It’s wedding season, and that means stress season. At Zeel, we consider ourselves experts in de-stressing. But despite the convenience of in-home massage on demand, busy brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and guests don’t always have a free hour to spend on relaxation — especially when running around planning all the logistics of a bachelor or bachelorette party. That’s why we offer up these quick stress relief tips for wedding season, so you can keep calm, carry on, and have a fabulous event.
Be prepared for anything
Preparation is calming. When you’re on the go, make sure to pack an emergency bag. Things to include: ibuprofen, baby wipes, sanitary products, hair ties, shower cap (perfect for saving blowouts in rainy weather), breath mints, and stain remover, among other life-saving items. You might not need any of it, but you’ll be more relaxed knowing that you’ve prepared.
Flat shoes to the rescue
This tip is directed at the brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the brides, and other likely heel wearers. Heel and foot pain can take some of the joy out of a wedding. Consider bringing flats – non-brides can wear them for the standing parts of the ceremony, and you can put on your dancing shoes for the festivities at the reception. And remember, if the ceremony and/or reception is outside, wear flats or wedges, so you don’t sink into the ground. (If flats are good enough for Wonder Woman, they’re good enough for you!)
Stretch it out (and look better in photos)
Stretches don’t just feel good – they can make you look better in pictures. “Stretch your pectoral muscles, and you won’t slump in photos,” advises Zeel Massage Therapist Melanie Peddle. Poor posture can cause back and neck pain and headaches, among other woes. One easy pectoral stretch is to put your arms on either side of a doorway, just below the level of your shoulders, then slowly push your chest forward. Do not lead with your head. Hold this pose for 60 seconds, then repeat, with your arms slightly above your shoulders. Finish with some neck rolls. (Watch this video to see this exercise in action.)
Know your scents
Scents have a powerful effect on stress and mood. Lavender oil is a classic calming scent, which accounts for its use in the Sleep Massage offered by Zeel. Try a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow, or even go old-school and dab some on a handkerchief for easy olfactory access. If you’re not partial to lavender, other oils that de-stress in a jiffy include ylang-ylang and chamomile.
Sure, we all breathe, but there are dos and don’ts to stress-relieving respiration.
Breathe deep. Deep breathing exercises are a must. One basic calming breathing technique is simply to time your breaths (a common yogic technique). Breathe in through the nose (not the mouth) for a count of four or (if you can manage) five, then exhale for the same length of time. This simple exercise can relieve stress and improve your focus. And you can do it anywhere – even waiting in a receiving line.
Suggested Reading: 7 Surprising Natural Headache Remedies You Can Try Today
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.