DHAKA: If you have been experiencing an increased sense of stress lately, congratulate yourself. It probably shows that you are in touch with your feelings. However, if you feel bad or somehow inadequate because you feel stressed, think again. No one escapes stress.
The pre-wedding period can be an especially stressful time. Managing stress and anxiety effectively can be crucial to making this time a positive one for you and your partner. You want your wedding planning process to bring you closer and build your intimacy. Over-stress can interfere with this important goal.
A major difference between those who feel overwhelmed by stress and those who do not is not the presence or absence of stress, but the ability to recognize stress when it occurs and to manage it.
Stress management involves four tasks:
Recognize and understand the signs of stress
Identify and understand the sources of stress
Learn to manage controllable sources of stress
Learn to support yourself and cope with stress reactions to situations beyond your control
Signs of Stress
Over-stress reactions include a wide range of symptoms: stomach aches, headaches, sleep problems, poor concentration, moodiness, irritability, and racing thoughts. It`s important to recognize that these are all signs of stress overload, probably not of more a more serious condition.
Sources of Stress
During the pre-wedding period there are so many stressful decisions, expenses, expectations and new roles. Many people do not realize how great an impact this stress can have on their happiness and relationships. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the pre-wedding period can be the disparity between its inherent stress, on one hand, and expectations that it will be a time of happiness and fulfillment, on the other. Perfectionism about wedding arrangements is very common and can be a big source of stress. Other sources of stress don`t go away just because you are getting married. These additional stressors can compound pre-wedding stress. Keep in mind that all change is stressful, including good change. (And isn`t getting married a huge good change?) Other common factors that can contribute to stress can include work, over-commitment, moving, travel, illness, and loss of a family member, friend or pet. For those embarking on a second marriage and single parents, the demands of child-rearing and financial complications can be stress factors. Some of these stressors are controllable. For example, some activities and commitments are optional. You control how perfect you expect your wedding to be and whether to accept many social invitations. Other stressors are beyond your control. For example, no one can prevent personal losses and illnesses.
To deal with over-stress, you must first recognize and manage of those sources of stress that are within your control.
Taking Control of Stressors
If you are experiencing symptoms of stress overload, consider what you can do to reduce your stress load.
Talk with your partner and make sure that your wedding plans reflect your true desires. Of course, a grand wedding is wonderful, so long as it`s really worth the effort and expense to you. But, some couples launch elaborate wedding plans without stopping to think through whether these are based on unexamined assumptions about what each partner wants. (I thought you wanted a big wedding. Oh, but I was doing it for you.) If a big wedding is in your plans and your budget allows, consider hiring a wedding coordinator or planner to handle many of the details.
You may need to reexamine your assumptions about how much you expect yourself to handle. It can be hard to admit that we can`t necessarily do and accomplish everything that we would like during the time we have in mind or have available.
You may be able to delegate some chores or tasks. Don`t be shy about asking your partner, friends or relatives to help you with some of these. Sometimes this means hiring additional help, to clean or to care for children, for example, even if it means spending a bit more than you had planned for a limited time. Let your wedding services vendors carry some of the load, after all they are experienced wedding experts. Be selective about which tasks you really need to supervise personally.
Accept that there are limits to your control over the wedding. Any event involving so many other people will have a few imperfections. What doesn`t go exactly according to plan will become a cherished wedding story in years to come.
Use time management strategies to prioritize and set limits. Click here for time management strategies.
You may be able to arrange to reduce your workload or take some time off work during the pre-wedding period. You may need to take more time off than you had planned, then make up the income later.
Many social obligations can be deferred. Sometimes it seems that everyone wants to get together and share the excitement of the pre-wedding months. This can be fun, but sometimes it`s too much. There are only so many hours in the day. People will understand when you tell them that you are overtaxed by the wedding planning.
Even after you`ve done what you can to control sources of stress, there will probably be plenty of "uncontrollable" stressors remaining. Never fear, there are many strategies to help support yourself and cope with stress reactions.
Support Yourself During Stress
There are many additional things you can do to support your ability to handle and recover from stress.
Get adequate sleep.
Exercise every day.
Eat regular, balanced and moderate meals.
Avoid excess sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, etc. All of these cause your system to `crash` after the temporary simulating or relaxing effect.
Learn relaxation exercises or meditation. See link below for biofeedback assist devices.
Maintain your perspective. Talk to others about the stress. (Everyone has or has had stress!)
Make time for fun and other pleasurable activities.
Make time to connect with your partner and spend positive time together. Don`t pressure yourself to make too many changes all at once.
BDST: 1145 HRS, NOV 22, 2012
Edited by: Quamrun Nahar Shumi, Newsroom Editor
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