wedding mindfulness

Wedding Stress-Relief 101: Create Your Self-Care Routine with wedwell Bridal Therapist

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Wedding Stress Relief 101: Create Your Self-Care Routine

Self-care is popping up all over the place lately – everywhere from our newsfeeds to our social calendar; our board meetings to our medical appointments – but what the heck is it?! A mani-pedi? A shopping spree? A green juice? A 3 week yoga retreat in Bali?

Answer: Yes… No... Sometimes... For some people... In some circumstances... But not usually.

Better answer: Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Self-care is not a particularly complicated concept, though it can often be overlooked and undervalued, which is where things can get problematic over time. Rule #1 about self-care is that there is no one right way to do it, but there are a few general requirements, which are necessary to incorporate when figuring out your own version of self-care. Here are the 5 requirements of practicing self-care:

1. Self-care: The vitamin, not the pain reliever

In my therapy practice, I often notice that people seem to get two similar concepts confused: coping skills and self-care. Both of these are similar in that they are actions that we take to care for ourselves. Sometimes they can even overlap in the specific activities or behaviors. The difference is how we use them. A coping skill is something you use to help you get through or recover after difficult or stressful time or event. For instance, you might be under a lot of pressure at work and book a massage to help you relax. You might go for a jog if you’re angry about something. You might journal if you’re coping with a breakup.

Self-care though, is a regular practice. It’s done preventatively, to maintain your state of wellness and to reduce your susceptibility to more intense responses to every day stress. When it comes to work, self-care can help reduce burnout. When it comes to relationships, it can help to avoid big, irreparable fights, when it comes to your health it is the preventive approach of scheduling annual physicals and flu shorts, rather than the reactive trip to urgent care after that unaddressed splinter/cough/headache has turned into a full-blown infection/flu/chronic migraines.

Self-care is the preventative daily vitamin. Coping skills are the ibuprofen we take when we have that inevitable headache and need something to feel better in the moment. Both are important, but different.

2. Self-care is: Multi-dimensional

When we responded to the first question about self-care with our very broad answer of “Yes. No. sometimes. For some people. In some circumstances. But not usually.” It’s because yes, a green juice, a manicure, and yoga are all ways we can take care of ourselves, but these are all examples of only one category of self-care: physical self-care. When we are setting intentions around how we take care of ourselves, it’s important to look at our holistic selves; we are more than just physical beings. I like to look at self-care across 5 domains: (1) physical, (2) emotional, (3) spiritual, (4) social, and (5) professional.

Examples of emotional self-care include: taking time off when you need it, expressing your feelings, maintaining a comfortable home environment.

Examples of spiritual self-care include: spending time with nature, reflecting on personal values, participating in causes that are important to you.

Examples of social self-care include: spending time with people you like, asking others for help when you need it, saying no to extra responsibilities regularly.

Examples of professional self-care include: exploring ways to improve professional skills, taking on projects that are interesting and rewarding, taking breaks throughout the workday.

Some less trendy and less talked about examples of physical self-care include: eating regularly, wearing comfortable clothing, and going to preventative medical appointments.

Important note! To be a good self-caregiver, you do not need to do all things in every category every day! (More on self-care planning in #5)

3. Self-care is: Intentional + mindful

If you take this self-care assessment, you might find that you’re already practicing a lot of self-care! One thing that can take us from self-care novices to self-care gurus is incorporating intention and mindfulness into our practice.

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I’ll use the example of a manicure to lay this one out:

Having intention around a manicure as self-care is scheduling one ahead of time and perhaps at regular intervals if it’s something that makes you happy. By scheduling it ahead of time, you are intentionally giving yourself the benefit of looking forward to the activity and ensuring it’s during a time where you can truly appreciate it as 30 minutes of time dedicated to making you feel good.

Being mindful about your manicure means that you’re present while you’re there. You’re not checking emails as you switch hands. You’re valuing this as a relaxing time for yourself. Noticing all the wonderful sensations that come with sitting still, grooming your body, and relishing a 30 second massage, on each of your ten digits.

These qualities can be infused into any of your efforts toward self-care. The opposite of mindful and intentional is mindless and unintentional!

