How to plan a wedding with anxiety

If you are reading this article, it can mean one of two things: you’re either planning your wedding and need some advice or, your friend is, and you’re wondering how in the hell she’s surviving everything!

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada – you’re not alone. Fear, stress, and nerves are normal feelings and experiences for us. It can creep up on you at any moment and interfere with your daily activities either at work or home. Planning a wedding is hard enough and can almost seem daunting if you struggle with anxiety.

Your anxiety won’t go away during your wedding planning. There are, however, some tips and tricks to help you throughout the process!

  • Get Organized
    Planning a wedding is a challenging task, and you’ll need to get yourself organized. If you’re like me and cannot afford the splurge on a wedding planner try out these simple things:
    a) Sign up for The Knot
    This website is FULL of fantastic articles and pictures. What sold me immediately on this site was their “To-Do List” which they categorize by month for you, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed
    b) Create a Pinterest board
    One of the fun things to do while planning a wedding is to get inspired. Sometimes with an anxious mind like myself, I find it hard to get creative. Browsing through an endless amount of photos can spark some fire!
  • Figure out your Budget
    Oh boy. the tough topic! Talking to the parents/guardians on how they can support you financially! It’s tough to overcome confrontations, but this chat needs to happen. If they cannot offer you any money, do NOT agonize. Paying for your wedding can be nothing but rewarding – your way, your say! Not to mention with all the DIY projects online you can cut costs very drastically.
  • Not everything will be perfect
    As much as you want the day to pass by without a problem, it likely won’t happen. This is OK
    You’re surrounded by so much love and affection that you most likely won’t even realize if anything wrong happens. In my case, I gave my maid of honor the “Day Of Duty,” meaning that whatever happens the day of, they go to her directly. I grew up as a perfectionist, so it was hard to delegate this responsibility. You need to realize that this is your day and you need to enjoy it!

  • Ask for help
    This relates back to what I was saying beforehand – Let’s say this out loud: Asking for help is not a sign of failure.
    Once your to-do list gets created, you’ll realize it’s hard for one person to do all the tasks oneself. Not only will you have your fiancée and immediate family close to you but you did ask some of your best friends whom you trust to be your bridesmaids, they should be the first people you ask! This is what they’re here for; Try to delegate tasks to their skills. Example: My friend Alana is a very creative person, so I asked her to help me design my centerpieces.
  • Don’t forget to make time for yourself
    This is the tough one, planning a wedding is almost like taking on a second job to some people. You need to make sure you don’t cross the lines of personal and job stress. Something that helped me get through the motions was making sure that I took out 15 minutes of my time to stretch. I also caved in and shelled out some extra cash for a half hour massage (YES PLEASE). You’ll realize that once you make time for yourself and clear your head a little, you’ll be more energized and less anxious to dive back into the planning.

This should be an exciting time for everyone involved but don’t forget to keep an eye on your anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed it will be best for everyone for you to take a breather instead of worrying about that pesky caterer.

Know when to take a break

Last weekend was a long weekend in Canada, and instead of stressing over what to write about for my next topic, I decided to ditch the computer and laid in my hammock instead.
Even though the weekend was filled with our usual day-to-day activities, I knew that I was burning out. There are so many things that I’ve been thankful for over the years, but I think the biggest thing to have turned my life around was knowing and accepting when I was overstretching myself. One of the first things in CBT Therapy is to recognize when you have an automatic thought with triggers. It’s still a work in progress but starting to realize when I need to cool off has been so incredibly beneficial for my well being.

I know that identifying this in oneself can be hard, so here are some tell-all signs that you need a break

  1. Motivation
    Uh-oh, where did this go? You’re finding it difficult to do even a simple task, making it impossible to get any work done. When your passion starts to feel like a chore, it’s time to rest up. Don’t push yourself because that definitely will not help get any motivation back. Focus your energy on other things; you’ll be surprised when inspiration hits!
  2. Irritation
    I don’t know about you, but when I overstretch myself, I get easily irritated by those surrounding me. My husband can attest to this! I know that I need my alone time – separating yourself from others is a great way to recharge those batteries
  3. Insomnia
    Thinking if penguins have knees at 3 am? (They do!) If any thoughts are keeping you awake at night, more so than usual, get up and do some stretches. Focusing on something relaxing might make those pesky thoughts go away, and you might get some sleep! Lack of sleep will always make you feel worse so try to get away from the environment that’s making you restless.
  4. Anxiety Attacks
    This is the number one sign that you’re overwhelmed and need a break. Mix in irritability with a dash of Insomnia and BOOM; you’re experiencing an attack. Don’t be ashamed; you’re stressed out! This is the perfect time to do something for yourself: write, draw, dance, you name it!
  5. Off-Perception
    I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed my sensitivity spikes up tenfold. If my Boss comes up to tell me some constructive criticism during these moments, I would ultimately take them the wrong way. If you find yourself tearing up over these types of interactions, it’s time for a break. Please do not have the “no days off” mentality, because that’s toxic. Take the days off that you need to be in the best mental shape.
  6. Crying for no reason
    If you’re struggling and living on the verge of tears each day with your day-to-day activities, you’re in a hypersensitive This is OK; it just means all of your emotions are at the tip of the bottle, and the only way to get them out is to cry. Remove yourself from the stressful situation and just let it all out. Trust me; you’ll feel better once it’s done. You’ll be able to control your emotions afterward J
  7. Head is spinning
    A big red flag of mental exhaustion is dizziness and nauseousness. Just because your mind is tired doesn’t mean your body won’t follow suit! These symptoms should not be ignored – get the relaxation that you need.
  8. Detachment
    I hate this one the most. You’re numb; you’re senseless, you’re apathetic. You don’t care! You should care. You should care IMMENSELY about yourself. You can overcome anything that’s thrown at you. Time for rejuvenation, STAT.

Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of these signs? SHARE this article with someone who seems stressed so they can get the help they need.