Countdown to “I Do:” 5 tips to soothe you on YOUR BIG DAY
The build up to arguably the biggest day of your life is drawing closer. You are days away from experiencing all of the love, time, finances, effort and energy invested towards this day. Whether you decided to have a big celebration or a small, intimate gathering; the bride’s self-care often gets neglected. Oftentimes, self-care is the last item on the agenda, if it even makes the agenda. Self-care is easily over-shadowed by guest lists, craft services, venues, decorations, last minute crises and all the other tasks involved with wedding planning.
You are embarking on a life changing moment where you are transitioning from “ME” to “WE” . With that being said, take the time needed to invest in to being the best possible you for this moment. The following self-care tips will have you rested, ready and glowing for YOUR BIG DAY:
DELEGATE: Ladies, we can do ANYTHING we put our minds to, we just cannot do EVERYTHING! There are a tribe of people at your beck and call who are happy and willing to pitch in and help make your day perfect. If you have a bridal party, allow them to iron out all the details of your bridal shower, bachelorette party and even the guest list. If you have a more intimate wedding, choose a few point people that guests and providers can contact with questions. These point people that you choose will also be best served on those final days leading up to the wedding as it will allow you to focus on those last minute things you need to do for YOU. The only time people should be contacting you is when your approval is needed for decisions regarding the wedding day.
DATE NIGHTS: This was the best piece of advice my husband and I received from a married couple when we were married 2 years ago. Successful date nights with your future husband are probably what got you here. So, please continue to have date nights as you prepare for YOUR BIG DAY! You and your future husband need this time to focus on continuing to build the bond and focusing on the relationship. During this time, I highly recommend not talking about wedding planning. You spend 6 other days during the week planning and working. Reserve this day for couple development and an escape away from all of life’s demands.
ME TIME: Alone time is just as important as date nights. As women, we wear so many hats; wife, mother, employee, business owner, student, friend, daughter and much more! These roles seem to increase in intensity the closer you get to your wedding day, as you get pulled in so many directions. Take charge of your days by designating some alone time to rejuvenate and restore your energy. Take a few moments to make a list of some things you would like to do during “me time.” One of those items may include “do nothing.” This list is a great way to be prepared when you are ready to take a day for you.
CATCH THOSE Z’S: Most of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep on a given day. This struggle usually escalates when we are embarking on major life event, such as marriage. Excitement, stress, anxiety and fear are some of the emotions that make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. I highly recommend getting into a bedtime ritual to aid you in getting adequate sleep during this time. Some suggestions include being mindful of the activities you engage in 2 hours before bedtime, exercise, nutrition and grounding activities to assist you in staying present in the moment. Remember, no amount of make-up can mask exhaustion. You do not want to start the first day of the rest of your life being exhausted. I go into more detail about rest, rejuvenation, relaxation and self-care in my book Walking the Tight Rope of Life: Refuel Renew Re-Center Your Work-Life Demands.
GETTING GROUNDED: When we are grounded, we are centered and have stability, security and control over our lives. Preparing for a wedding can have you all over the place, if you allow it. When you find your mind drifting or you are feeling the stress of the wedding and people pulling you in different directions, get grounded. There are plenty of grounding exercises that can help you during this time such as exercise (this can include light exercise just to get your body moving), meditation or prayer (this can be done anytime during the day, and also try starting the day with this quiet time-this can help restore your energy and prepare you for the day), diaphragm breathing (long inhale, slowly exhale from the belly) take a hot bath, listen to music, dance or just sit quietly in the present moment and notice what you feel, touch, see and hear; this prevents your mind from wandering. If you find that you need additional assistance with grounding HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC is a resource available to you.
Remember, even if the details of the wedding weren’t perfect, this moment is perfect as 2 souls unite as one. And lastly, before you walk down the aisle, take a deep breath in, slowly exhale, smile and take in everything.
Sharise M. Nance is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker and award winning author. She is the co-owner and co-founder of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC; and the founder of VitaminChealing, an organization that provides services to helping professionals, entrepreneurs and caregivers struggling with self-care and work-life balance. She has worked with a diverse population of children, families, adults and couples. Her areas of specialization include Trauma healing and recovery, relationship building, self-confidence building, depression, anxiety, work-life balance and family systems. She has presented keynotes, workshops and seminars nationally for young professionals, entrepreneurs, parents and adolescents. Sharise completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Child Development at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her graduate degree in Social Work at University of Pittsburgh.