bride guide to emotional health
Getting married is such an exciting time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s stress-free. Lately, you’ve been feeling like it’s all so overwhelming, choosing the right bridesmaid dress design for your friends and figuring out who’s going to sit next to who at your reception. Sometimes, at the end of the day, you pour yourself a glass of wine and imagine how nice it would be for time to stop for just a few hours, or days, or a week, just so you could feel like yourself again, without so much stress.

Stopping time, of course, isn’t possible. But there are some strategies you can use so that you’ll be more emotionally healthy during this time. So pour yourself another glass of wine, or some water into your tub for a bubble bath, and read our tips to learn more.

1. Reach out for help

It’s likely that’s what’s stressing you most is that you feel like the wedding is on your shoulders. Sure, your partner may be helping a bit, and your mother and maid of honor are always asking if they can help, but for some reason, you feel alone in all this. Well, the first thing you need to do to stop feeling this way is to be honest with yourself and with those around you. Even though they might be seeing some signs of stress from you, they might not realize just how upset you are.

According to Psychology Today, we expect people to help us without voicing what we need. But it’s key to ask directly. They explain, “When asking for help, make sure the person knows exactly what you want. For example, if you want your spouse to show you what to do, rather than just tell you, make sure you ask for that. There are times when it would be nice if someone spontaneously offered to help you and they don’t. The more you practice directly asking for help in these situations, the easier it gets.”

Remember, 96 percent of couples getting married admitted that wedding planning is stressful, so this is a much more common stressor than you might imagine. If you’re not sure how to ask for help, consider writing down what you need first. Not only will this help you voice your needs, but it’ll also help you process some of what you’re going through and give you a larger sense of control.

2. Eat well and exercise regularly

Eating well and exercising regularly aren’t just activities you should be doing before your wedding; they’re activities that are always healthy. But when you’re going through a busy time, and your moods are going up and down because of stress, it can be easy to forget to treat your body well. If your partner is prone to the habits of overeating or Netflixing at the end of a busy wedding-planning day, then it’ll be doubly hard because you’ll be tempted to join in.

women eating healthy
Now that you’ve already reached out for help once, though, you can feel comfortable enough to ask for help again. See if one of your bridesmaids will go with you to the gym three to five times a week. At least one of them should be up for the task, and you can convince her by explaining that you’ll be less of a Bridezilla (to her, at least) if she accompanies you. After all, exercising for only 20 minutes benefits your mood for the next 12 hours!

Eating well will be more of a challenge, especially with all the cake-testing you’ll be doing. And you’ll be pretty busy, too, checking out venues and visiting bridal shops, which means less time to cook at home. Luckily, Livestrong’s got some great tips on how to eat healthy on the go, so check them out.

3. Have fun and relax

It may seem like your schedule’s too busy for you to have fun and relax, but the fact is that, if you don’t do these things, you’ll be miserable during the whole wedding planning process. Think about it this way: would you rather have a few horrible months and the perfect champagne flutes, or a bearable (maybe even fun!) few months to a year and champagne flutes that don’t go with your decor? It’s easy to let these little decisions take up a lot of your worries, but your general happiness is way more important.

women have fun swimming
In the same way that a business takes time to come up with the perfect logo design, it’ll take time for you to learn how to have fun and relax when you’re so busy. One great idea is to schedule time into your calendar, so that you don’t forget. Brainstorm with your partner and friends what fun things you could do together; they know what makes you happy, whether that’s going to the movies or on a hike.

The average stress for Americans in 2017 was 4.8 out of 10, so it’s no surprise that you might not know how to deal with stress. Most people don’t. But it’s time to learn because these are lessons you’ll be using not only before your wedding but after, in your married life with the partner of your dreams.

What other strategies do you use to improve your emotional health?