Life changes cause stress, some of it is good and some of it is not. Getting married is one of those life changes that can prove to be one of the top stressors in our life. There are so many pieces one needs to juggle. The many things that need to be planned or plans that fall through a month before or the day before the wedding. I have heard stories of florists going bankrupt the week before the wedding and airline strikes resulting in changed honeymoon plans. There is the additional challenge of managing family and in-laws and their expectations and behaviors. Sometimes even friendships become strained. These many stressors have a way of building up and creating great anxiety and stress. Although, many of these things can not be avoided, and stress can not be eliminated, we do have the ability to manage stress. Managing stress is critical to our health and well-being.

Eat well balanced meals and don’t skip meals. Three to six small meals will do more for our energy levels than eating big meals or skipping meals. This means eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Drink water and cut down on the caffeine. To determine an adequate amount of water to drink one should divide their body weight in half and drinks that amount in ounces. A woman weighing 150 pounds needs to drink 75 ounces of water daily. This keeps one hydrated, helps to flush the body of toxins, keeping us healthy and fighting off disease. Dehydration can be a contributing factor in fatigue!

Exercise does not need to be a two hour workout at the gym. A daily 20 minute walk around the block at lunch time will do wonders. If this can be done with a colleague or friend and if you can get in some good belly laughs, all the more power to you.

Quiet time and deep breathing are wonderful ways to nourish the soul and alleviate stress. This can be time spent writing in a journal, meditation, or time in prayer.

Time management is crucial to stress management. The use of a wedding planner book and your calendar will keep things organized by managing appointments and things to be scheduled. Make sure to schedule in fun time that is not wedding related.

Sleep is an important piece in our ability to manage our lives on a regular basis, and especially when we are under stress. Most people require 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

The use of affirmations and positive thinking will increase the chances of things going well. Having realistic expectations and avoid negative self-talk or ‘all or nothing thinking’ is really important. Expecting that the wedding day or that the planning will go smoothly and perfectly is unrealistic. By approaching the challenging situations with a positive attitude your assessment of the situation will improve and things will not appear so negative. Sometimes we need to search hard to find the silver lining.

Clear communication with your fiancé, family members and those involved in preparing for the wedding will ease tensions and prevent assumptions. This does not mean that there won’t be problems; it means that you will be in a better position to resolve matters in a respectful way.

Now that all is said and done, this can feel like another lengthy ‘to do list’. Instead, think of this as an important part of successful wedding planning. Just remember, this too shall pass “…we got through it and the moment you walk down the aisle, it all fades away. The chaos is over…the big kiss and finally, you get be with the man of your dreams.”