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How to minimise anxiety as you plan your wedding

Do you know what the two most stressful events in life are? It’s no surprise that moving house is one of the top two, it’s always such a worry, from the financial side to a sale falling through, to getting all of your belongings packed up, not to mention the actual move day itself. But would you be surprised to hear that planning a wedding is also right up there in the scale of the most stressful things to do?

Stress can manifest in lots of different ways – maybe you become short tempered or overly emotional, perhaps you stop eating, or maybe you start to get headaches or break out in spots, or perhaps your stress manifests itself in the form of anxiety.

What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety can be described as a feeling of unease or dread; it can be a reaction to stressful or dangerous situations and can range from being pretty mild to a crippling psychological or physiological response.

Common symptoms include:

  • Feeling physically sick

  • Headaches

  • Restlessness

  • Faster than normal breathing

  • Increased sweating

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Having a sense of dread

  • Feeling nervous

  • Abrupt changes in mood

  • Being short tempered

  • Blurred vision due to headaches or dizziness

  • Forgetfulness

There are many other symptoms and it is possible to experience just one or many of them at the same time when struggling with anxiety. The key is recognising the signs, understanding what is causing the anxiety and then working to minimise the effects so that you can continue with life and your wedding planning without becoming poorly.

Ways to minimise anxiety

If you already know that you are prone to stress or anxiety, and that it affects you in an adverse way, then it’s time to break out your tool kit to ensure that you protect you physical and mental health. Understanding yourself and being prepared are key to a smoother journey as you plan you wedding and deal with any bumps in the road.

If, on the other hand, this is something that is new to you or that has escalated and become worse as you approach planning your wedding then here are some tips on how you can minimise your anxiety levels.

  1. Planning - Having a plan that you can work to can help you to focus on just one thing at a time and can help to keep the feelings of overwhelm at bay. Just remember to be realistic when you create that plan and allocate a little extra time where possible so that you have breathing space if any problems do crop up.

  2. Journaling – Getting your thoughts, fears, and feelings out of your head and on to paper can be a powerful way to help you to process how you are feeling and give you some additional perspective on the situation. The process of taking some time out to journal can also bring some calm to your day. Try doing this at the start or end of each day, or just when you recognise that you are starting to feel anxious about a situation.

  3. Breathing Exercises – What most of us take for granted and put no conscious effort into, breathing in and out, can be a powerful tool when used correctly. Head on over to YouTube and search for box breathing, there are lots of great tutorials which explain exactly how to do it and what the benefits are. Studies into box breathing have shown that it can help to lower stress levels, lower levels of cortisol in the blood, clear the mind, and reduce your heart rate back to a normal pace.

  4. Take Time Out – It’s important during any time of stress that you set aside some time for yourself, a time where you can focus on your own wellbeing. This could be a simple as a cup of tea in the garden whilst you listen to the birds sing, a relaxing bubble bath with a good book, or it could be a day at the spa. The important thing here is that it is time for YOU.

  5. Enlist Help – You don’t have to do it all and you certainly don’t have to do it by yourself. Overwhelm, the sense of too much to do and not enough time to do it is often a trigger for anxiety. You can head this off by enlisting the help of a good wedding planner, someone that will help you to create your perfect day but who will take much of the pressure away from you. But if you are someone who doesn’t wish to hire a planner or has constraints on their budget – simply reaching out to bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom and any of the other members of the bridal party will usually be met with lots of offers of help and support. Of course, there are other things that you could get help with, like chores around the house, getting the food shopping done, anything that will help take off some of the pressure.

Anxiety can sneak up out of nowhere so take stock of how you feel on a regular basis, get plenty of rest and don’t be afraid to ask from help from others.

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