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Mental Health & Planning Your Indian Wedding: Tips From A Therapist

Jaago, sangeet, mehndi, religious ceremonies, reception – the list goes on… I sense your stress from a mile away. I get it.

The process of getting married can be overwhelming. Family politics, financial pressures, societal influence, and everyone is giving unsolicited advice and opinions.

You are not alone in this. Call the shots, and don’t be the bride that generates self-inflicting stress. 

Follow these tips to help ensure your special day goes as smoothly as possible. 

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Let go of expectations of perfection

Be realistic. Everyone wants their special day to go perfect. It is guaranteed that there will be mentally trying aspects to your day, whether it is that estranged relative who has an opinion about everything, or the Indian bridal boutique who got you the wrong sizes for your bridesmaids’ lehngas. No one gets a wedding without some minor or major mishaps or unforeseen issues that pop up. Instead, shift to the mindset that your day will be beautiful and allow yourself to be excited about it. 

Reducing stressors & setting healthy boundaries

This is YOUR day. It’s not a time to give in and say yes to things you might not want. Listen to your gut. If your mother-in-law wants lime green chair covers and your gut tells you to run the other way. Listen to that. Speak up and say no. There are so many ways to kindly say no or set a boundary. Hire a planner if that will help alleviate your stress. 

Adopt a mantra for yourself. Some examples are “I am calm.” “I am only responsible for myself.” “I can only control what I can control.” Repeat these to yourself often. Feel your feelings. What I mean by this is, allow yourself to be nervous, excited, to acknowledge whatever comes up for you. Write. Journaling can be a great way to get stress out of your head. If you are finding that your anxiety is at an all time high consider these coping tips.

Practice self-care

Pamper yourself and indulge in some serious self-care. Before your big day, spend some quality 1:1 with your partner, schedule a relaxing couples massage, engage in couples yoga, go out dancing. Don’t forget to schedule a few sessions of premarital coaching/counseling sessions. Take a break, especially on the day of your wedding! You can slip away for 5-10 mins to have a cup of tea, put on some headphones, listen to something calming, perhaps a guided meditation or music. Talk it out with your bestie or honey. Even spending a few minutes taking slow deep breaths can be so relaxing. 

Stick to traditions that bring you joy

Remember why you are celebrating in the first place. You found the partner of your dreams, your match. This is a time filled with joy and warmth. Carry those feelings into your wedding week, and eliminate things that don’t support that. If you know that you don’t want to give a speech, have bridesmaids, or have a dowry, then don’t. Do what brings you joy, what lights you up, and what you are going to look back on years from now and say “Wow, I love that we did that at our wedding!” 

Through it all, don’t forget to ask for help. Remember, you are not alone. Delegate as needed to your partner, parents, family and friends. Forget the stuff that doesn’t matter, and focus on what does. You’re marrying the person of your dreams, and that’s what’s most important. Above all else, remember the wedding will be great, and the honeymoon even better!

About the Author:

Haneen Ahmad is a licensed mental health therapist specializing in the areas of self-love, gratitude, and healing. Haneen has helped hundreds of women ignite self-love and starve self-doubt. You can find more information at www.haneenahmad.com 

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