December 6, 2019
Are you a San Antonio bride planning a San Antonio wedding? If so, chances are, you are encountering or have encountered a moderate amount of stress during the planning process. While weddings are supposed to bring couples and families together under joyful circumstances, all wedding planning comes with a certain level of stress. In this blog, I will highlight a few ways that you can better manage your pre wedding stress level and help you to better enjoy this period of time before your “forever” begins.
Is your future mother in law becoming domineering? Are you worried that your dress alterations won’t be done in time? Is the seating arrangement at the reception keeping you up at night? Is a bridesmaid giving you a hard time about the bridesmaid dress that you have your heart set on? All of these examples can bring certain level of stress into your daily life while planning a wedding. Symptoms of this stress can include stomachaches, sleep problems, poor concentration, moodiness, irritability, and racing thoughts. (3) How many of these symptoms have you experienced in the last week? Here are some suggestions for better handling the stress that inevitably comes with planning a wedding:
1. Be social. “Not only could your pals and family members help you find a reasonable solution to your problems, engaging in the simple act of chatting could help dramatically reduce your feelings of stress. (1). Have you ever felt better after venting to your bestie about a stressful situation at work or school? This is not to mean that you should dump all your problems on someone, but, it could help to get a different perspective to your problem or to obtain another opinion. Your wedding party and family members are all great sources of support to help you through the wedding planning process.
2. Eat healthy. “When we are stressed, our body releases a group of hormones called glucocortoids, whose job it is to replenish the energy lost during the stressful encounter by revving sugar cravings and increasing fat stores. That way, your body ensures it has enough energy to deal with the stressful situation. As a result, you get really hungry, really quickly. You end up craving sweet and high fat foods which both stimulate the brain to release pleasure hormones to reduce tension as well as provide a quick jolt of replenishing energy.” (2) These high calorie and high fat foods contribute to weight gain which can make your stress even worse!
Some foods that can contribute to increasing your stress are:
a. Ice cream-causes blood glucose to plummet rapidly
b. Coffee-can blunt the absorption of key mood balancing nutrients like vitamin D and B
c. High sodium foods-“If you’re constantly shoveling high sodium foods into your face, you may actually exacerbate your body’s stress response as well as worsen your body’s regulation of blood pressure.” (2)
d. Canned foods-“Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting, hormone mimicking chemical used in most canned food liners and plastic containers which can throw off important mood stabilizing neuro transmitters by significantly altering genes in the stress-mediating portion of the brain.”(2)
e. High glucose and fructose juices-the result of a high glucose drink, such as pressed juice, causes the blood sugar to spike that triggers a rush of the stress hormone adrenaline. The high fructose can alter how the brains responds to stress on a genetic level. (2)
f. Soy-“Most soy products you eat will be treated with glyphosate, a herbicide shown to cause nutrient deficiencies, especially in mood stabilizing minerals. Soy is also high in copper, a mineral linked to anxious behavior.” (2)
g. Diet soda- Aspertame, an artificial sweetener found in most diet sodas, has been found to block the production of the neuro transmitter, serotonin. This causes headaches, insomnia, changes in mood, and stress. (2)
This list of foods to avoid is just the tip of the iceberg. If you would like to learn more about what foods to avoid that can cause stress, check resource (2) for an in depth look at these foods.
On the other hand, there are many foods that help alleviate stress and help put you in a better mood. A few of them are:
a. Folic acid-reinstates happy hormone levels. Try Spinach, beans, chickpeas, lentils, asparagus, avocado, and broccoli. (2)
b. Olive Oil- Increases the level of serotonin (2)
c. Slow digesting, complex carbs such as those found in whole grains (2)
d. Fatty fish such as salmon or tuna. They are loaded with Omega 3s, a mood boosting fatty acid that can make it easier for serotonin to pass through cell membranes. (2)
e. Foods high in Vitamin C such as strawberries and oranges. Vitamin C has been proven to help people cope with stressful situations. (2)
f. Roobios Tea-“Contains a powerful flavonoid called aspalathin. Researchers say tis fat fighting compound reduces levels of stress hormones and can even inhibit the formation of new fat cells by as much as 22%.” (2)
g. Other good foods include red peppers, nuts, eggs, low fat plain yogurt, and black tea. (2)
For a more comprehensive list of good foods to eat that will help manage your stress, please see resource (2).
3. Go to bed on time. “Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Following a regular sleep routine calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making. You are a better problem solver and are better able to cope with stress when you’re well-rested. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, reduces your energy and diminishes mental clarity. You might find that you can’t concentrate as easily without sleep. Research demonstrates that lack of sleep renders you more emotionally reactive, more impulsive, and more sensitive to negative stimuli. These sleep-driven cognitive impairments can give rise to stress in any number of ways, from creating difficulty in relationships to causing problems with job performance.” (5)
4. Make time for yourself. Often, spending time alone doing something that you enjoy and that relaxes you is the best way to deal with stress associated with wedding planning. Do something that will help clear your mind and will make room for you to focus on something else instead of the stressful situation at hand. “Take a walk, go for a dip in the pool, fire up your favorite video game, or curl up next to the fire with a good book.” (1)
5. Exercise time management strategies. A few great time management strategies are:
a. Make lists. “People without lists are often plagued by worry over whether they’ve remembered all of their important tasks.” (4) The Knot and Wedding Wire both offer great resources for wedding to do lists.
b. Utilize schedules. This allows you to understand and plan your use of time. Here are a few strategies for sticking to a schedule but not allowing it to take over your life:
i. Allow room in the schedule for sufficient time for sleep, a well- balanced diet, and leisure activities
ii. Prioritize your lists
iii. Prepare for activities and tasks ahead of time
iv. Plan how to use “dead time” effectively
v. Schedule a weekly review of the schedule
Remember to not become a slave to the schedule! You are in charge of the schedule! (4)
6. Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can. Is the pile of wedding invites needing to be mailed stressing you out? Mail them. Is your mother calling for the hundredth time today to discuss the table settings making your irritable? Address the situation once and for all.
7. Delegate. There are many pre wedding planning activities that you can delegate to other members of your bridal party and family. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Maybe your maid of honor can pick up the dresses from the seamstress, your brother can help you find a DJ, ect. The more activities that you can delegate off of your plate, the less stressed out you will feel.
There are many more ways to alleviate stress but this blog touched on some of the main ones. I encourage you, also, to seek medical help if your stress is becoming too overwhelming to bear or is taking a toll on your health. A medical provider can better help you find stress relieving remedies tailored to your individual needs. I also encourage you to click on the links listed in the resources of this blog.
Try not to let the stress overwhelm you! I always say this to my brides, “At the end of the day, you’re going to be a Mrs. and your hair and makeup is going to look great!
(1) Catherine Roberts. “10 Ways to Reduce Wedding Planning Stress”. www.activebeat.com/your-health/10-ways-to-reduce-wedding-planning-stress/3/.
(2) Olivia Taratino. “22 Best and Worst Foods for Stress”. www.eatthis.com/food-and-stress/.
(5) “How to Rest Your Way to Less Stress”. www.sleepcore.com/how-to-rest-your-way-to-less-stress.