Stress-busting ways to improve your pre-wedding health and wellbeing
22 Feb 2022
Ideas to ease the mind, body and soul ahead of your wedding day
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Let's be honest, wedding planning is stressful. You will understandably want your wedding to go without a hitch, but this pressure can significantly impact your health and wellbeing.
Sometimes stress and anxiety will manifest when you least expect it, causing you to lose your patience or get upset over the most trivial details. That's why it's so important to be aware of how you're feeling and any strain you're putting your body or mind under.
Fatmata Kamara, specialist mental health advisor for Bupa UK, says: "If you’re feeling anxious, worried or exhausted, it’s time to listen to your mind and body and give it the rest it needs. Remaining in tune with your mind and body will help you to make better decisions and become more resilient.
"Take things slowly and be kind to yourself," continues Fatmata. "Breaking your day up can help make everything seem a little more manageable. If you’re finding it difficult, set small, achievable targets for yourself and share the planning with your partner.
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"Good communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, it can feel a huge relief to open up to someone close to you. It’s a stressful time for you both – so check in with your partner and see how they’re feeling too. The chances are they’re feeling the same as you."
Striving for perfection can also cause stress, as can comparing your plans to a friend's wedding. Fatmata says: "It’s understandable if you want your wedding to be perfect, but it’s useful to be realistic and realise that micro-planning the whole day can be unmanageable and add a lot of unnecessary stress.
"There’s a chance that something may not go exactly as you’d planned – and that’s OK. It’s important to focus on the things that go right and focus on celebrating with your partner and guests. Your wedding is a celebration of the relationship between you and your partner. Remember that each wedding is different and perfect in its own way."
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Here are some further ways to alleviate your pre-wedding stress ahead of the big day...
While it can be the last thing you want to do when in the midst of wedding planning, getting active and keeping fit can refocus the mind and re-energise you in a way that no other activity can.
At-home workouts, exercise classes, gym sessions, outdoor bootcamps or dog walks offer you plenty of options with which to get fit. By disciplining yourself to engage in the NHS recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week you will feel revitalised and more proactive as a result.
Dean Zweck, product development manager at Total Fitness, says: "Maintaining a regular fitness regime in the lead up to your big day will positively impact your mental health and help to de-stress you. Regular exercise decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, and promotes the release of endorphins, such as serotonin, known as the feel-good hormone. Additionally, reaching the goals you’ve set yourself helps to build resilience as well as your confidence, which helps to tackle other achievements outside of the gym.
"All forms of exercise can help build confidence, and combining cardio and resistance training will give your body the best shaping results too. Attending group exercise classes, particularly smaller group training sessions such as Total Fitness’ Squad Sessions, is a great way to gain additional motivation to help you reach your fitness goals.
"Incorporating self-care is a priority too," adds Dean, "so try adding yoga into your routine to increase your levels of relaxation and mindfulness."
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Relax, relax, relax
There are many different ways people choose to relax and you can only choose activities which are right for you. Reading a book, having a hot bath or going for a walk to unwind will all serve to ease the pressure.
Ensure there are plenty of opportunities to relax during your week, not just on the weekend, and factor in a night or trip away to fully escape the rat race. A spa day with your best friends is the perfect way to recharge the batteries. Indulge the senses in a stress-busting treatment such as a hot stone massage or cleansing facial, and soothe your tired skin.
Mindfulness and meditation can also put you in a better headspace. By being present and in the moment we can observe our thoughts without letting them run wild, connecting with a deeper energy in and around us. Click here for further meditative guidance and activities.
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Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative-medicine practice, with many people finding various types of energy in the individual properties of each crystal. While the practice isn't to everyone's taste, followers claim that it can boost low energy, block bad energy and transform one's aura.
Lauren Buck, founder of Manifestation and Magic, says: "Crystals can be a helpful tool when managing stress and anxiety, particularly crystals with calming energy like amethyst, rose quartz, howlite and sodalite. When you’re feeling anxious, hold your crystal, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to centre your energy.
"You can also repeat some positive affirmations to get yourself into a positive mindset. For example: 'I am happy and loved' and 'I believe in myself and can do anything'. Notice how much more relaxed you instantly feel. Carry your crystals with you throughout the day to benefit from their calming, balancing and peaceful energies."
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Sleep away your worries
A good sleep routine is crucial when keeping stress levels to a minimum. The NHS advises that most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night. Sticking to a regular sleep time and pattern, as well as creating a peaceful and relaxing sleep environment can work wonders to ensuring a good night's sleep.
Dr. Kat Lederle, sleep scientist and founder of London-based sleep clinic Somnia, offers her advice for a better night's sleep: "In the evening don’t have coffee or other stimulants. Use bright light and move a little to help you through the slump. Be mindful though, too much bright light too late in the evening can make falling asleep harder. Limit or avoid alcohol altogether as this can have a negative on your sleep later on in the night.”
While sleep serves an important function in cell repair and renewal, sleeping on essential wedding decisions can also leave you feeling more energised to make them the following day.
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