Make no mistake, planning a wedding is up there with one of the most stressful things you will ever do in you life. Even if you buy all the organisation planners, all the schedulers, rope in all your friends to help, trust me you will still end up feeling some form of stress. Personally I struggled more than I expected, due to how much I had going on in my life during the planning stages. The year I set my wedding date turned out to be the busiest in my career, a sensible person would have put something on the back burner, but guess who's not sensible. Instead I decided that 2016 was the year I wanted to get married so I battled through anyway, dealing with working a full time job, a newly signed contract with a management agency for my blog and writing a column for a major magazine. Keeping my life organised, finding a routine, hell, having a date night, went out of the window. It was only in the closer months to the wedding did I begin to notice the impact the stress was having on my body and my health. My skin began to break out in rashes, I was exhausted, my eye twitched one week for three days, non stop, I had restless sleep and my IBS was at it's absolute worst. I felt like calling it all a day and eloping. I knew I had to get my stress in check. I made it out of the wedding unscathed after applying some techniques to help me when I was feeling my most stressed and I thought I would share these with you today.
1. Cry it out.
A good cry is actually really therapeutic, whether it's to your friends or if you are like me you could
watch the entire 11 series of Grey's Anatomy. I don't know why but it can really help get pent up stress off your chest, sometimes a cry is cathartic to the soul. Just make sure you keep a stock of cucumber in the fridge it helps with those puffy eyes that are inevitable from a good cry.
Okay, this might not seem like something I talk much about but I've decided we're all adults here, and theres nothing we should be shy about discussing. My next recommendation is Sex, nothing helps release pent up tension than a good orgasm. No seriously, It's proven through scientific research that orgasms help reduce depression, release endorphin's and boost the immune system. Some time spent with your partner experiencing intimacy or some time alone with yourself (if you know what I mean) can really do your body and stress levels wonders. Much to Dan's
delight I found this a great way to get that stress from a level 9 to a six.
A few weeks prior to the wedding I was invited to try and review a reflexology treatment at a center called Calm and Clear in Covent Garden. If you don't know, Reflexology is a form of massage focusing on the relex points around the body these can be in the hands, lower leg, ears, face or most commonly the feet. It's non intrusive and perhaps one of the best therapies I have ever experienced in my life. I had heard lots about the benefits of reflexology before trying it for myself and were surprised to read that these included increased energy, boosted circulation, toxin elimination, stimulation of the central nervous system, migraine prevention, improved sleep cycle and even improved fertility so I was more than thrilled to give it a go.
The Association of Reflexologists kindly arranged the appointment for me and when I arrived I had to give a run down of any current illnesses I had or any specific issues I was experiencing, I put down that my IBS and stress levels were currently my biggest issue and my treatment consultant talked me through these things just before the treatment began. The treatment took place in a quiet room where I was asked to remove my shoes and socks and told to lie down on the bed ( I opted for foot reflexology) When the treatment began my mind was still running 5000 miles an hour and at first I was expecting a more firm foot massage, instead it was incredibly gentle, almost as if no pressure was being put on at all. Within five minutes I began to relax like I never have before, and I am not joking when I say this, I went into this weird relaxation state where I was kind of asleep but not. I also experienced this incredible feeling at one point where it felt like something popped when Rima (the therapist who gave my treatment) focused on one area of my foot.
I was the most bizarre, but wonderful feeling. When the treatment was over my body felt incredibly light, and almost floaty it was wonderful and for the first time that night I slept right through and woke up feeling the best I had in a long, long time. The cost of my treatment was around £65 and I can honestly say that I would 100% pay for it again, in fact I am planning on booking in another treatment for Christmas. In regards to stress management I would say this was one of the main things that helped me relax before my wedding and I only had one treatment. I would whole heartily recommend this for pre-wedding stress relief so do check out the AOR website linked above if you are interested in finding out more information.
4. Take one day a week off planning
This may feel like the absolute last thing you will want to do on the lead up to your wedding, but I urge you to take my advise. Overloading will only make getting things done harder, sometimes you need to switch off, and do something that is fun and not wedding related at all. If you don't feel comfortable with something not being done, rope in your bridesmaids to help, believe me people are more than happy to help.
Are you currently planning a wedding if so let me know what you are finding most stressful in the comments below.