5. Self-care is: A plan that evolves over time

The best self-caregivers have a plan to incorporate regular efforts of self-love. The best plans are ones in which self-care practices are evenly distributed across the different categories, and laid out at various, realistic frequencies. That looks different for everyone. For some, journaling might be an every day thing. For others it might be a weekly practice. For someone else, they might not ever journal. All of it is okay. This is about what works for YOU.

Self-care plans are not rigid!! You might need to revamp your plan every once in awhile to adapt to your changing needs. Maybe you start a new job and your schedule changes. Maybe you’re planning a wedding and have different needs and stresses. Plan to check in with yourself and reflect on if the plan makes sense.

Because I am a wedding therapist, I have developed a self-care assessment and planner with a whole new category on wedding-focused self-care. Examples of wedding self-care practices include: carving out [intentional] time to work on wedding-related tasks; avoiding pressure from social media about what you should do or have at your wedding; setting healthy boundaries with friends and family. For the full list, download my wedding self-care assessment here!

Self-care Isn’t: Selfish

Our favorite self-care metaphor is that you have to put your own oxygen mask on before helping the person next to you. This means that if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you ever show up for the people you love? Deliberately taking care of our mental, emotional, and physical health helps to combat burnout, enhance relationships, reduce stress, and boost self-esteem. It’s not a one or two-time thing. It’s a practice built and adapted over time.

Download our wedding self-care assessment and enjoy!


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This article is guest-written by Landis, wedwell’s Bridal Therapist and founder of AisleTalk. Landis graduated with masters degrees in counseling psychology and mental health counseling from Columbia University, and holds a license to provide psychotherapy as a New York State Mental Health Counselor.


How to Have the Best Wedding Morning Ever

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

The night before my wedding I did not sleep. I had allll the aim of heading to bed early and was cozied up by 11pm, but my excitement and nerves kept me awake throughout the whole night. I did not let that stop getting more #weddingdayglow and used that energy to wake me up early in the morning. The hours before the wedding celebration were honestly some of my favorite moments, so here’s how to have the most fabulous morning ever before you tie the knot.

MORNING MEDITATION

You can meditate wherever you are. I luckily had the privilege of having my wedding right by the water, so I woke up at the crack of dawn at 6:15am, got myself a hot water with lemon and walked to the water for a short gratitude meditation amidst the birds, bay, and trees.

You can do this everywhere and it’s the easiest way to start your wedding morning with peace. As the saying goes, “How you live your morning is how you live your day, which is how you live your life.”

See, mornings count!

WEDDING DAY YOGA

Yes, you’ve heard us #preach all about wedding day yoga as that’s part of our business after all, but I got to first hand experience what this was like for my own wedding and it was a transformational and powerful experience. Could not recommend it ENOUGH.

I opened the invitation to all of our wedding guests to join the morning class, and we had 38 people show. At 7:30 am in the morning on a Saturday. Hello #tribe, I love you. The yoga instructor (aka best friend and cofounder of wedwell) started out the class with an incredibly beautiful intention setting, and some sweet words about the bride, ahem, me. Crying.

We ended the class with a giant group hug where my friends & family from all over the world were connected and spreading so much love.

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

HOT TUB RELAXATION

I hope I’m not the only one who is obsessed with hot tubs. Just the act of being able to go into a hot tub makes me so excited/relaxed at the same time, so naturally I wanted to go into the tub after my morning yoga class. My wedding was at a resort so it was easy to do, but if you’re wedding is somewhere else you can do this by going to a local gym, spa or hotel for the morning!

PADDLE BOARD

This one is more applicable if your wedding is near the water, but the mindset of this activity is all the same! Get outside with your best friends! My husband and his groomsmen started the morning with a group paddle board session. Apparently three of the guys fell into the cold water, but at least my husband didn’t get cold feet (ha ha ha).

Enjoy your morning and do whatever makes you the happiest! For me, it’s yoga and nature. For you, that could be reading or writing. Start your day intentionally and the rest of the day will flow.

