• Emma Jane

Guest Blog: It’s my wedding and I’ll cry if I want to!

A note from Emma:

"Hey All! I'm super excited to say that this month I have life coach Ekua Cant writing for the EJFD blog! She gives her tips and tricks for managing wedding planning stress below, check it out!"

As Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande sang in their heartfelt song, “Rain on me” (Warning the music video is a little bit graphic),


“Rain on me ……...

Living in a world where no one's innocent

Oh, but at least we try

Gotta live my truth, not keep it bottled in

So I don't lose my mind

Baby, yeah”


Gaga when interviewed about the song said that it was a "celebration of tears," it is about being able to keep going despite the hardships of life. With that in mind I’d like to introduce the topic of this blog which is taking care of your mental health whilst planning your wedding.


Hi, I’m Ekua Cant and I’m Coach at Be your No. 1 Cheerleader. I coach American Expat Women acclimatising to London who need help with more than just the movers, but a cheerleader to help them manage their emotions, build new communities, start a new job and settle their families! In addition to that I coach Ambitious Women that want to level-up, push deeper, get uncomfortable in order to lean into their visionary leadership. Without further ado, let’s get on with the blog!


Gaga aptly describes that sometimes that despite a wedding being a joyful thing, it can sometimes feel like a hardship. What? Stop the press! Yes, I mean this, because there is a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves and that we feel from friends and family about how your wedding should come to pass. First thing to say is that it is Your Wedding! You need to feel 100% happy with your planning and the things you want done to make it a joyful day for you and your spouse. To unpack this we are going to look at the following issues:

  • Managing your emotions

  • Your Stress Triggers

  • Your Wedding finances


Managing your emotions

It goes without saying that planning your wedding from the flowers, dress and the food is a very emotional experience. I think what is important is to acknowledge how you are feeling and to work through any negative emotions that you might have due to:

  • Financial pressures

  • Family pressures

  • Pressure you put on yourself!

  • The wedding venue

  • Your weight

  • The cake

  • Insert your own pressure.

I would like to encourage you to spend some time processing your emotions during this time. Here’s a really helpful tool that can help you identify how you are feeling.


Please look at the Mood Meter infographic below, adapted from, “Permission to Feel”, By Marc Brackett, Ph.D.


THE MOOD METER


Now reflect on whether you're feeling “Red, Yellow, Blue or Green”. Knowing how we are feeling will allow you to plan your next steps on how you want to manage your emotions.


You may find it helpful to consider the activities listed below:

  • Cry

  • Take a nap

  • Journal and write down our thoughts and feelings

  • Read a self help book

  • Watch our favourite comedy show or movie

  • Take a run

  • Talk a walk

  • Meditate

  • Talk to a trusted person about it

  • Draw, paint, sing, dance

  • Insert your OWN!

All of the above are just examples of what you could do. I encourage you to take a positive reflective action that will help you to work through how you are feeling. I’d also want to alert you to the fact that you can have feelings about your feelings! For example, “You may feel guilty, because you don’t feel 100% happy about planning your wedding and think you should be feeling like “it’s all amazing”! Here I say, don’t bother with all that! Just focus on how you really feel and work through those emotions as it’s an emotional rollercoaster and never plain sailing. Please be kind to yourself and accept that you are doing your best. Your day will be joyful not because of all of the “material things”, but because you and your spouse are there together celebrating your love in front of your family and friends. Next up we are going to look at stress and how you can manage your stress.


Your Stress Triggers

Stress is a deeply personal thing. There are many things that could cause you stress, not least planning your wedding! Here are some physical manifestations of stress:

  • Headaches

  • Feeling irritable and impatient

  • Mood Swings

  • Muscle Tension or Back Pain

  • Not “being able to switch off”

  • Insert your own personal feeling of STRESS HERE!

Your triggers and how it manifests itself within you is deeply personal. Here’s where we have to go a little bit deep and acknowledge that mental health and stress are intimately tied. So what I mean by this is that if you already suffer from Depression, Anxiety Disorders or Panic Disorders this may mean that you are more susceptible to stress. I would always advise that you seek professional medical help if you have one of the aforementioned disorders or if your stress levels are such that the physical manifestations are unmanageable. If you feel stressed due to planning your wedding, take a break and look after your personal mental health and well-being. Furthermore don’t think that you have to do it all yourself and ask for help from a person that won’t cause you stress! Don’t just ask a person that is vocal about your wedding whether that be a family member or friend. Ask someone who really wants to support you and your vision for your wedding. Next up we’re going to take a quick look at wedding finances.


Your Wedding Finances

Planning your wedding will include a budget on how much you would like to spend. Then it will also look at how much you can actually spend considering your personal circumstances. I pass no judgment on how much you would like to spend on your wedding. However I would urge you to think about the following things:

  • If you could spend £0 on your wedding what would be the most important thing that you would want to have or happen at your wedding?

  • What are the top 3 things that you would like to spend on your wedding? Therefore what can you spend less on!

  • Is stretching your wedding budget really worth it? How can you be creative instead? Yes, you can make things? So can your friends or family!

  • With the above in mind, can you reduce your budget? Wow, now there’s a thought!


So to conclude I am going to you 3 tips for looking after your mental health whilst wedding planning.


1 Be Kind to yourself

“Be kind to yourself!

And of course as always be kind to yourself.

Most of all be kind to yourself and celebrate yourself”.


Ekua Cant


Check out these awesome tips from the NYT, click here.


2 Ask for Help

You are not alone when it comes to the people that want you to have the wedding of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to ask a person that doesn’t stress you out for help with planning your wedding. Choose wisely!


3 Delegate

I know it’s tempting to think that you are the only one that can get things done to your quality and standard that you keep. However, you can also find a trusted person that can tell you your standards and ask them to take on some of the work of planning your wedding. I strongly urge you to go for the wedding planning team approach with you being the Head of the Wedding Planning Team. It makes it more fun and definitely helps to reduce your stress.


Resources

Ekua Cant, Coach & Mentor at Be your No. 1 Cheerleader - https://www.beyournumberonecheerleader.com/




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