We hear a lot about the importance of wellbeing these days. According to the University of Oxford if you feel content, energised, connected and balanced you are experiencing wellbeing .The path to our wellbeing includes making time to have fun, creating a positive environment and taking time out to focus, relax and just be .Have these people ever planned a wedding?
Every bride to be will agree that planning your wedding, whilst being one of the happiest times in your life, is also one of the most stressful. Co-ordinating suppliers, keeping track of budgets, finding the perfect dress and dealing with guests can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed and totally burnt out and stressed. As well as taking a toll on your mental health, stress can be detrimental to your physical health manifesting with symptoms such as low energy, supressed immune system, insomnia, headaches and many more and quite frankly, nobody has time for that?
Here at The Wedding Parlour we have put together a list of ideas for busy brides to help keep your stress levels in check. These tips are practical, entirely natural and will easily fit into your day because let’s face it, it would be lovely to devote 2 hours a night to ‘me time’, but with our busy lives and a wedding to plan it just isn’t going to happen.
We hope you find a few that work for you.
Epsom Salt Bath
Once a week, for at least 20 minutes, relax in a hot bath that contains a handful of Epsom sea salts, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and a half cup of baking soda. This combination draws out toxins, lowers stress-related hormones and balances your PH levels.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, a natural stress reliever, which is absorbed more effectively through the skin rather than through the stomach. Excess adrenaline and stress reduce magnesium levels in our bodies which is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical, within the brain that creates a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.
If you are really meaning business add some candles and a glass of wine.Total bliss…….
Have a Cup of Tea
Green tea has long been known for its relaxing and soothing properties. Research shows that drinking up to 5 cups of green tea can reduce your stress levels by up to 20 percent. These stress relieving properties are due to contains L-theanine– an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves, which helps to relax the brain by promoting alpha waves and relaxing the brain whilst also keeping it alert. These alpha waves promote a calm and balanced mind and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine or ‘happy hormones’ which also result in improved memory and learning ability.
So next time you feel your to do list is getting a bit much, put the kettle on, take 5 and have a warm cup of green tea. If you cannot adjust to the taste of pure green tea, some people find it slightly bitter, there are some fantastic flavour options available.
60 Second Breath
60 seconds, that’s all the time you need to reset your stress meter. Dress shopping driving you nuts?Stressing about your guest list? Regulating your breathing will help you calm down.
When you feel grounded it’s much easier to take a step back in challenging situations and gain clarity and perspective.
Breathing is something that is easy to take for granted because it is automatic, it’s also easy to write off a breath work practice and think, ‘that’s too simple – it won’t work for me’ .In reality breathing exercises will help you manage stress levels and give you more energy for your day to day tasks.
You can do this simple exercise anywhere, whenever you feel stressed or anxious try this effective 60 second technique to gain control of your emotion and rebalance. Take along deep breath through your nose and then exhale out of your nose for two to three counts longer than your inhalation. Repeat in this manner for 60 seconds. Lengthening your exhales is the fastest way to calm the mind and soothe your nerves. You can use this technique in any situation, the slower you breathe the quieter your mind will become.
Get your vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with anxiety so taking 10 minutes over your lunch break to walk outside can provide your body with a quick dose of Vitamin D and provide some light exercise which is also a proven mood booster. Sunlight tends to elevate people’s mood, and physical activity has been shown to help people relax and boost happiness so it’s no surprise that being outdoors does wonders for our health.
Next time you feel stressed head outdoors, let the sun shower you with vitamin D to reduce your blood pressure and breathe in the fresh air – a fantastic, quick and easy way to reduce stress, improve your concentration levels and help you feel happier.
Create a Happiness Playlist
The soothing power of music is well-established. Music has a unique link to our emotions and can be an extremely effective stress management tool. Music can have a profound effect on both mind and body. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive whilst a slower tempo can relax and soothe you whilst releasing the stress of the day. Listening to music that relaxes you has a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
Making a ‘happiness’ or ‘relax’ playlist is a great way to boost your mood or help you chill out when required. When you are feeling a bit frazzled or need an energy boost listen to your playlist and allow yourself to zone into the music or get motivated and tackle that to do list whilst listening to your favourite energy boosting tunes.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great natural remedy for helping you find balance when you feel your stress levels starting to rise. The scent of essential oils trigger relaxation responses within the body and can be easily incorporated into your day to day life with methods such as adding to your shower or bath, burning oils in a diffuser or simply carrying a sample with you for relaxation and inhaling the scent throughout the day.
Some of the best essential oils for stress include; lavender, ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood and tea tree and can be purchased easily at any health shop on your local high street.
Wear a rubber band
Believe it or not wearing a rubber band on your wrist can reduce stress, you can train yourself to feel less stress via operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a form of learning whereby an individual changes their behaviour due to consequences.
Every time you feel stressed lightly snap the rubber band on your wrist until eventually you will start to associate the feelings of stress with a pinch and you will subconsciously strive to avoid the feeling, the idea being that we withdraw from a behaviour or emotion in order to avoid the unpleasant consequence.
Sounds bizarre but trust us, this works.
Grab some oatmeal
Everybody knows that oatmeal is packed full of grains and lowers your cholesterol but surprisingly it can also be good for your stress levels. Oatmeal is full of magnesium and potassium which lowers blood pressure and make you feel more relaxed.In addition, eating oatmeal regularly can increase your serotonin levels contributing to your overall feeling of happiness.
Get some delicious oatmeal breakfast ideas here
Reduce Stress by Eating Chocolate
We have left the best till last.
Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidant flavonoids which help blood vessels relax, helping to calm overall stress.
What more do we need to say………….
We hope you find something from the above list that works for you. When it comes to wedding planning it’s so easy to get caught up in the details and forget what the day is really about. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take a step back, reflect and gain a little perspective. We think the quote below sums it up perfectly.