 

 

Four Reasons To Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

Photo by Amanda K White Photography

Photo by Amanda K White Photography

The mix and match bridesmaid dress look is very in trend, and I am ALL about it. I did this for my own bridesmaids and they looked absolutely stunning. My husband did the same thing with his groomsmen too, so this works both ways, and allows all wedding party members to show off their unique style.

Here’s why this way totally rocks:

 1. One Dress Does Not Fit All

This will be no surprise to you, but our bodies are all made differently. Instead of choosing a dress that could leave one person feeling uncomfortable, why not just grant them the autonomy to select their own look?

2. Everyone Has a Different Budget

By telling your bridesmaids a specific look and feel, but allowing them to make the final choice, they can select a dress that meets suits their look AND is in their budget. You may find one bridesmaid will buy her dress for $30 used online, and another will buy a full price Reformation dress. Regardless of the price differentiation, everyone will look cohesive and beautiful!

3. Saves Everyone Time

Planning a wedding takes a ton of time- and the last thing you need is more work! Instead of coordinating different times to go bridesmaid dress shopping, have everyone choose their own. While you may think it’s no big deal, your bridesmaids have to do a LOT for you leading up to your wedding so this is one area where everyone can have some time back. 

4. Embrace the Differences in Style

It might just be me and the influence of living in NYC where everyone CRAVES to look different, but the idea of having everyone wear the same thing just because they are in your wedding party so weird to me. This is not to say it is not beautiful, but can bring up a deeper conversation on why we need people in our life to all look and act one certain way. Embrace the differences and see how stunning your bridal babes are when they feel confident, and in their own style!

For reference, this is the exact email I had sent my bridesmaids to get the ideal look!

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Staying in Control by Learning to Let Go

On your wedding day, it can be tempting to micromanage every little detail. It is,
after all, your day, right?! You want it to be EXACTLY how you envisioned it. That is
natural. However, throughout the process, it is important to remember that life is
FULL of curveballs and in the wedding planning process there is a huge margin for
error always, and it is important (and yes, possible) to oversee your wedding
planning while also going with the flow.

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Stuff happens. We know this from every day life. Why would that fact of life change just because it is your wedding? **Hint: it doesn’t (no matter how badly we want it
to).
Wedwell is based very deeply in mental wellness because the stress of a planning a wedding and entering a marriage is A LOT. Sometimes you just have to
say to yourself, “this is a lot for me, and that’s okay.” I think we tend to work ourselves into a frenzy trying to manage every last detail—the fact is, that doesn’t make us feel better, it often makes us feel worse. Because we are, in fact, not in total control. A wedding involves so many people, so many moving parts, and so many emotions. They aren’t all yours to bear. You are better off if you can recognize that
early on.


Living a balanced life entails staying in control of what you can, and letting go of
what you cannot. The same is true of your wedding day (though it may be much
more difficult to let go). Though we cannot choose how we feel, we can choose how
we enter a situation, and the things we are attached to. We recommend walking into
wedding planning with a balanced and clear mindset: what are you attached to, and
what are you not attached to? This will allow both you and your partner to find a
clear compromise with minimal stress. Some of our favorite ways to enter a balanced                                                        mindset are talking a walk around the block (bonus points for leaving your phone at home),                                        meditating ,and writing a gratitude list.

Let us know how you find a calm mindset in the comments! 

Five Pre-Wedding Rituals to Make Your Day Memorable

Written by Helen Schultheis - aka @dressedbyhelen

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Your wedding day will happen in the blink of an eye so take full advantage of your “getting ready” hours with your nearest and dearest. Now is the time to give and receive gifts, listen to the wise words of your elders, breathe deeply, and bask in that pre-wedding glow. Here are five ways to make these moments meaningful and memorable:


1. Bridesmaids/ Girl Gang gifts: Your babes have been there for you from the beginning, swooning over your ring, planning your bachelorette and shopping for your wedding dress. Show them your gratitude by giving them a unique and heartfelt gift. They’ll feel loved and appreciated while you happily wipe away a tear or two.


