As we are in the midst of our beach wedding planning, the stress has been slowly starting to creep up. As anyone that has gone through this before will know, wedding planning can be one of the most stressful experiences that you may have to go through in your life. No joke.
No doubt there is a lot of stress involved from the guys’ standpoint on selecting and buying the perfect proposal ring, but I would argue that the majority of the stress in wedding planning falls squarely on the woman in the relationship.
All those picturesque dreams that you had of your wedding as a little girl (or boy) suddenly have to become a reality and the pressure is on to get it all right. You know that if you don’t deliver, the ‘little you’ will throw a screeching tantrum that will be near impossible to cure. She was a very demanding little girl. Expectations are high – she dreamt of you to come in riding on a pink unicorn while your other half was undoubtedly dressed as a knight in shining armor defending you from the evil dragon. Thousands of spectators cheered in jubilation as both of you walked down the aisle with colorful confetti filling the skies.
The bar has been set at an almost unattainable level. How are you ever going to reach the expectations that were set by you as a little girl? You realize that if you don’t plan carefully you won’t be galloping in on a unicorn, but staggering in on the back of a donkey. The only things that your future husband will be defending you from are the flies buzzing around the donkey’s butt instead of dragons. This is where the stress starts to sink in and you start doubting yourself.
I have started experiencing some of this stress and have come up with a number of stress relief techniques related to your wedding planning in the short-term. Please bear in mind that I am not medically qualified in any way, so if you are seriously dealing with severe stress, consult your local doctor. These tips may actually make your situation worse in the long-term!
#1 Chocolate is Your Best Friend
Forget about all your other friends for a minute. Right now you have only one and her name is Chocolate. She doesn’t have any opinions, doesn’t have any demands, but she is just there to help you – short-term gratification at its best. Eat it now and you can worry about the pounds later – this is about reducing stress right now.
All jokes aside, there are actually numerous of studies that have proven that chocolate can significantly reduce stress. As such, chocolate is actually one that belongs on this list. It has proven to significantly increase the levels of serotin and endorphins in the brain, and therefore improving the mood.
If you don’t want to turn into a whale before your wedding and you worry about the pounds, they say you should choose dark chocolate since this generally contains lower amounts of unhealthy ingredients. The darker the chocolate, the healthier the chocolate. Unfortunately this was never enough to convince me and I still prefer to have a good ol’ bar of milk chocolate (or one that isn’t too dark at least).
#2 Retail Therapy
This has to be an all-time favorite stress releaser for most women out there. It can work equally well when you’re getting stressed about your wedding planning. Again, this list is all about short-term gratification. Spend the money now, and worry about the bills later (just kidding of course).
I have yet to find a stress related issue that a pair of brand new shoes or a purse can’t solve. It does the trick every time for me.
In all reality, there is actually some truth to this tip as well. Retail therapy has been proven by numerous studies to reduce stress levels. One may think that it’s only temporary, but according to About Health, around “82% had only positive feelings about these purchases, and that the positive mood boost that followed these purchases was long-lasting”. As long as you don’t make it a habit, a bit of retail therapy can improve your mood and help you deal with that wedding planning stress.
#3 Hide under the Blanket like a Baby
Sometimes kids know best. Hiding under the blanket is a tried and tested method that has withstood the test of time, and has been enjoyed as a stress reliever for generations and will be for generations to come. Ok, it may be a little childish, but it is a fool proof method and one of the stress relief techniques that you can use to cope with wedding related stress.
What better way, when you want all stress to go away, and cut off any communication, than to jump into your bed and hide under the blanket? There simply isn’t. It allows you to zone out for a while and clear your thoughts. You may even be able to squeeze in a power nap while you are at it and get some much needed rest (especially after all that wedding planning you’ve been doing). When you are ready to emerge from the blankets again, you’ll feel like a new person that can take on the world.
#4 Watch Wedding Fail Videos
Ok, so you may not be riding in on your pink pony on your big day, but at least your wedding won’t be as bad as these guys. It puts it all in perspective that if you’re wedding doesn’t quite go as planned, at least there are some out there that went worse than yours. As an added benefit, these videos generally bring up some laughter in most of us, which has also been proven to act as a stress releaser. It’s a win-win.
Make sure you pick videos with outrageous fails that only happen once in a million years and won’t likely happen to you. If not, you may start to stress about these happening to you in which case you’ll have to grab some more chocolate as you head to the shopping mall to bring those stress levels down again.
#5 Cutting Off the “Blabbering” by Zoning Out
This is actually one that is more for the guys, assuming that girls will generally do the majority of the wedding planning. It’s certainly that way with me and Tim. I didn’t want this to make the list, but it’s a tactic Tim regularly uses to release his wedding stress, or maybe it’s just get out of any involvement in the wedding planning – especially when it comes to the details around decorations, attire, etc.? Who knows?
He mentions that zoning out, with me “blabbering away in the background” as he says, is a great way to get some peace of mind during the wedding planning process and do some brainstorming on wedding planning. Little does he know that every little detail I have to say is extremely important! If he only knew. Funnily enough, when he finally arrives back on earth, he never comes up with any ground breaking ideas from his “brainstorming” on wedding planning either.
#6 Letting out a Primal Scream
When it all gets too much, there’s nothing like venting it all out with a good primal scream. Make sure there are no kids in the vicinity, of course, or you may land yourself in jail by getting arrested for assault, or get sued and then you’ll have a heck of a lot more to stress about.
There is actually some evidence to this one as well and this method has been practiced for as long as when Neanderthals still roamed the earth. Screaming has been proven to release endorphins into the body, which is the “feel-good” chemical in your body capable of improving your mood. A good scream allows you to release all the tension and stress that you have bottled up during your wedding planning. Just make sure you do it in a well-insulated room so that your neighbors don’t call the police.
#6 Clean the House until its Spickety Span
Ok, I’ll admit, this is one that I actually haven’t done before and may never do. However, I always hear people saying that cleaning is one of the best stress relief techniques out there so felt that it had to make this list somewhere. Who knows, it may work for you. If you decide to try it out, you are of course more welcome to try it out on my house.
I can see the benefit of it though, since you’re channeling your stress and frustration into something positive, and end up with a clean house. You end up with something that you can be proud of and there is never a lack of cleaning to be done, so you can do it whenever you need to.
#7 Eat Dessert – And lots of it!
This deserves a category of its own. What can I say? I have a sweet tooth. Tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, here I come! They are all fair game at this point and if you’re anything like me, it can be a great stress reliever. The taste is just too great to resist, and once you put that first bite in your mouth, all your worries will go out the door like they were never there in the first place. That is, of course, until you see the scale go up a couple of pounds the day after. Don’t worry about that though, as you plan your wedding and start running around like a headless chicken in the next few months you should burn off those extra calories in no time!