Wedding bells bring a mixture of emotions for the bride-to-be, from being excited, happy, and hopeful to grief, anxiousness and confusion. Each bride experiences overwhelming changes that are predictable or unpredictable, big or small, in different aspects of her life. Therefore, aiming for a stress-free wedding is a myth and intending for a less-stress wedding is more helpful and functional.
TC46 connected with a Counselling Psychologist, Psychology Educator and the Founder of Eunoia, Radhika Sethi, to discuss bridal anxiety and tips for a stress-free wedding.
The following are a few tips to support you during your wedding preparations.
1. Practising Self-Compassion
The wedding rush brings both decision fatigue and physical exhaustion. Incorporating techniques of self-compassion like counting your blessings, journaling, taking regular breaks from wedding planning, sleeping adequately, drinking enough water, performing any physical activity 3-4 times a week, a balanced diet and diaphragm breathing exercises can bring the required kindness and comfort.
2. Staying Organised
Bridal logistics require regular and systematic planning for shopping essentials and appointments with different vendors. Keeping a handy diary or a digital document can be your saviour amidst buying sprees. Sorting a priority list besides a financial budget can ease up decision-making. However, in some situations, procrastinating on making a decision and allowing it to unfold naturally can reduce impulsivity.
3. Being Focused in the Present
Brides indulging in positive self-talk and affirming themselves that ‘you are not alone’ can be counterproductive to spiralling about future worry. Understand that your experiences are natural, normal and valid. Bring your focus to the present moment by practising mindfulness i.e., for a few minutes base your attention only on your surroundings, bodily sensations, current feelings and thoughts.
4. Connecting with Supportive Individuals
Being heard and validated for your narrative is proven to reduce stress levels. Thus, interacting with your partner, empathic friends or family builds a safe space that is reassuring. Without any guilt seek different types of support that you may need such as informational, travel-related, mental or emotional.
Try to delegate simple tasks to others such as picking up gifts, looking for designs, venues, packing etc. Remember, you don’t have to do it all. Additionally, taking a few need-based psychotherapy sessions with a psychologist can be advantageous in regulating your thoughts and emotions.
5. Limiting Social Media Influence
The internet is overloaded with bridal goals for dresses, jewellery or footwear and dream wedding ideas. To save yourself from disappointment, set a realistic mood board for your big day which is in line with your budget, values and preferences. Avoid achieving standards that suit others but yourself.
6. Go Slow
One of the best ways to work through breathtaking worries and rituals is to accept that you can not do everything at once, buy everything at once, remember all new names or faces, like everything that goes around and have it all figured out in a day. Be patient with yourself, gain more information and channel your curiosity to navigate anxiety.
7. Identify Triggers
Triggers may vary for each bride, from fear of uncertainty, losing control, body image concerns, unable to attain perfectionism or other’s expectations, family dynamics, time pressure, conflicting family traditions, making the right decisions, and logistical challenges to social comparisons. Sail through your triggers by identifying and acknowledging them as they are, cling to self-soothing exercises and building flexibility. Focus on what matters to you the most i.e., your love and commitment for your partner.
Bridal anxiety is a common experience for many soon-to-be brides. It’s okay if things don’t go perfectly. Embrace imperfections as part of the journey. Ultimately, it’s your wedding, so make choices that feel right for you and your partner to make your journey to the altar smoother and more enjoyable. Create memories and smile to the fullest.
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