As most brides-to-be aspire for a fairytale wedding, they often neglect the stress and anxiety that comes along with it. Don't get too consumed and do take care of your mental health, experts suggest.
Shreyasi Ghosh, Content Head, The Wedding Brigade and Saket Nath Tiwari, Psychiatrist, National Mental Health Programme, Ghaziabad, have shared their thoughts on importance of mental health -- whether you're a bride-to-be with a pre-existing mental health disorder or one with a serious case of pre-wedding blues:
- Accept your condition: As in the case of every other problem, even with depression, acceptance is the first step towards getting better. Even if your first reaction to your diagnosis is denial, know that acceptance is extremely empowering. It prepares you for your next step towards recovery. Acceptance, however, does not mean resignation to your problem. It means understanding you have special needs and finding those to better equip yourself to feel calmer and happier.
- Talk to people you trust: Remember when you were little and thought there was a monster under your bed? You would tell your parents. After every bad breakup, you would call up your best friend and share. Just like that, you need to share your mental health struggles with a few trusted loved ones. There shouldn't be a stigma attached to this at all. If you are stressed about wedding planning, if you are struggling with daily anxiety or are just generally unwell, your loved ones deserve to know so that they can help you.
- Confide in your partner: Remember, this is a person who has promised to be with you in sickness and in health -- and mental health counts as well. If you're going to share a life together, you owe it to him/her to explain your condition. You can always trust your spouse to understand your condition, offer you unconditional emotional support and love you nonetheless. Trust us, your relationship will be all the better for it.
- Understand your triggers: Maybe it's the stress of wedding planning, maybe it's the dread of speaking to nosey, disapproving relatives, maybe it's the shock of wedding expenses or the struggles to fit into your bridal lehenga -- you need to understand your anxiety triggers. It's a long and arduous process but it can help you identify the warning signs and minimise, if not totally avoid, a breakdown or a relapse. Remember, the 6-month countdown to your wedding is pretty challenging.
- Find a safe space: It can be your best friend's house, a trusted relative's place, your therapist's chair, a spa retreat or simply a walk in the park…safe spaces help you distance yourself from depression triggers and cope with anxiety attacks in a relatively stress-free environment. When planning a wedding with long-term mental health issues, you must identify your safe spaces where you can retreat to for a much-needed break, every time you feel a depressive phase or an anxiety attack coming along.
- Take self-care days: Much ridiculed as a millennial whim but actually proven to be very effective in tackling depression, self-care days give you a break and lets you unwind a little. Take a few days off from work and/or wedding planning, go for a short holiday, treat yourself to some tender, love, care with spa, facials, massages, spend some time with your furry friends, meet a friend for some heart-to-heart, try a social media detox, go for a long run or nap the whole day -- the ideas are endless. You just need to find what works best for you.
- Seek medical help: Dear brides-to-be, if all measures fail, never ever feel scared or ashamed to see a psychiatrist for treatment and medication, just like you'd see a doctor for any other health disorder. Remember, the sooner you start treating your health issues the higher are the chances of you feeling better.
- Know that nothing is perfect and it's okay: There are so much societal pressures of perfection on new brides that it is not surprising a lot of them suffer from major wedding anxieties. The problem is even worse for brides with pre-existing medical problems. Remember it is your wedding, an opportunity to create some of the happiest memories of your lifetime. Try not to ruin it in the pursuit of perfection. At the end of the day, your husband-to-be, your family and friends will love you despite everything and will make sure your wedding is a beautiful day to remember. So sit back and enjoy the ride without stressing out over every little detail.