Take it from someone who has walked-THE-walk; you don’t have to be a stressed bride! I’m sharing some practical advice that helped me stay calm and present during the hustle and bustle leading up to the big day. Creating a daily routine that prioritized self-care, optimal sleep, quality nutrition and de-stressing techniques made navigating the entire process simple and even enjoyable.
Here’s how to keep that inevitable wedding stress under control:
1. Create a morning ritual.
This is something that I practice in my day-to-day life, but as a busy bride-to-be, I’ve put an extra emphasis on starting my morning off on the right foot.
I always begin my day with:
- Water: 1 liter of filtered water + a warm water with fresh squeezed lemon.
- Coffee: I only enjoy 1 coffee (or caffeinated beverage) per day – often times a latte made with unsweetened almond milk. (Your skin will love if you sip on filtered water and herbal teas for the remainder of the day.)
- A workout: lately I’ve been enjoying: Ballet Beautiful, The Tracy Anderson Method, hot yoga, running and pilates.
- Breakfast: I’ve been whipping up protein shakes for a quick and easy morning boost.
My go to recipe is:
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop plant based protein powder (I like the brands Vega, Sunwarrior or Super Elixir)
- 2 cups of organic spinach
- ½ organic banana
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 medjool date, pitted
2. Create a bedtime ritual.
While we sleep, our bodies go into an anabolic state, which allows us to recharge and repair any damage caused throughout the day. This is also when our muscles repair, memory is consolidated and hormones are released that stimulate growth and appetite.
To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, I recommend:
- Switching off all technology at least 1 hour before bedtime.
- Nixing all caffeinated beverages after 12:00 PM.
- Keeping a notebook by your bedside to write down any last minute thoughts or reminders for the following day.
- Implementing a calming practice into your evening – journaling, yoga, meditation, a leisurely walk or a warm bath – whatever you find to be relaxing and beneficial for your body.
….and a few basic reminders:
- Keep your sleeping space between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible using room darkening curtains, drapes or an eye mask.
- Block out noise using earplugs, a fan or white noise machine.
- Take it all off…your makeup that is. For the sake of your linens and a healthy complexion, don’t skimp on removing your makeup and thoroughly cleansing, treating and hydrating the skin.
- Lastly, be sure to wear comfortable, loose fitting pajamas made out of breathable material such as silk or cotton.
3. Adopt a fuss-free skincare routine.
Even though I’ll be saying ‘I do’ in just a few short months, I haven’t done anything to drastically change my skincare routine. It took me years to find to find a regime that worked for my skin type, and now that I’ve found it, I rarely stray from it. With that said, if you’re dealing with a major skincare concern (like acne or rosacea), I would recommend making an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible to discuss potential treatment plans before the big day.
Most days, my skincare routine looks like:
4. Nourish your cells.
I think the question I get asked the most as a model and bride-to-be is, “What do you eat?”
My food philosophy is pretty simple:
- I eat three meals per day with two snacks in between.
- I drink 2-3 liters of filtered water daily.
- I only drink one caffeinated beverage before lunch.
- I focus on eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and gluten free grains.
- …but I also make room for dessert or the occasional glass of red wine or two.
The key to having clear, glowing skin, strong hair and bright eyes is:
- Omega 3’s – these essential fatty acids are vital for supple, glowing skin. Some excellent sources include avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon and chia seeds.
- Leafy greens – nutrient-packed veggies like spinach, kale, watercress and collards nourish and fuel the cells that create beautiful skin and hair.
- Antioxidant-rich foods – found in sources such as blueberries, acai, green tea, cinnamon and turmeric fight free-radical damage and early signs of aging.
- Protein – Protein is made up of one or more long chains of amnio acids which are responsible for the growth of new skin cells amongst other structural components. I prefer to get my protein from nuts, seeds, rice and beans, quinoa, lentils and tofu.
- Water – the obvious, but most important nutrient. Water is vital for maintaining blood volume levels and for transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
5. Workout smarter, not harder.
There’s no doubt that brides feel an immense amount of pressure to look their best when the big day arrives. Almost every bridal magazine and website I’ve read through is filled with weight loss tips, extreme diet tricks and “quick fix” solutions. If you’re looking for optimal results, focus on movement and nourishing your body rather than depriving it of essential nutrients and overexerting yourself. Crash dieting and overexercising is not a sustainable way to live and can create a complicated and disordered relationship with food.
One of my favorite authors and bloggers, Jessica Sepel, writes about cultivating a healthy relationship with your body in her book, ‘The Healthy Life.” I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled with body image or fear around food.
6. Implement a daily stress-reducer.
The stress of planning a wedding is almost inevitable, but too much stress can increase cortisol levels which can alter immune system response, suppress the digestive system and encourage weight gain. Long-term stress and overexposure to stress hormones has been linked to anxiety, depression, digestive issues, sleep problems and a decrease in cognitive function.
It’s important to stress less and rest more. Not only for the sake of your health and wellbeing, but for the people around you as well.
Try implementing one of the following:
- A yoga class.
- A guided meditation.
- Writing in my gratitude journal.
- Reading a positive or inspirational book.
- A warm bath with epsom salts and essential oils.
7. Connect with your future spouse.
I still clearly remember watching an episode of Oprah in 2009 where she visited Denmark. As she wandered down the cobblestone streets with her interviewee, she said, “In the United States, it’s a bigger deal to get married then it is to actually have a marriage.”
I was so taken by that, but it’s true.
Your wedding is only one day out of your entire marriage, so don’t stress too much about the minuscule details. Instead, focus on your spouse, the reason you fell in love and the beautiful journey you’re about to embark on. Besides, nobody cares about the flowers you chose or the champagne you toasted with. Most people will remember the love they felt between the bride and groom.
So, as the countdown begins to your wedding, be sure to make time for each other.
It can be as simple as:
- Switching off all technology for an hour each day and simply enjoying each others company.
- Scheduling in a workout together.
- Making time for a date night once a week. My fiancé and I love to stay in and cook together.
- Plan a weekend getaway or a day trip.
…and most of all:
Enjoy your special day! It will go by so quickly. Truly savor every moment and tiny detail.
Hannah, The Healthful Model.