Stress seems to be an automatic companion when planning a wedding. It takes a toll on your energy and your appearance, but it doesn’t have to.
Skipping breakfast is a no-no. And, during the day, have two fruit or vegetable snacks – perhaps one mid-afternoon and one mid-evening.
- Choose brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables. These bright colours flag foods that are rich in antioxidants.
- Have some protein every day; perhaps meat, cheese, eggs, yogurt or tofu.
- Load up on dark green veggies such as broccoli, green beans, chard or kale. These are vitamin loaded, high in fibre and low in calories.
- Rely on carbohydrates in whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat and oatmeal when you need quick energy.
- Canadians, because of our northern climate, tend to be sun-starved and therefore vitamin D deficient. Ask your doctor if you should be taking vitamin D supplements.
- Eat enough calcium, found in dairy products, dark leafy greens or beans.
- Boost omega-3 fatty acid intake by eating foods like salmon or walnuts.
Does your mind go into overdrive as soon as your head hits the pillow? Sleep experts say the best natural solution is to set up a nightly habit and never change it. Turn off the TV at the same time every night. Have a consistent pre-bed routine. Going on auto-pilot often winds down the mind so that sleep will come. It’s a sort of mild self-hypnosis! Don’t do anything that involves revving up the mind, such as reading in bed. If it’s a good book, it will keep you awake!
Moving about is a great stress-reliever. If you’re a gym person, keep it up. If you prefer sports, find time to play three times a week. If your exercise is walking, take the stairs and avoid using the car if your destination is within walking distance. Try to take a brisk walk on your lunch hour.
Learn to let go
Don’t expect perfection. As one bride said, “I used to be a type-A personality. A perfectionist. When there were suddenly so many demands on me, I decided I could no longer demand perfection from myself. That was the best decision I made throughout the whole process.”
Have a sense of humour. Learn to laugh at yourself when things go wrong. Ask yourself, “How important will this be in six months?”
Rely on friends. Don’t do everything yourself. Your friends will help – just so long as you don’t over-direct them. Accept how they do things for you, even when it’s not the way you would have done it yourself.
Get professional help If you feel overwhelmed, consider using a professional wedding planner.
Find an outlet. Whether it’s a kickboxing class, enjoying a movie or a glass of wine, take the time to unwind and find your happy place.
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, July 2012.