Anxiety Survival Tips: The Wedding Edition

I’ve always heard that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful and exhausting processes a human can go through.  I’m here to say that is absolutely, 100% accurate.  But does it really have to be?

I find it incredibly irritating that wedding planning is so stressful because getting married is supposed to be the “happiest day of your life” and “all about the bride and groom”.  Even though that’s the truth, it still feels inherently false.  It feels like it’s not about the bride and groom at all; somehow a wedding morphs into this monstrous, expensive, and soul-sucking life force for everyone but you.

I get so mad when I go to weddings and see that everyone is having a good time except the bride and groom.  They’re running around putting out fires (literally and figuratively), they’re playing therapist to drunk wedding guests and/or bridal party members, and they end their night exhausted and starving after missing out on all the food that they paid for.

So why the hell would anyone have a wedding?

That was my feeling after getting engaged.  I was happy to go to city hall, elope to an island, or even have a teeny tiny ceremony with no more than 15 people.  But when you marry into a big, tight-knit Italian family, that is not an option.  Since part of getting married and maintaining a healthy relationship is compromise, I gave up my vision of the two of us saying our “I do’s” in bathing suits and agreed to a reasonable 160 max guest list.

There are now 60 days until my wedding, and the months since my engagement back in October have been quite the roller coaster.  Overall, I have to say that wedding planning has been an overall positive experience.  But even with the help of friends and family, the stress of planning and coordinating has the tendency to mask all the good and highlight the stressful.  Couple that with have anxiety disorder and you become a ball of fun for everyone around you ::queue sarcasm::.

Knowing that I’m prone to anxiety attacks and thinking that the sky is falling, my future husband and I have taken some precautions that have really helped.  I wanted to share them because even the coolest of brides will find herself at one point crying over something that does not matter AT ALL, like my ‘font size on the placement cards’ meltdown.

Exercise, exercise, EXERCISE!  

This isn’t just a #sweatingforthewedding thing, this will help keep you sane.  So when you get the inevitable “we won’t have those flowers in stock until 4 weeks after your wedding” email, you body is already prepared for you to take out your anger on a bike at SoulCycle.  Plus your butt will nice.  Win/win.

Meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy are your friends.  

This isn’t just a plug since I’m a yoga teacher (but do email me for private lessons), these are your weapons against stress and sleeplessness.  If you’re unfamiliar with any of these things, check out a beginner yoga class and ask your teacher about essential oils.  Most teachers should be able to answer your questions and the studio may even sell them at discounted rates.  As for meditation, Spotify and YouTube are fantastic resources for endless Om-ing.

Remember that people will surprise you in both positive and negative ways.  

Something about weddings brings out a lot of baggage someone may not even be aware they have.  Don’t let them dump it on you – now is not the time for you to play therapist for them.  Focus on the people who surprise you in a good way, and remember to thank them every step of the way.

Ask for help.  

If finding ceremony music or choosing a table setting is stressing you out, ask someone else to do it for you.  That’s what your wedding party is for, or your family if they’re not stressing you out.

Be selfish!!!  

This is one of the very few times in life that something is all about you!  Enjoy the time with your partner when together you pick what you want to have for dinner, what type of music you want played at the reception, and which wedding traditions you want to want to include or skip (you will pry my bouquet from my cold dead hands).

People remember feelings.  

You won’t remember what your napkins or table numbers looked like because those things don’t really matter. But you will remember dancing with your partner as newly weds vs. fighting with the caterer that the dipping sauce is too sweet.   Just like everyone will remember that your friend from college break-danced (with no ability to do so whatsoever) after the father/daughter dance, rather than the chicken that may or may not have been overcooked.

Focus on both of YOU – no one else.  

This is YOUR day. When it comes down to it, every single person who attends your wedding is there to celebrate the love that you and your partner share.  I keep thinking about the line in Wedding Crashers about why people go weddings because it’s the only reason that matters – people want to be in the presence of true love. That’s what a wedding is; it’s celebrating two people committing their lives to each other.  It’s not about the music, the centerpieces, or even the food and booze – it’s about two people in love.

Over the next 60 days, I have more little, annoying details to take care of then I’d care to acknowledge. But knowing that no matter what happens, even if everyone hated what we chose and dubbed it ‘the worst wedding ever’, I’ll still be married to the person who means absolutely everything to me makes all of the stress and anxiety slowly fade away.  Well, at least most of it 😉

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5 Ways to Survive Work With a Hangover

Whether you went out to happy hour with your co-workers, had a boozy dinner party with friends, or polished off that magnum bottle of wine by yourself faster than anticipated; being hungover on a weekday is the worst.  There are few things more unpleasant than waking up with the spins, a pounding headache, and dry mouth only to realize you have minutes to get out the door, get to your job, and try to be an adult.

As someone who has had their fair share of rough mornings, I’ve discovered five things you can do combat your lapse in judgement and survive the workday.

1. Take a shower

Do this before you leave for work…obviously.  This is something I swear by. Not only because you want to wash the makeup, smell of booze, and shame off of you, but because it feels awesome.  There’s something about a hungover shower that is so rejuvenating.  After my office Christmas party, I woke up with 5 minutes to get out of my apartment so I had to forgo my revitalizing shower.  I went to the gym on my lunch break that day not to sweat out the booze, but to stand in the shower for 30 minutes. It was amazing.

2. Eat something greasy and keep the fluids coming

If you normally stick to a healthy breakfast or lunch, throw all your fears of trans-fats, sugar, and gluten to the wind. Today, that double bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel is your friend.  Make sure to stock your desk with plenty of fluids – iced coffee (no matter what season it is), purple Vitamin Water, and plain old water should keep you hydrated and alert.  Just keep in mind that this may send a signal to some of your coworkers that you overindulged last night.  I got called out for being hungover at work when I showed up to a 30 minute meeting with a bottle of water, a massive cup of green tea, and a vitamin water.  Speaking of coworkers…

3. Stay away from anyone who can fire you 

Fortunately for me, I’ve seen my boss hungover more than once at work and there’s an unspoken understanding in our office.  After our summer party, only ⅓ of the office showed up to work the next day (who puts a party with an open bar on a Tuesday?). However, I have worked at other companies where it was frowned upon for employees to come in smelling like beer and to wear sunglasses all day.  During those days, I would eat lunch at my desk to avoid having to try to speak coherently with my boss in the lunchroom.  I would also walk in and exit with my headphones on to avoid any unwanted small talk.

4. Take a nap or go for a walk

I miss my car.  There was nothing like a 15 minute power nap to help me make it through the day.  Even if the admin did catch me and judge the hell out of me one time, it was still worth it.  If you have a car, I urge you take advantage of the luxurious back seat for a quick snooze to replenish your energy. Sadly, I take the subway to work now so that’s no longer an option. Instead, I walk around the city to jolt me awake.  Something about dodging men in suits glued to their iPhones and smelly homeless people recharges me like my former car naps did once upon a time.  The fresh air helps too…unless it’s summer.  If it’s 90 degrees inside stay inside and avoid windows. The sun is your enemy.

5. Learn from your mistakes

Showing up to work hungover is unprofessional and could cost you your job. If you work in a school, doctor’s office, or other job where your actions have a direct impact on other people, you should definitely drink in moderation during the week (save your bender for the weekend).  If you work in tech, however, save your weekday binge drinking for company events.  That way multiple people will be hungover and you can just blend into the crowd.  Also, drink plenty of water, take some ibuprofen, and remember that doing shots during the week is a terrible idea…even if your boss pays for them.