Health & Beauty By Jessica Weltersen Wedding Stress – if you are getting married you have most likely already experienced it in one form or another. That pressure we put on ourselves and we experience from others when planning our wedding can lead to poor health and that’s the last thing you want. No one wants to be feeling like the couple in this picture is right now! With mental stress comes physical problems because when we find ourselves mentally stressed and exhausted, we certainly aren’t going to feel up to doing anything about our physical health. Taking good care of yourself, both mentally and physically, is key to helping you make it to your Wedding Day healthy and happy. There are many things you can do during the process of planning your wedding to help you maintain good “Wedding Health,” and there is certainly no void for great health and beauty tips on the internet, in books, and from your friends and family, but if all you manage to follow are these five simple steps you should be able to keep your Wedding Health barometer in the red. Oh, and this not gender specific, these tips are as equally important for the Groom or Bride! Take a Break Sure, you have a million and one things to get done, but you need to take time to relax. “It’s important to take time for yourself. Read a chapter in your book, get a massage, lay out in the sun, take a nap, go for a slow walk, go to a movie, meet a friend for coffee, get a manicure (yes, men too), visit your Grandparents…. Think of little things you enjoy doing that you can fit into your busy schedule and do them! Taking a break whether it is for a couple hours or just a short 15 minutes will rejuvenate you and help you to not feel like you are going, going, going, all the time! Pay Attention to Nutrition People react to stress in many different ways. Some people stop eating, while some binge on junk food. Good nutrition is important, especially during hectic times, so be aware of what you are doing. Do not let your eating habits become bad ones! This is not new news, it is a known fact that our bodies work better when we “graze” throughout the day as opposed eating large meals 3 times a day. Try to eat several small balanced meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day. And make sure you are getting plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates to fuel your body! Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, egg whites, dairy products, beans and rice. Complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread, wild rice, whole-wheat pasta, multi-grain cereal and potatoes. You should also aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Exercise to Look Good, Feel Good At your wedding, all eyes are on you, so of course you want to look your best. If you want to lose a few pounds or just get in great shape, there are many options for you – from using an exercise tape to going to a gym, to walking briskly, riding your bike or playing a favorite sport. The key to keeping your exercise up which will significantly help you to look good and feel good is to do something that you enjoy, mix it up so you don’t get bored, and be committed. Exercise, when you first start it, is not necessarily immediately rewarding, you must stick to it and then one day (a few weeks into it) you realize that you have more energy, you’re sleeping better, and hey, guess what, you find you are fitting just that much better into your wedding dress! Ah, and those stress-busting endorphins generated by vigorous physical activity are a great side benefit as your wedding draws near and last-minute details start to pile up. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Whether you go for a run, hit the gym for an aerobics class or take the dog for a walk, physical activity can help you look good and feel good! Get Plenty of Rest You’ll be better able to deal with any wedding complications if you aren’t sleep deprived. The amount of sleep you need varies from person to person… sadly I’m one of those that needs no less than 8 and like it even better if I get 9. I say “sadly” because that means there’s less time in my “awake” day to get things done, but I have found that if I don’t stay true to the fact that my body just plain needs this much rest, then it doesn’t matter how much time I have, I just don’t do things quite as well! Incorporating physical activity into your daily agenda, as mentioned above, also helps to promote a good night’s sleep. Keep to Your Budget Very important. Nothing can stress a to be married couple out more than financial matters. Determine your budget early on and feel good about the decision you make together to have a beautiful wedding while keeping to your budget! This “exercise” of sticking to your plan and your budget will also help to create a solid foundation for your financial future. Above All, Having a Sense of Humor is Vital Having a good sense of humor and also being able to let things roll off your back and “go with the flow” is vital to your mental and physical health. It is inevitable that you’ll encounter some bumps along the road to your wedding day. The important thing is how you react to them — they can ruin your day (or your week), or you can take them in stride and move on. A sense of humor may be your most important tool as you plan your wedding. Ok, you say, well, these tips are nothing new. No new tricks; you’ve heard all this before, right? I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that since this advice is given over and over again that it must be good advice! Don’t feel like you have to have some big new difficult steps to pursue, following the “basics” for good health and nutrition are all you really need! Now, go take on the day and happy wedding planning to you!