases oxytocin, a natural brain chemical that relieves stress and promotes positive thoughts.
A pet also relieves stress by keeping you active and providing companionship. Our dog George is one of the best stress relievers I have. Isn’t he precious?
Eat a Frog Every Morning – That is Planning Stress Relief?
Mark Twain brilliantly said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Now that is a true stress reliever!
Your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning. Make it a priority and get it out of the way. In real life, do we do that? No! Instead we procrastinate until later, all the while the stress is creeping up, knowing that whatever the task, it is looming over us waiting to be done. Just do it. Put on your big girl panties, make the dreaded phone call, finish addressing envelopes, decide on bridesmaids’ dresses – whatever it is that you dread doing – do it early in the day.
Surprise! The stress vanishes, and you see the dread was often worse than completing the task itself Once I look back on the actual experience, it was not nearly as unpleasant as I made it in my mind.
Task complete. Stress gone. Enjoy the rest of your day.
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