An engagement feels like a surreal dream sequence. One minute it’s just a normal day, and the next he’s down on one knee. You quickly become caught up in the whirlwind of showing off the new and beautiful cushion diamond ring he gave you, sharing the news and, well, celebrating, that the reality of what it all means takes a bit of time to sink into the mind. YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! And, just like that, the engagement turns into full-blown wedding prep.
Planning your wedding can feel like a job, and, to be honest, the scheduling, vendor meetings and costs begin to take a toll. The good news is that these decisions don’t have to be made overnight. Most couples have more than a year nail down those details, and, according to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, 14 months is the typical engagement length. Still, if you’re planning a massive wedding, 14 months can fly by in a blink.
Some brides might take months to uncover the perfect dress, and many vendors need to be carefully vetted to find the perfect personality to fit into a couple’s dream day. Every couple has a different desire when it comes to photography, flowers, music and entertainment. And not all couples want or need or even have the luxury of a year-plus engagement. Many plan their weddings in six months or less—some by choice, others by necessity—leaving little time to finalize all those decisions and details.
Whether you have a year or more or only a few months to plan your event, don’t be surprised if you find the planning process consuming your days and nights. If you feel overwhelmed with all the preparations, take some time for a little self-indulgence, because the details should NOT spoil the experience and take precedent over the true meaning of the day. While you may be on a tight budget because of the wedding, pampering doesn’t have to mean expensive spa treatments. And a little downtime also helps you remember that the details are just details.
Here are five ways to relax when the planning pressure feels like a lead weight:
1. Plan a game night.
Grab some friends and schedule a game night together. This can be classic board games or video games. The friendly competition gives your mind a rest from the stress. Make a full night of it with pizza or another favorite take-out.
2. Soak in a hot bath.
Nothing feels better after a long stressful day than a nice hot bath. Don’t just add bubbles, though, set the mood. Play some classical music, turn on some flameless candles and drop bath bombs into the bathwater.
3. Read a book.
Ok, when you’re stressed out, a book that works the brain doesn’t have to be your top priority. Grab a good read that’s fun and perhaps a little frivolous—maybe you love vampire novels, mysteries or a juicy romance. Let your brain escape to another time and another place and go on a literary adventure!
4. Grab a worry stone.
Back in the 70s, worry stones were en vogue. These were smooth amulets worn around the neck that could be rubbed during times of stress or worry. You can still find worry stones today, and they are available in different crystal varieties—like amethyst or rose quartz. Some believe that each mineral or crystal offers a unique energy; aquamarine, for example, was thought to bring good luck to sailors and amethyst is thought to bring a sense of calm and serenity.
5. Get a massage.
Knead out those stressful kinks on a massage table. Schedule a 30-minute massage for a nice relaxing break from the routine. If you need a hair trim, you also could request a scalp massage—or perhaps your salon offers them free with service.
Take time each day to sit in silence and focus on your breathing. This focus helps you clear your mind and also may help you become more mindful. The New York Times features a great guide on meditation that discusses techniques as well as benefits of the practice.
While planning your wedding is incredibly time consuming and, yes, sometimes quite stressful, don’t forget to focus on you. When the pressure overwhelms you, take time to relax and clear your mind. A marriage is about love and your future, and, as the saying goes, ‘the devil is in the details.’ Don’t let the details turn your engagement bliss into hellish nightmare.