Wedding Bells Giving You a Headache?

SubscribeButton-webWeddingStress-webAutumn is nearly here. The sun is shining, birds are singing and love is in the air as every weekend is filled with joyous fall wedding celebrations. Meanwhile, the wedding bills are piling up, the guest list is too long and the list of things to get done by your fast-approaching big day seems never-ending. Being the newlyweds-to-be is often not as dreamy as we imagine it to be. The stress of planning for a big party and a new life can wreak havoc on our bodies, minds and emotions –just when we need to be at our best. Maybe you’re going through this now, or maybe one of your loved ones is and they need your extra support. Here’s what you can do!

Reality Check.
There is only so much a human being can do. Look at what you can realistically do in the time you have left. What can you handle while maintaining your sanity? What are things you can hand off to other people? Who can you call on for help? What are your biggest sources of stress and how can you manage it? Stress is a fact of life, but preparation can help minimize stressors. You may have to let go of some things. Do what you can and forget the rest so you have space and time to enjoy this special, finite period in your life.  Good or bad, it will pass quickly.

Be conscious of your emotions.
Strong feelings are bound to emerge. Nerves are natural. Trying to hide them or ignore them won’t help you or anyone in the end. Take time to identify what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling that way and then address it. Take one issue at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. It may be helpful to write your feelings down or talk to someone you trust. Dealing with emotions head on in a constructive manner may seem more stressful at first, but once addressed, it’s a huge relief.

Make time for quietude and connection.
It’s important to stay connected with your spouse-to-be. Set aside quality time to be alone together. You can take a walk in nature to directly fight off the harmful effects of stress in your body. A recent study found that walking in the forest lowers stress hormones, increases white blood cell levels, lowers your pulse rate, and lowers blood pressure. This can create a calmer climate for a heart-to-heart with your loved one.

Talk about the things that concern you and work things out together. This is, after all, what you’re choosing – to spend the rest of your lives together through the good and the bad. The sooner you can work out issues well together, the better.

Beauty rest.
This phrase exists for some very good reasons. If you want beautiful eyes, beautiful skin, beautiful thoughts and feelings, you better get quality rest on a regular basis. Our bodies need rest to rejuvenate and function properly. Poor sleep puts additional stress on our bodies and minds. Unfortunately, stress can also affect the quality of our sleep, creating a vicious cycle. It’s imperative to break this pattern.

Set both a bedtime and wake time and honor them. Have a winding down period at the end of the day so your body knows it’s time to sleep. Stay away from electronic screens or other stimulants in the evening that activate the mind, making it difficult to shut down that running commentary that nags us at night as we lay restless in our beds. It takes about 10 to 12 hours to completely eliminate caffeine from the body (this changes based on your individual sensitivities, genes, and liver function), so get your afternoon energy boosts from non-caffeinated options such as 24K™. For some of us, it’s better just to avoid caffeine altogether, but if you’re already accustomed to caffeine, wedding time is probably not a good time for a caffeine detox and all the withdrawal symptoms that come with it. Just take it easy.

Sometimes indulgences are necessities.
Sometimes we need some “pampering”. Schedule that facial. Get that couple’s massage. Massage therapy in particular is an amazing option for relieving anxiety, lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowering both blood pressure and increasing blood flow and boosting serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is used for regulating mood, sleep, appetite, learning, memory and digestion. Dopamine is part of many brain functions including attention, mood, sleep, voluntary movement, learning and working memory. Massage has been linked to improved sleep, immunity and pain relief.

Regular Exercise = Endorphins = Feeling Good.
Your pre-wedding workouts aren’t just about fitting into your tux or gown or looking your best for the gazillion photos that will be taken of you on the big day. Regular exercise is about taking care of you, your physical/mental/emotional wellbeing. It’s a great way to manage stress and increase your energy. Get those endorphins pumping!

Fuel Up!
Crazy crash diets are never a good idea. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet and make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs so you can face whatever challenges that may arise with a clear head. This is all the more true for your big day. Make sure you eat and stay hydrated. Put someone in charge of making sure you have food and water. Collapsing out of exhaustion and hunger is never a good thing, but you especially don’t want to do it while you’re promising undying love to your significant other.

Whether your wedding is coming up, long past or not even a flicker on your radar, stress management is an important part of everyone’s health at every stage of life. How do you manage your stress? Any helpful tips for brides and grooms?

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