Mental Health is getting talked about more and more these days which is such a fabulous thing! As an ex mental health recovery worker, I am a big advocate for looking after your mental health! And it's no secret that one of the most stressful times of your life is wedding planning! It's not often talked about, but this is the time when you really need to be taking care of your mental health as you do not want the memory of planning the best day of your life to be tainted by the pressure you were under. Here are a few tips, from someone who plans weddings every day, about how you can keep your mind balanced and peaceful while planning your awesome day...
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
It can be so easy to get hung up in all the 'trends,' making your wedding Instagram-able and having what your cousin twice removed had at their wedding but it really isn't all that important. It's not a contest and it's not worth making yourself stressed over. In fact, if it was a contest, you would win by being the most chilled out, happy bride/groom there was as this would show on your wedding day and it would all be about your love for each other and nothing else.
Don't spend hours late at night making wedding favours - 50% of them will be left on the tables to be cleared up at the end of the night anyway. Don't panic if you can't find bridal robes for everyone in your bridal party for the morning of the wedding - they most likely won't be worn ever again. Don't stress if Aunt Mildred only wants fruit cake and you can't stand the stuff - you can invite her round at Christmas instead!
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
It's said a lot but it's true! (and is an area that I really should practice what I preach in). Now I'm not saying you need to hire a personal trainer and go on a 100 calorie a day diet but you will find that keeping active will keep your mind ticking over. Nice walks, yoga, meditation, a fun zumba or dance class, some swimming, they will all help to keep stress at bay, and will give you time out moments when you're not cooped up wedding planning.
Whatever you do, do not go on a crash diet and do not stress yourself out by setting yourself an unrealistic weight loss target! It will just raise your stress levels through the roof! Eat healthily where you can and do what works for you, don't push yourself out of your comfort zone or beyond your abilities as you will be setting yourself up for failure. You will look radiant on your wedding day no matter what!
Remember it's YOUR day
This might seem obvious but there are always family members and friends who will try and make it all about them - it's a natural human reaction and I GUARANTEE that every wedding experiences this! It's not them being malicious, they probably don't even realise they are doing it. Try to remain calm, be diplomatic and don't get trapped into an argument as that will just stress you out and cause more damage. Humour them if need be and say (with a smile) 'that's a good idea, I'll give that some thought' and then go ahead and do what you want to do. At the end of the day this is yours and your partner's day and you are the only people that the day should be about. If there is one day in your life when you can be selfish, it's your wedding day! Just make sure you're calm and diplomatic about it otherwise you're at risk of being called a Bridezilla!
Share the Load
You definitely don't have to plan this wedding by yourself! I know it is a stereotype that grooms don't get involved in weddings but believe me, most will love it as much as you do! Me and my husband used to spend evenings making wedding decorations together and it was so much fun and made us even more excited about our wedding day. Get the groom involved, delegate some tasks to him, he'll enjoy it, I promise!
And don't forget about those bridesmaids! They have to earn their title! Ok not really but they will want to be part of your big day. Don't take on too much of a burden yourself, make sure you share the load and it will help to keep you cool as a cucumber!
Time is of the Essence
Make sure you give yourself a realistic time frame to plan your wedding in. One to two years is usually best. I have planned weddings in short spaces of time (7 weeks is my record!) but I have the contacts and experience to do so. Give yourself enough time so that everything is isn't a rush and you feel like you have to make slapdash decisions but also don't give yourself huge amounts of time - 4 years of wedding planning will take its toll on you and at times you'll just want everything to move faster! Some wedding suppliers won't even book you in more than 2 years in advance. Find a healthy balance and you won't feel like you're constantly drowning in wedding planning!
Enjoy the Ride
Remember to sit back every once in while and just enjoy this journey! You'll only do this once (hopefully) so enjoy being a Bride or Groom before you become a Wife or Husband. Each stage has its perks so remember to make the most of them. And remember to check in with each other to make sure the other isn't feeling stressed, you're on this journey together!
Remember that if things are getting too stressful there are always people you can talk to. I've included a list below for you of amazing people that are always there to help!
And if wedding planning feels like its starting to get a bit much for you then please do feel free to pop me a message! Relieving the stress of brides and grooms is literally what I am made to do. Keep smiling and keep planning!
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
Men's Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge
Rethink Mental Illness
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
If you need urgent support please call NHS 111 or 999 in a life-threatening emergency.