If there ever was a good time to take care of yourself, it’s during wedding planning.

In the beginning you’ll feel exhilarated and excited. It’ll feel like you can take on the world. But as time goes on, you’ll likely feel stressed out and wonder if you even want to go through with the whole wedding thing.

Life is busy and the to-do lists never seem to end. Tack on wedding planning and that’s just another list to think about.

That’s where self-care comes in. You may think, but isn’t that just another to-do item? Simple answer, no. To-do items require you to accomplish things by a certain time and date, but self-care can be incorporated into your everyday life. And your self-care doesn’t have to include complicated routines. Sometimes even the smallest things can reap big results.

Self-care is one of the best ways you can prepare for your wedding day. And it’s not selfish. How can you enjoy your engagement or the big day if you’re burned out? Taking care of yourself helps you to stay grounded, not overthink things, and go with the flow. Ultimately, you’ll be a happier bride-to-be.

Here are some simple ways you can take care of yourself while wedding planning and beyond.

Bride spinning in her dress in front of tropical trees at The Contemporary Austin, Laguna Gloria, outside of Austin, Texas.  Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Plan on “Me Time”

You love spending time with your fiancé and friends and family, but sometimes you just need a break to unwind. Consider scheduling a little “me time” for yourself and unplug from the wedding world. Allow yourself time off of the internet (lest you mindlessly scroll through Instagram at wedding pics) and don’t rush to message anyone about planning details.

Instead, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Sip a cup of tea and just daydream. Binge watch something guilt free. Doodle, write, dance, or take a nap!

Get the Fuzz Out

Stress, worries, and even the good stuff like anticipation and excitement often find their way into our muscles (making them tense) and can create pent up energy. I like to think of it as fuzz collecting between the muscles and bones and the only way to get it out is to work it out.

If you’re saying, “Ugh! Working out is such a chore!” It just means you haven’t found the right type of workout for you. When you do find one you actually enjoy, your mind and body will feel so much better (and healthier!). Maybe that means going to a yoga class or taking an evening walk around the neighborhood with your fiancé.

Even if you just do some simple stretches at your desk, you’re moving your body and that pent-up energy, and that’s the point.

A bride and her bridesmaids in matching silk robes laughing and smiling while sitting together on a couch at Villa at Manzuelo Vineyards in Austin, Texas.  Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Pamper Yourself

I bet you spend a lot of time taking care of others and making sure everyone is happy. But what about you?

It’s time to treat yourself and let someone else take care of you for a change. Set up a spa day and get a massage, a mani/pedi, a facial, or a steam bath. Let yourself completely relax and enjoy the moment. No thinking about the wedding or work or family or anything except the present moment and how good the sugar scrub feels on your feet.

If you absolutely can’t find the time or if budget is an issue, have a spa day at home. Put on a face mask, take a lavender bubble bath, and give yourself the gift of relaxation.

Journal

You don’t have to be a writer to keep a journal. Go out and find a notebook that speaks to you, then make it a point to write down your thoughts, your feelings, rants and raves. Write about wedding planning, family drama, how much you love and loathe this or that. Write about everyday moments. Just write! It’s good to get it all out, and sometimes seeing your thoughts on paper can help you better understand yourself and what’s going on in your life.

Don’t Worry About What Might Happen

Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

A bridal portrait of a bohemian bride holding her bouquet and looking to the left while standing in front of trees at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.  Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

And to add to that, worry doesn’t change a thing, so there’s no point in going in circles about what might or might not happen on your big day. You only have this moment, so enjoy it. As Ram Das says, “Be here now.”

If you find yourself off balance, unfocused, and/or worried about the future, take a moment to breathe. It seems so simple, but noticing your breath and being mindful of how you’re breathing can shift everything. You might find that you’re taking shallow breaths or that your breathing from your chest instead of your belly.

Close your eyes, take a deep inhale, then exhale as your shoulders relax. Do that a few times and see how you feel. It’s quick, it’s easy, but oh-so relaxing.

Remember to take care of yourself today and always, beautiful bride-to-be!

Looking for some more personalized advice about self-care for your wedding day? I'd be happy to share some of the tips and tricks I've learned from brides through the years!

Related: How to Say No To Family and Friends' Wedding Services and What to do When You’re Fed Up With Wedding Planning

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