Guest Post: If you are working alongside a wedding planner for your big day, then undoubtedly, you can totally relaxed about things going without a hitch. However, for some upcoming brides, anxiety can really interfere with the enjoyment of the experience – just the thought of the day itself, far from being pleasurable, can result in unpleasant feelings and sensations, including a racing heart rate, dizziness, or incessant worry that something will go wrong. In a way, some level of anxiety is to be expected – after all, this is the event you have dreamed of for a long time, a celebration that requires a considerable financial and personal investment. Therefore, you want it all to go smoothly. If you find, however, that anxiety is persistent and intense, considering the following ways to bring your stress levels down in the lead-up to your wedding:
- Plan, plan, plan: Successful events ultimately come down to good time management. Rely on a highly skilled planner, who can anticipate any problems and nip them in the bud. There are numerous wedding apps available that will also help you organise everything from the invites to RSVPs, photographs, important dates, etc. It is so easy to accomplish all you need to do if you divide the event into smaller goals to be accomplished every day or every few days.
- Delegate: Most of us have at least one or two trusted family members or friends that we know are responsible enough to take on tasks we delegate to them. Have these people do the follow-up work for you, for instance, ringing suppliers to ensure that deadlines are being met. If you know someone with excellent taste, they can also help you out by selecting different designs for everything from table décor to invitations, flowers etc… you might ask them to make a shortlist, so you can make the final decision.
- Bring stress levels down naturally: Anxiety is a disorder which can sometimes require medication. However, when it is transitory or does not require professional help, there are many ways that one can quell it naturally. First of all, download a pranayamic breathing app. Pranayamic breathing is a millenary technique, often used in yoga and mindful meditation; it consists of abdominal breathing in which longer time is taken to exhale than inhale. As soon as you start breathing this way, your heart rate automatically goes down, making it an excellent way to stop a panic attack (hyperventilation) in its tracks. These exercises take just a few minutes a day – as little as five to 10– and will help you bring down your stress hormone levels. Additional stress busters include yoga and Tai Chi; these holistic exercises are therefore currently used everywhere from rehabilitation centres to centres for the elderly and even among women battling breast cancer, owing to their side-effect-free ability to reduce cortisol (a stress hormone).
- Realize that anxiety is just a trick: It is important to know that panic attacks happen because our ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in when we are exposed to stress. Our body becomes overtaken by cortisol, we begin to take in too many breaths and too much oxygen floods our system. This is why breathing is so important; it stops the physical symptoms that can result in hyperventilation and other unpleasant symptoms of anxiety (including sweaty palms, a fear that one is about to die or have a heart attack, etc.).
- Put the event into perspective: When we are perfectionists and panic about things going wrong, it is important to view the bigger picture and ask ourselves, ‘What is the worst thing that could actually happen if something (e.g. the weather, or the décor) doesn’t work out exactly as I had hoped?’ Unexpected things sometimes occur, but there is usually a Plan B that can easily be adopted if needed.
We were recently taken with the latest Bridget Jones film, Bridget Jones’s Baby, in which the bride, walking into her garden wedding with her baby in her arms, suddenly finds that her veil has been swept away into the sky by the wind. Instead of panicking, she lets out a beautiful smile, which pretty much sums up the true meaning of a wedding – to celebrate your love and happiness. Sometimes, even when things go wrong, they make great anecdotes you will remember with laughter in years to come. Since you have planned well, the event will probably go without a hitch anyway, but do allow for small mishaps that won’t ultimately ruin the beauty and meaning of your celebration.