wellness tips

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.


Welcome October: New Month Rituals

Welcome October: New Month Rituals

One of my favorite things about the start of a new month (even better when it's combined with the start of a new season) is the chance to establish your intentions for the month and determine how you want to greet the upcoming days.

 At the start of every month I follow the same rituals. I invite you to try these rituals, and send me any other things you love to do to welcome a new phase!

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Make a monthly playlist.

This is one of my all-time favorite things to do! Starting on the first day of the month I make a new playlist titled the month (super creative- I know), and start adding songs. I then continue to add songs throughout the month, and definitely listen to this playlist everyday. Music is one of my favorite ways to  express myself, and finding songs I connect with helps me work through different emotions in my life. Going back through old month playlists also helps me reflect on how I've felt in different times throughout the past year, and lets me reconnect with old song favorites!

Clean, prep, and organize.

September brought lots of travel, plans, and transitions. While this was an extremely fun month, I woke up this morning excited to settle in to my apartment and take a few days to ground at home. To welcome October I plan to sort through fall clothes and put away any summer outfits still out and about, reorganize my pantry, and prep to make all sorts of cozy fall goodies! So much energy is lost when we need to spend time sorting through clutter, and by welcoming each month with a fresh start you are giving yourself the chance to reclaim some much needed head space.

Set Monthly Intentions

Intention setting is one of my most favorite things to do. So often I feel overwhelmed with how quickly time passes, and I've found that intentions (much like my playlists) are a great way for me to express how I'm feeling each month, and where I want to put my energy. While my intentions differ from month to month, I try to always tap into the following themes:

  • Any changes I can make to more authentically show up in my relationships (i.e. listen more, or always see the best in someone's actions).

  • One thing I can do to live a healthier life (i.e. practice more lagree, or meditate daily)

  • New creative endeavors I want to explore (i.e. attend a dance class, or try photography)

 How do you like to greet each month? I'm always looking for new ways to connect with the present moment, and would love to hear your favorite rituals for welcoming change!

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The Best Way to Avoid Wedding Day Stress: Organization

written by Helen Schulthesis

Ah, organization, the often overlooked antidote to stress.

As a new bride, I’m sure you’re painfully well aware that your wonderful wedding day will be chock full of small yet important details. If left unattended to, those tiny details can cause a huge headache or outburst, putting a damper on this significant day. 

It is my firm belief that if all these details are planned in advanced, the smoother the day will go and the more relaxed you’ll be. No one likes a bridezilla, and trust me, it’s actually not fun to feel like one. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, you can rest easy that most of the heavy hitting will be done already, but if you don’t, it’s time to open up google spreadsheets and make some lists. Light a candle, breathe deeply, and most importantly, give yourself enough time to figure everything out.  

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First and foremost, create a timeline for the wedding weekend listing each task or event, the timing, and people involved. You can create this in google drive, and send it out to your wedding party and family— make sure everyone knows who’s doing what in advance and that all questions are answeredWithin this doc you’ll also want to include phone numbers and names of important vendors and members of the wedding party so that people can easily get in touch. Believe me, you won’t want a million people approaching you like you’re a phone book at your rehearsal dinner. 

Next, ensure readings, vows, toasts, and anything else that needs to be printed is done a day or two beforehand! Trying to find a printer last minute or reading a toast from your phone is an etiquette faux pas. If there are important things that need to be brought to the venue (card box, guest book, favors, etc.) designate a responsible friend to organize and place these items appropriately.

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You probably know this one already, but be prepared for “day of” emergencies with a good bridal kit. Make your own or find them on Etsy! I always bring band aids, perfume, bobby pins, stain remover, blotting papers, gum and tissues. On that note, make sure to designate fifteen minutes to eat while getting ready and be sure to drink enough water— you’re going to want to feel confident and radiant during your ceremony, not wobbly and nauseous.  Getting ready with your girls is definitely more fun with a good playlist and a wireless speaker— so have your bestie set something up in advance (and make sure songs are appropriate enough for Grandma!)

 

Lastly, please, please, please do yourself a favor and have a rain plan in place. Weather is a major stressor for many brides, but it doesn’t have to be! Knowing you have solid plan in case of inclement weather will free up your mind for the upcoming celebration. With all the logistics and details organized in advanced, you’ll be free to spend the precious hours before your wedding sipping mimosas and bonding with your babes. Now that’s a wedding day well planned. 

 

Finding the peace within change

It’s often said that the only consistent in life is change, and as a person in their mid twenties, I can definitely contest to that statement! Moving, dating, career changes, etc. are ever present, and while change is often a positive growth, it can also add chaos to your day to day life while you get settled in your new state of mind!

I’ve found during times of change-induced stress, I need self-care more than ever! Bring on the yoga, journaling, and endless cups of tea. Here are a few of my favorite ways to overcome stress with a peaceful state of mind:  

1. Cherish simple routines

  • One of my favorite ways to add stabilization to a hectic day, especially if you’re in a new place, is by finding simple routines to do. Some of my favorite routines are ones I can do from anywhere. For example, you could start your day with hot water and lemon, do sun salutations in the morning, or try to meditate before bed    

2. Meditate

  • Speaking of meditating... it's the perfect way to ground yourself, and find peace amidst change and chaos. With apps, it’s easier than ever to meditate, and can be done from anywhere, for as long as works with your schedule. My go-to meditation apps are Headspace, Simple Habit, and Buddify. Let me know in the comments if you have another app you prefer!

3. Find moments for yourself

  • The most important thing, especially if you are in a new relationship or job, is finding moments where you can reconnect with yourself, and allow time to process and reflect. This could be setting a daily reminder, taking a walk during work, or going electronics free one night a week.

4. Offer yourself grace & patience

  • Above all else, cut yourself some slack. Adapting to new routines, new roles, and new relationships takes a ton of mental energy, and it is important you offer love & patience to yourself during this time! Let yourself sleep in, indulge in your netflix guilty pleasures, and treat yourself when needed.

Best of luck navigating periods of change, we are here for you! 

xo

Olivia 

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Lilia: Staying Balanced Throughout Wedding Season

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Two weeks after getting engaged, I found myself crying nightly and having panic attacks about the wedding! I was getting asked about the wedding every day by different friends, being harassed about dates, venues, and guest list by my mother, and feeling confused about why people even get married in the first place (it’s just more money to spend and unwanted stress, so I thought)... Don’t worry- that feeling was short lived once I decided I needed a better way of handling the madness.

 

Here are three ways to stay balanced throughout wedding planning:

 

  1. Gratitude

Show gratitude daily. The fact that you are surrounded in love and get to enjoy the stresses of wedding planning mean that you’re much better off than the majority of this world. Yes, it’s stressful. And Yes, you are lucky to have this type of stress. The more gratitude you show, the more your attitude surrounding the wedding will change.

   

2.  Designated wedding planning times

When I first got engaged, family members would call me throughout the day to talk about the wedding. Even though I work remotely (not from an office) and have the flexibility to take phone calls mid-day, it was way too difficult for me to go from wedding planning mode/stress back to work mode. I had to set boundaries for myself by not letting myself talk about the wedding until after work, or choose designated times that I was open to talking about it!

 

3. Yoga

How surprised are you that yoga is mentioned here?!

Create a daily yoga practice to help you stay calm, grounded, and ready for the big day! If I haven’t had my yoga practice in for the day, I’m probably still in bitch mode. Once I get that yoga in my body, my perspective and attitude changes and blossoms into the person I want to be!