100LC beauty and wellness week: wedding stress relievers
Hopefully all of you in planning mode have been feeling a little less stressed by taking time away from all of the nitty gritty to focus inward. It’s important to put things in perspective whenever you feel overwhelmed. Easier said than done, right? Luckily Kelly Leveque is here again, sharing some wedding stress relievers and ways to keep your mental health in check while on this journey from bride-to-be to Mrs. Take it away, Kelly…
Planning your wedding can be one of the most magical and fun experiences of your life. It can also be one of the most stressful. Even the most even-keeled of brides can feel the pressure at times. Stress takes a physical and emotional toll on us. During times of particularly high stress, you might feel ravenously hungry, eat to fulfill emotional needs, find yourself having a short fuse or overreact in situations you otherwise wouldn’t.
Managing bridal stress is just as important as your nutrition and fitness. In fact, they all go hand-in-hand. And, most importantly, taking steps to proactively deal with your stress will keep your mind clear and present on what you’re counting down to: a day of pure love unlike any you’ve lived before. Here are a few ways you can help keep your cortisol and corticotropin-releasing hormones in check.
Mindfulness Meditation: This is the gateway to all forms of meditation. It’s great for beginners and can be done anywhere. The intention is to bring focus to, and release tension in, the physical body through your breathing. First, close your eyes and bring your attention to the inhalation and exhalation of air. Focus on each breath. Then, start a body scan. As you continue to breath, focus your attention on your toes and slowly work your way up your body, thinking about each part with heightened awareness. Release tension on exhales and send love on inhales. Give each body part 30 to 60 seconds of attention. Get comfortable and sink into the moment. You can do this seated or laying down.
Focused Meditation: Focused meditation can be described as an attention meditation technique where we choose to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all else. The singular focus allows us to quiet our busy minds and feel peace. The object can be a person, place, thing, idea or mantra. Start by choosing something simple and bring your mind back to focus when you find it drifting. The goal is not to “fight” your thoughts, just refocus when you drift.
Sleep to Thrive. Sleep is a bride’s best friend. It regulates your hormones, decreases inflammation, helps you manage stress and improves your overall outlook on life. The best hormone-balancing sleep happens with the natural circadian rhythm of the Sun. A dark bedroom is key. Wear a sleep mask or invest in blackout curtains. Next, turn off the backlight of an iPhone or computer at least two hours before bed. If you have to be on your computer late at night, invest in amber “blue light” blocking lenses. Blocking blue light will allow your body to produce the melatonin needed for restful cleansing sleep. Finally, aim for 7 to 8 hours per night.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years in traditional Chinese medicine and it is now used by millions of Americans each year to treat stress. Many health problems are linked to chronic stress, such as depression, insomnia, weight gain and anxiety. In a recent study, stressed animals that received acupuncture had a reduction of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which suggests the ancient healing modality helps to normalize stress hormone levels. If the idea of adding another appointment to your schedule stresses you out, consider purchasing an acupressure mat to lay on 20 minutes a day. This is a very affordable way to decompress and it’s also the perfect meditation mat.
Walk. The fastest way to change your mental state is through movement. Tony Robbins is known for explaining how using your physiology can biochemically change how you feel: “Emotion is created by motion.” We can use movement to de-stress. Starting the day with a run, power walk, yoga class or jumping for 15 minutes on a rebounder allows you not only to physically move but emotionally move the negative unaligned thoughts from your mind.
Yoga. “HIIT” (high intensity interval training) can be a great way to increase your fitness before the big day. However, that type of intense training can also increase your cortisol levels. Yoga, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce training-induced stress. It increases flexibility, muscle strength and muscle tone all while improving respiration, energy and vitality. So, for stress purposes, mix in some yoga to your schedule of fat-burning HIIT.
Journaling. Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort and prioritize, which helps to synchronize the day at hand.
Tweak Your To-Do List with Smart Goals: When counseling clients about self-improvement, meeting goals and managing stress, we work within the constraints of SMART goals: they must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. We drill down into what needs to be done whether it is improved sleep, drinking more water, working out, meditating, calling a friend or eating healthy. Too many times, we set vague or unattainable goals that end in failure and create a cloud of stress an anxiety. Smart goals are a stress busting habit will help you create actionable daily tasks to get the job done without overwhelming yourself with the big picture. When it comes to your wedding this means your to-do shouldn’t say “flowers.” Instead, pick small tasks that get you closer to choosing a wedding day florist. For example, “call Carissa at JL Designs at 2pm on Friday” and then schedule it in your calendar.
A BIG shoutout to Kelly for sharing these essential tips! If you haven’t already, better read her dewy skin how-to and enter to win a Health Consultation and Personalized Bridal Plan along with a 6 week follow-up call for one lucky bride ($700 value) here. There’s also still time to enter our other wellness week giveaways here + here.