So it’s around a month and a half to go until my wedding day – and I don’t know about the rest of you lovely people with imminent weddings but I’ll be honest, my stress levels have been through the roof. I’ve been more sensitive, more touchy and more tense than ever before, with the constant feeling that I’m running out of time!
So I’ve written about relaxation before, but now, more than ever, I think it’s so important to reiterate how vital it is to stay calm. After all, I’m sure, like me, you want to get to your wedding feeling great!
Eight ways to keep your stress levels down before the big day
Assign a spokesperson
Your friends and family love you – that’s why they want to make sure they’re at the right place, at the right time, wearing the right thing. As the wedding draws closer, I’m getting a lot of phone calls and emails from really lovely, well-meaning people, friends and relatives etc. who want to know all about the big day. The problem is, although nobody’s questions are particularly complicated and although it is stuff they do need to know and it totally makes sense that they would ask me about it, after the tenth phone call in a day, no matter how pleasant it was, I can’t help but feel a bit stressed and bombarded by the sheer volume of little things I need to sort out for people.
So delegate somebody as a point of contact for any logistical questions. It could be your mum, one of your bridesmaids, your other half. Don’t think of it as burdening them with stress, they are much less attached to the whole process than you (well, apart from your other half, of course) so they won’t be as jumpy when the phone rings and they don’t have a million other things to be thinking or worrying about.
Make a list
How many weeks left until the wedding? What is there left to do? How long will it take you? Making a list and sticking to a methodical schedule can really help you to avoid that last-minute panic. While the list may look long, don’t try to get it all done at once, break it down into smaller chunks of time and tick off projects, box up your DIY as you go and label all your boxes etc. so they’re just ready for the big day, with no worries. Make sure you give yourself days off in your schedule, you need time for yourself too.
Pampering always feels good – and at-home masks and treatments aren’t that expensive. Consider it preparation for your wedding day, give yourself an hour of pampering time a day just to sit and luxuriate. Let go of the guilt and remember that relaxing and enjoying your day is good for your health. A lot of people find it hard to delegate time for just treating themselves as they feel they have to earn it first – well here’s your permission, you’ve already earned it! Now put on some relaxing music, light some candles and run a lovely warm bath filled with muscle-soaking bubble bath. That’s an order!
Exercising doesn’t have to be about weight loss. It can just be a gentle walk in the morning, some yoga to start the day, a swim in the evenings or a quick bike ride – whatever suits you! As long as you’re getting some lovely fresh air in your lungs and moving around to get those endorphins going. I’ve started doing a short yoga workout in the mornings – it feels great not only to know I’m strengthening my back (which has been painful for almost two years now at latest calculation) but I’m also starting the day strongly and with purpose. Even taking twenty minutes in the morning and evening to meditate or just breathe deeply and relax your muscles can make a big difference to how you feel throughout the day.
Eat and drink right
Don’t go on some crazy diet, but making sure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals can help balance out the way your mind works. Make sure you have three full meals a day and that you’re getting plenty of fruit and veg. Vitamin supplements will help keep you healthy and drink lots and lots of water. I’m someone who definitely doesn’t eat properly, in fact I’ve had a bit of a junk food binge lately, and while it feels great in the short term, I don’t wake up feeling wonderful the next day. It doesn’t even have to be a drastic change, just be aware of how much (or how little, in my case) water you’re drinking throughout the day.
Hug a pet
This one’s for animal owners. Did you know that cats and dogs reduce your stress levels? When you hug your cat, your breathing slows and their purring is very reassuring. When you walk your dog you’re forced to get out there and exercise – and focus only on their needs for a while. Pets are very calming influences so if you have one, make sure you take time to make a fuss over them and you’ll be less stressed without realising it.
Watch a movie or read a book
Nothing makes me feel better faster than a good romantic comedy – or losing myself in a Harry Potter marathon. Whatever your genre of choice, escaping your own life for an hour or two isn’t always a bad thing. It’s especially helpful to have a movie on when you’re working on repetitive DIY projects. Instead of stressing just think of it as something to do in front of one of your favourite films and you’ll soon feel a lot better about it.
Get a good night’s sleep
Whenever I can’t sleep I’ve always used my mum’s (Lorraine Doron) signature “Restful Sleep” oil blend. A quick walk a couple of hours before bed time, a few drops of Restful Sleep on your pillow and the following exercise can really help you rest:
Lie flat on your back, and breathing deeply, starting with your toes and working your way up the body, just tense and then relax every muscle. So first you flex out your toes, and feel them relax fully, then your calf muscles, working up to your thighs, your buttocks, your back etc. until you reach your jaw and face. Make sure your forehead isn’t furrowed, your jaw isn’t clenched and that you’re breathing, checking to make sure your muscles stay relaxed. I usually do this for ten minutes before bed and it helps me to sleep and also to wake up the next day feeling refreshed.
How do you plan to relax and keep your stress levels down before your wedding day? Have you found the immediate run up stressful or are you staying cool as a cucumber! We’d love to hear your thoughts!