You might have dreamt of your perfect wedding day for months, years, maybe even decades, so don’t less stress ruin this experience. As much as the small details like place settings and flower arrangements are important; the most important thing is how you feel. Of course you want to feel like the happiest woman in the world on your big day but in reality there may be some stressful situations. It’s how you manage that stress which will determine how you let it affect your day. Mindfulness is an amazing tool to help put things into perspective and come back to the present moment, which is the only place you want to be!
As a pilates instructor and holistic health coach I see in others and in myself how mindfulness is an amazing way to improve overall happiness and a sense of wellbeing. It may also help you react to a stressful situation better. Even 10 minutes in the morning improves my mood for the rest of the day. Practicing mindfulness in the lead up to your wedding will make it more natural on the day because staying in the present moment does take practice. So how do you start? It’s simply a matter of pausing, slowing down and focusing on one thing. Here are my favourite ways of incorporating mindfulness into your life so you can beat that wedding stress...
Sounds simple but it’s amazing how many people don’t utilise their breath to help them at times of stress. Breathing exercises will bring you more peace and clarity. Experiment and find a technique that works for you, getting practicing every day and then do it before walking down the aisle to calm those nerves. Try soft belly breathing: when you breathe, allow the belly to expand as you inhale and to contract as you exhale. Focusing on the movement of you belly creates a nice rhythmic flow to your breath. I also like 478 breathing; you inhale through your nose for 4, hold your breath for 7 and then exhale through the mouth for 8. Repeat this 4 times. This really helps me shift from a negative outlook to a positive one.
2. Mindful Eating
Rushing around all day and scoffing down a meal whilst making phone calls is going to make you feel stressed and uncomfortable. Being distracted while you eat could also lead to overeating. Try to eat without any distractions for at least one meal of the day.
I find breakfast is the easiest and most effective meal to do this for. I don’t have my phone near me; I just sit quietly and peacefully and enjoy every mouthful. Aim to chew each mouthful 20 times. Try to do this on your wedding day too, as much as you’ll be trying to talk to everyone and you might not even feel hungry, slowing down for 10 minutes and savouring your wedding breakfast will give you energy for the rest of the evening.
This is one of my favourite healthy breakfast recipes, perfect for the morning of your big day.
Baked Feta, Tomato and Paprika Omelette
Ingredients - Serves 1
2 whole eggs and 1 egg white
Salt and pepper
Splash of almond milk
Dozen cherry tomatoes (halved)
40g feta cheese
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a small frying pan put 1 tsp coconut oil and start to sauté the tomatoes with 1 tsp paprika. While they are cooking, whisk your eggs with some salt and pepper and a splash of almond milk in a bowl then add to the sautéed tomatoes and oregano. Once the eggs have started to cook around the edges then places chunks of the feta cheese on top of the omelette. Take it off the heat and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Check out my other recipes in the FOOD section of my blog!
Being a good listener is all about being mindful, because all you should be focused on is what that person is saying rather than thinking about something else. This is really important all the time but especially when you are trying to organise an event and please lots of people. Remember it’s your big day and you can’t please everyone but if you don’t listen to people they won’t feel included or appreciated. You want to create a happy, pleasant environment leading up your day and on the big day itself. When you start mindfully listening, you won’t miss anything that could lead to more stress in the future and all the relationships in your life will improve.
4. Slow Down
In this fast-paced world we live in, slowing down doesn’t seem possible but when everything gets a little overwhelming and busy, find areas in your life where you can slow down. Maybe you can say no to that Sunday brunch one week and have a lay in, or go for a long slow walk instead of rushing from your nail appointment to your in-laws. You can’t be and do everything for everyone. Slow down and start putting yourself first in order to give more to others.
During times when you are feeling stressed and run-down, your body is trying to tell you something. Rather than pushing yourself through a HIIT or spin class, yoga or pilates will probably be much more beneficial. These calmer types of exercises are about creating not just a healthy body but also a healthy mind. You’ll find tranquility and calm on your mat when everything else in your world is a bit crazy. You may also feel more confident and refocus your priorities. Why not treat yourself to some one to one pilates classes in the run up to your big day or grab your bridesmaids and join a weekly class so you can all feel a bit more zen?
Lottie will be at National Wedding Show on September 23rd talking about “Pilates and Posture- Walk the Aisle in Style” and “Be Body Confident On Your Big Day”. You can find her on her blog, Instagram and Youtube.