Updated: Feb 5, 2020
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. You’re planning the happiest day of your lives! Then it sinks in. You’re planning what’s meant to be the happiest day of your lives. Already? But...what if it doesn’t live up to your expectations? What if the catering goes wrong? What if Uncle Jim has a few too many before the toasts and he starts sharing that one story from your childhood? What if no-one turns up? Oh heck. What if everyone turns up, and you have to tell somebody they aren’t even on the guest list, much less the seating plan?
What if. What if. What if.
Before you know it, you’re in a spiral of anxiety, wedding nerves are getting the better of you, and the stress is starting to mount up. I've seen it hit brides and Grooms a million times. Here are 6 ways to put down your pre-wedding stress & anxiety for good!
1. Create a sustainable, stress-busting, self-care routine
We’re not talking about making a beauty routine to have the ‘perfect, glowing skin’ on the day, nor a regime to help you ‘slim down’. Self-care is all about small techniques and lifestyle changes you can make to help maintain or improve your overall sense of well-being.
Starting (or ending) the day with a simple self-care routine - I’m a complete night owl. For me, reserving just 15-30 minutes at the end of each day to sit back, ditch the wedding gallery's and endless Instagram scrolling, and do something non-wedding-related before bed is the best way to relax and detach. I even like to sprinkle little 20 minute blocks throughout my day to breath and walk around just to make sure I don't go crazy throughout the day. Find what works best for you.
Planning as a form of self-care - chances are, you’ve got (nearly) everything planned down to the last detail for your wedding, but have you scheduled in time for self-care? Regularly setting aside an evening or weekend that is wedding-free can be a good way to relax, take care of other small tasks that may be piling up, and spend quality time alone or as a couple.
3. Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation aren’t just buzzwords – each can have a significant impact on your well-being. Meditation can not only help you feel more present and grounded in the moment, but studies have shown that just a few minutes of meditation each day can help decrease insomnia by up to 60%. Now that's freaking awesome.
Regular meditation can also help increase your concentration and self-awareness, whilst reducing symptoms and feelings of stress. By practicing mindfulness and meditation ahead of your big day, you can start to feel more calm, centered, and in control.
If you aren’t quite sure how to start incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine, there are some great stress-reducing apps that can help you get started. Apps to help promote sleep such as Calm can also be a great way to help de-stress and calm your nerves, whilst boosting your sense of self-esteem.
4. Acknowledge, accept and re-frame how you will feel
How often in the past have you encountered a situation where your dread leading up to the event was worse than the event itself? In many ways, your growing anxiety around your big day can be viewed in a similar way.
Weddings can and do cause anxiety. Unless you are a celebrity, it’s not every day that you are in the spotlight. With all that attention and focus on you, and the event, it’s completely understandable to feel anxious, even if you have never experienced anxiety before.
Providing a safe, non-judgmental space - where you can talk about your fears and concerns for either your wedding day or the events leading up to it. Weddings can be very emotionally charged, so it can be helpful to talk to someone who is objective.
Enabling you to identify your triggers - identifying what happens when you are feeling anxious so that you know what is happening can be a great help. Once you become more aware, it becomes easier to put strategies in place to help you manage it.
Noticing tension - you might be feeling stuck in the middle of family and/or friends’ tensions, or having expectations put on you. Working with a coach can help you decide how to respond to this.
Re-framing situations - this way, you will be able to see them from a different, more supportive perspective.
5. Fuel yourself to feel better
What we eat can have a huge impact on how we are feeling. Tweaking what we are eating can help boost our energy, improve our overall sense of well being, help us get a better night's sleep, and so, so much more!
6. Use Your Partner
Don’t forget your partner! That’s what they are there for, and that is why you are getting married. A wedding is a unique, special, and often overwhelming experience, and it’s an important time to really rely on each other to come out stronger on the other side.
I also really recommend staying away from the alcohol until the key moments are over. Drinking can compromise your judgement, which can magnify a situation into something much bigger than it may actually be. So save that celebratory glass of champagne for after you’ve walked down the aisle, taken family photos, and cut the cake. Once you’re off the hook, you can really relax and celebrate!