We've all heard of bridezillas and even if we know a bride to be who isn't screaming her head off and threatening to uninvited a whole set of cousins (I don't know what they do exactly, I've never seen one, so its just a guess....), pre-wedding stress can exist in a variety of forms. Its important to support our bride to be's and to encourage them to stay as calm as possible. Obviously volunteering to help with wedding (and non-wedding) tasks is essential to defusing stress levels but here are a few other tips.
1. Work.it.out. We all know how great exercise is on decreasing everyday stress and uplifting your mood. So of course its important to use your workouts to help combat some of the wedding related stress too. Make sure to include workouts as a priority to your schedule. If you are getting bored with your own workouts or if you find you need a little more accountability, try working out with a personal trainer either on an individual basis, or small group training. If personal training isn't in your budget (though small group training is VERY affordable), make a point to go to some group exercise classes. Since they have a start and end time, its often a little more incentive to get it done since you have a time constraint. If you are a friend or family member of a bride, try asking the bride to go on a walk or a hike with you. I firmly believe that being outdoors really maximizes the mood boosting effects of exercise. There is no where I feel more relaxed and in perspective than in the woods admiring God's creations.
2. Sleep. I know, easier said than done right? Try to get a little extra rest if you can. Go to bed about 15 min earlier each night if you can. A few other tips I found useful were to turn off electronics about an hour before you want to go to sleep. There are lots of articles on how the brightness from electronics may interfere with the body's chemical production that can make it harder to fall asleep. Try reading a book or magazine for a few minutes before going to sleep and see if that helps.
3. Eat healthy! Of course this will help. And its just one more reason to try improving your diet before the wedding. Most everyone wants to slim down anyway and making healthier choices will not only do that, but help your skin and digestive system, and make you feel much better! Veggies all around!! :) (but don't forget the protein and water too!!)
4. Try to pamper yourself some. Believe me, I know what its like to be on a budget. An everyday budget and a wedding budget! I'd laugh at all the magazines that talk about scheduling yourself regular massages and manicures and facials and everything. Um...who has that kind of money? So if you can, try to get a massage for a day or so before the wedding as it will help a lot. I went to Massage Envy and did one of the introductory sessions so it was about $45 as opposed to lots of spas that were in the $75-100 range. The massage therapist, Brooke, did a fantastic job and I would totally go back and visit again.
Other pampering options: Foam rolling is great for getting to tight muscles and making your muscles feel better, particularly after strenuous workouts. Try a routine of foam rolling before bed (especially after a hot shower).
5. Make a list of your blessings. It can be reasons you cant wait to marry your man, or things you are thankful for that people have done, or anything! I remember the weekends of my bridal showers and my bachelorette party thinking each time, "I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such amazing friends and family. I couldn't be more blessed" Writing down those memories helps to keep that feeling going. Theres also a cool new app called Happier that allows you to journal something that makes you happy each day. As long or as short of an entry as you'd like and you can upload a photo too.
I hope these help some of you who are going through a stressful time, wedding or not!
The new Mrs Bender! :)