2. Good luck charms: If you adhere to the American tradition “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” prepare for family members to gift you with an heirloom. In other countries around the world there are rituals and traditions involving ribbons, henna, rice, veils, and even liquor to wish the bride well— you never know, your family just might
surprise you!


3. A family moment: Gather your female relatives and hold hands while your mother or grandma says a special blessing or meditation. Let this womanly energy inspire and ground you before stepping into your wedding dress.


4. Just breathe: If you feel stress and anxiety starting to invade, try the ancient “4-7-8” breathing technique. These three phases of inhalation, retention and exhalation will provide your mind and body a peaceful moment.


5. Cheers to you: Having a small glass of champagne or prosecco before the ceremony starts will take the edge off without making your head spin. Mix your desired sparkling with fresh squeezed OJ or colorful berries for extra pizzazz— and don’t forget to get your photographer to capture the moment! 

 

 

Lilia: The Things People Say After You Get Engaged (and How to Deal)

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YAY! You fell in love. You’re getting engaged. Life is so magical and beautiful your heart can’t even take it. That is, until, a few weeks post-engagement and everyone and their mother feels comfortable pouring their opinions to you about YOUR wedding. Without asking for anyone’s point of view, you’ll start to hear things like:

 

  • “Will (Bob, Suzy, Megan, insert any person’s name who you aren’t even friends with) be on the guest list? They really need to be invited.”

  • “Oh, you really shouldn’t get married outside...It’s much better to have a traditional ceremony with [insert religion] tradition”.  

  • “Bummer...I thought you would’ve had the wedding in (insert any other location than what you are planning)”.

 

As soon as you get engaged, people feel entitled to control your wedding, and they end up thinking more selfishly about their desires rather than your own. This is my advice to you: Stand your ground! When someone gives advice, don’t argue, but don’t encourage the unnecessary advice giving. For someone who has overcome a blocked throat chakra (where we hold our expression and communication), I know the difficulty it is of standing up for yourself and living to your own standard. The wedding is about you and your fiancee (and partly for your parents). Prepare yourself mentally for the unsolicited advice from strangers, your best friend, or your crazy aunt.

Lilia: What Really Changes After You Get Engaged

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Getting engaged changes everything. Even if you don’t think it will (like I did), it still does. This is one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your entire life, and making the decision will affect each person differently. Here’s my personal experience of how getting engaged changed my life.

1. Deeper relationship with your fiancee

This one took me most by surprise. I already thought my fiancee and I were as close as can be. We live together, have been best friends/dating for 4+ years now, and love each other’s company. Mentally, I didn’t think it could get much better! However, once we were engaged, there was this deep feeling of security and comfort in my gut from knowing we have committed to each other in a more powerful way. Now, when I look at him and we make decisions, I think of the long term (Babe, can you stop eating ice cream for breakfast?! I need you to be healthy 50 years from now!). It’s a beautiful and unexpected feeling to have the relationship continuously grow and develop as we transition into marriage.

2. Desire to live more authentically

After I got engaged, something shifted in my life mindset. I felt as if the decision to commit to my boyfriend for a lifetime was so true to my heart that I wanted every decision that happened to me afterward to have the same truth and love behind it. This manifested itself in different ways - some good, and some more challenging. One part of me wanted my work life to be as truthful to myself, so I started to work more on things that feed my soul like teaching yoga and writing. The other part of me didn’t want to hold onto any previous emotional damage or negative energy stored in my body. This translated into coming clean about a secret I had blocked in my mind for years. Love makes you do crazy things, and committing to a lifetime with my lover has made me want to recreate every part of my life to be the highest vibrational version of myself possible.

3. Closing the door to single life

Even though I haven’t been single for four years, getting engaged takes away any thought of single life that was previously acceptable. While I would’ve NEVER cheated on my fiancee in our relationship, I was able to entertain the thought. I am not mourning single life at all (I couldn’t be happier to have found my soul mate), but I am learning how to slowly let go of a previous mindset and enter this new one. If a cute guy shows up, who cares? If a guy I was once obsessed with finally takes interest in me, it will never matter! It’s a totally different feeling and transition once you have officially decided to get married. Those “What Ifs” in your head slowly begin to disappear.

 
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