We all know, will know, or have possibly even been, a Bridezilla. To be fair, planning a wedding can be overwhelmingly stressful - lots of details to manage, potential conflicts, out of town family that may not quite be harmonious... And while there are lots of stress management techniques out there, why are there still a lot of stressed out brides?
First, I think that as a society we're geared to think that planning a wedding is stressful. To my point before, there may be some legitimate factors to that stress, but overall I believe brides don't give themselves nearly enough credit - nor grace - to planning the day they say I do.
Let's review some of the more common stress management techniques:
Meditation is a great way to alleviate stress. You connect with your body, your mind clears, you literally exhale the physical effects stress can have. You emerge more centered, more focused. That's to say, if you have the time to do it! One of the biggest reasons my clients give me for not meditating regularly is that they don't remember to do it; by the time they do remember, they don't have the time. Meditation works if you put the effort in! *Note: for some, this can include prayer! If your prayer is meditative, and allows you to clear your mind, it can be very therapeutic.
Similar to meditation, the rhythmic regulation of your breath can help alleviate the physical effects of stress while allowing your brain to center by delivering more oxygen. It's typically a little easier for clients to remember because everyone breathes, all the time - but deep breathing is more of a response to acute stress. Imagine sitting in a board meeting, getting a text from your planner that the invitations were printed incorrectly. Deep breathing is a great exercise to help alleviate that acute stress. However, deep breathing helps mostly in the moment - if the stress is more chronic, it has less impact!
Exercise is known to help with alleviating stress. It helps with blood flow and circulation, improving your brain's ability to get more oxygen. It also releases chemicals known as endorphins, which improve mood, and exercise also helps improve quality of sleep, which can have a profound impact on stress (tired and cranky = perfect stress bomb). Any exercise that elevates the heart rate and improves oxygen delivery can help - whether that's a 20-minute HIIT, a 15 minute body-weight circuit, or a 45-minute walk on the beach.
Do all of these methods sound familiar?
One truly simple method that is typically less familiar is ingesting herbs and plants known as adaptogens!
Adaptogens are possibly my favorite plants ever. They encompass a wide variety of plants/herbs from all over the globe that target homeostasis (which is your body's happy place). Some plants target things like immune health, some target brain health, and some target stress (check out this great resource from MindBodyGreen to help highlight more on adaptogens and their specific targets!)
So why is this my secret weapon?
When you take adaptogens regularly, especially the stress-busting ones like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Licorice Root to name a few, you are helping your body fight stress on a cellular level. It's as simple as mixing up a tonic or throwing some in your smoothie, and you're giving yourself a leg up on the stress response your body goes through when it comes to anything life or wedding planning.
If you're looking for an adaptogen blend to add to your routine, this is one I personally use and support. If you go a different route, make sure you consider how the plant is grown and harvested (any use of herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides), and the quality of the source (traces of heavy metals, etc.).
Do you take adaptogens regularly? Be sure to hop into our online community and share what you use, or come learn from others! I'd love to help you tame your inner bridezilla with this secret weapon!