Mind & Spirit

How to stay calm on your wedding day

By: Yuki Hayashi

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

How to stay calm on your wedding day

By: Yuki Hayashi
Your wedding is supposed to be one of the greatest days of your life. So why do you feel so stressed? Unfortunately, the flip side of having a "Big Day" is the amount of pressure connected to it. But there are many ways you can minimize your stress. Here are some things you can do to help keep your cool and enjoy the fireworks.

The day before
Just relax and prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally for tomorrow's events. Keep your to-do list light, with a focus on the rehearsal dinner and plenty of rest and relaxation.

Any last-minute wedding prep details should be handed off to a trusted friend or relative. And unless we're talking about visiting a loved one who's literally unable to leave their hospital bed, most social visits can wait.

Here are some tips for treating yourself right today:
Graze throughout the day.
Nerves may prevent you from having a full meal, and that's fine. But stay hydrated and fuelled up so you'll feel (and look) your best. Satisfying, stress-busting, calm-inducing snacks include:
• lightly salted (or, better yet, unsalted) nuts
• whole wheat toast or bagels
• oatmeal
• leafy salads
• grilled salmon
• steamed vegetables
• fruit (Oranges and strawberries, two excellent sources of Vitamin C are particularly good choices, since C will lower the amount of cortisol (the "stress hormone") in your blood.)

Sip tea (or coffee)
Caffeine-free herbal tea is a great choice – if you like it. But if your idea of a nice hot bevvie is a latte or hot chocolate, go for it – just don't have more than one or two today.
Many find the gentle spiciness of chai or chai latte an indulgent treat.

Update and thank well-wishers via Facebook
Use social networking sites to stay in touch with your friends, without letting phone calls or text messaging cut into your countdown. Check in once or twice today, and then that's it. Put the Blackberry away.

Hit the spa
Get that massage you've been promising yourself, as well as a mani-pedi. Avoid treatment facials though, as they can cause blemishes and redness. If you want a light facial, free feel, but let your aesthetician know you're getting married tomorrow so she'll focus on relaxation and facial massage, not conditioning or extractions.

Page 1 of 2 – on page 2: What to do about cold feet!
The Big Day
Congratulations, the day is finally here. Today, your stay-cool action plan is to:

• Let your support team get you where you need to be.
You've spent months planning the big day. In fact, the women in your life have probably memorized it (the printouts you gave them last week probably helped too). So relax and let your maid of honour, bridesmaids, mom, close siblings and others carry you along the "parade route," from sun-up to last dance.

• Rely on designated trouble shooters. Bumps along the way are normal. Delegate, delegate, delegate, well in advance of the big day. You don't need to know the vegetarian appetizers got "lost," or that the DJ is soused. Let your mom and future brother-in-law deal.

• Make like a celebrity and have a delegated assistant keep you fed and watered. Nosh on light snacks (nuts, cheese, grapes, dry toast are among the most palatable and least messy nibbles), and sip water, herbal tea or sports drinks throughout the day.

• Bring out the serenity-now big guns. Depending on your beliefs and lifestyle, you may find any of the following especially calming:
• A morning hike, walk or workout with your future husband
Yoga or stretches
• Prayer (with loved ones or alone)
• Meditation
• Rocking out to your iPod
• Hanging out with your pets (preferably pre-gown)
• Jotting down thoughts in your journal (ditto)

A final thought about cold feet
Pre-wedding jitters are normal. Hopefully, you've thought things through, attended pre-marital counseling with a faith counselor or couples therapist, or are otherwise sure you and your partner are ready for marriage. To one another.

Books have been written on the topic, but if you're overcome with nerves, ask yourself these two fundamental questions:

• Did I pick the wrong guy?
• Am I having doubts about the institution of marriage itself?

The answer to the first should be an unequivocal "No." If you chose "Yes," um, you may want to check out this article.

And whether you answered "Yes" or "No" to the second, don't worry, it's not uncommon to panic during the last few hours of your life as a single chick!

Just take a deep breath and know that in a few hours, you'll be dancing the night away.

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Mind & Spirit

How to stay calm on your wedding day