A Bride’s Guide to Stress Management

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You have to love, honour and cherish yourself if you want to be loved, honoured and cherished by someone else

Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Whether you’re newly engaged and starting the planning process, or a seasoned professional whose Big Day is nearly here, stress is always going to be a big issue. You only need to take a look at mrs2be’s Rant and Rave section to see hundreds of stressful situations from brides who aren’t sure how to deal with them.

Today we’ll be featuring ways to manage stressful situations, and how to maintain your sanity during your wedding planning. With our tips and tricks, you’ll be the coolest, calmest bride-to-be around!

We’ll turn you from this…                                                                          …into this!

 

Stress: It’s totally natural

Life can be stressful, there’s no doubt about it. Your job, your finances, your family, your children… these can be pretty stressful at the best of times. And to top it all off, now you’ve got a wedding to plan! The planning process can be an emotional time for many brides, as we aim for the perfect day, manage other peoples’ expectations, and deal with difficult situations as they come up.

Don’t worry – feeling stressed during the planning process is completely normal! It doesn’t mean you’re not able for it, and it DEFINITELY doesn’t mean your wedding day will be a disaster! The key is to recognise when you ARE feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and come up with ways of managing those feelings.

And don’t forget chances are if you’re feeling stressed, you’re not the only one. Your h2b might be feeling stressed as well, and that can lead to disagreements and arguments over even the smallest things. But if you learn how to tell when you’re stressed, and come up with healthy ways of managing your stress, you’ll be able to grow as a couple.

Am I Stressed?

Some of us bite our nails, some have mood swings, and some can’t sleep at night. Stress shows itself in many different ways, so if you’ve noticed any of the following, it could mean you need a relaxing time out:

Physical symptoms: stomach ache, headaches, back aches, tiredness and low energy, low sex drive

Emotional symptoms: moodiness, anger, anxiety, the blues, irritability

Mental symptoms: short attention span, worrying, poor concentration or racing thoughts, problems sleeping (insomnia or restlessness), feeling indecisive, panicking, blowing small things out of proportion

And stress can take its toll. You may deal with stress by overeating, drinking too much, or smoking all of which are incredibly unhealthy ways of dealing with stress, and may make things worse particularly if you’re overeating while trying to diet at the same time. Or you may take your stress out on other people like starting rows with your h2b. That’s not healthy either, and will just leave the two of you feeling miserable.

So if you feel yourself getting stressed out, and you feel like you’re ready to snap, what can you do to relieve some of the pressure?

Tips and Tricks for dealing with stress

Being organised always helps with stress, but sometimes that’s easier said than done! If you’re still in the early stages of planning, or if you’re just feeling overwhelmed by the size of your to do list, check out mrs2be’s Wedding Countdown and Wedding Checklist. They’ll give you a good idea of what you need to plan, and how far in advance you need to worry about it.

Diet

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to eat right. A healthy diet will improve your energy levels, and make you look and feel better about yourself. Try cutting down on your caffeine intake as well, as coffee and tea can make you jittery. Why not try a calming herbal tea instead? Chamomile, lavender and passionflower teas are all excellent for calming nerves, relieving tensions, or soothing anxieties. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day as well, to eliminate toxins and revitalise your system.

Get Moving

Exercise is always important, but it’s also good for relieving stress. And it doesn’t have to mean a two hour workout at the gym! Even a simple 20 minute walk around your neighbourhood can be enough to clear your head and get you feeling like yourself again.

Failing that, why not act like a kid again? Remember all those silly things you used to do as a child that made you feel free and alive? Do them! Climb a tree! Go on a swing! Run around outside, or scream at the top of your lungs! It works!

Spoil yourself

One of the best solutions to wedding-related stress is to have a wedding-free day, or better yet, a whole wedding-free weekend. That means no wedding talk, thoughts, or planning for an entire 24 (or 48) hours. Do something else… ANYTHING else! Go away for the weekend. Spring clean your house. Go out with friends. Whatever will take your mind off the wedding planning!

Some other ideas? Have a pampering day go to the spa, have a massage, or a manicure and pedicure. Or have a girls’ night and let your hair down. It doesn’t have to be an expensive night on the town even having a few of the girls around for a soppy girlie film marathon is a nice way to unwind!

Chill

Another way to relieve stress is to leave it all behind, even for an hour at a time. Listen to your favourite tunes. Watch your favourite TV shows, or rent your favourite DVDs and veg out on the couch. Take a yoga class, or learn to meditate.

Or, if you’re really busy and don’t have much time to spare, just take a minute to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Concentrate on something happy like picturing yourself walking down the aisle and seeing your h2b waiting for you. This will help you to relax, while at the same time, refocusing your energies and revitalising you for whatever you need to do next.

Get help

Girls, we’re only human. Nobody expects you to do everything, or to be perfect. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with things, talk to someone. Your best friend, your h2b, your mam… go for coffee and get it off your chest. Sometimes the simple act of talking about your problems is enough to make them disappear.

And if that doesn’t help, then delegate! You don’t have to be the only one planning this wedding, and if you’re a bit of a control freak it may be hard to let go, but it helps. Find someone you trust your h2b, your MOH, your mother or FMIL, and ask them for help. Be very specific about what you need done, and when it needs to be done by, and then leave it in their hands. Being able to offload some of the responsibilities will mean fewer things for you to stress over!

And remember, when all else fails…

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