mind, body + Soul
WITH REBECCA O / HEALTH AND LIFE COACH
So, the question has been popped and you’ve said YES! What happens next?
Some people have been thinking about and planning their wedding since they were young, whereas others haven’t really given it much thought and prefer to start the planning process once the ring is on the finger. No matter when you started your wedding planning journey, it’s inevitable there is going to be an element of stress involved during the lead up to your big day. What you let ‘stress you out’ and how you deal with it is different for each individual however there are ways and techniques that can help you work through the stressful situations.
It is also common for most people to start thinking about what they can do to help them feel their best self on their wedding day. This could come in the form of exercise, eating well, getting more sleep or a combination of all three. Weddings are a major motivation to look and feel your best, we all set goals and then somewhere along the way we may lose sight of them as the wedding planning takes over. It’s so important to put ourselves first and be held accountable for our actions. This is where a health and life coach may come in handy.
We spoke to Rebecca O, Health and Life Coach and picked her brain about how we can ensure we are feeling our best on our big day by managing the stress, eating well, sleeping better and most importantly, setting ourselves up for success!
Rebecca has never felt better within herself, but this wasn’t always the case.
“I used to skip meals and deprive myself of things I enjoyed doing because I felt guilty. If a special event was coming up, instead of exercising for enjoyment it would be more of a punishment and instead of choosing healthy nutritious meals, I would skip meals so that I could fit into my ideal dress.
I realised there had to be a better way to life than this and I was not giving my best self to myself and the people around me. I asked myself, what if the opposite were true? What if it is even more selfish to not look after myself because everyone is then getting the exhausted, grumpy, depleted version of me instead of the best version?
I began to show up for myself like never before and I started losing weight without starving myself or extensive exercise. I was full of energy and had more clarity than I had in years. Most importantly, I began to love my body. No more negative self-talk”
This is when Rebecca's journey to becoming a health and life coach began.
Wedding planning can be such a stressful time (especially if you don’t have a wedding planner or stylist) between couples, parents and in laws. From creating the guest list, to table styling and organising that damn seating plan!
Rebecca has 5 simple steps to help reduce and cope better with these stressors.
1. Look at your calendar for the next 7 days. What’s one activity you’ve committed to that you can cancel?
2. Look at your to-do list. What’s one item you can delegate to someone else within the next 24 hours?
3. Consider your schedule today. Where can you fit in 20 minutes for yourself so you can just relax and do something mindless?
4. Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in a 10 minute walk? The fresh air and movement will help you reset and cope better with stress.
5. Before your next meal try the 5-5-7 breath. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat this at least 3 times. This gives your body a chance to relax before your meal which will increase your digestive capacity and help your body pull more nutrients from the food you’re eating.
There is also a simple two-step process she uses to calm your body and mind. Keep this handy for the wedding day during those anxious moments before you head down the aisle!
Step One: Put both of your feet firmly on the ground, sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back to open your heart. Close your eyes and take ten full deep breaths in and out.
Step Two: Think of a short, sweet sentence that will become your motivational mantra so that you can instantly become your own energy-boosting guru. For example: "I breathe in energy and exhale anxiety."
For some people, part of feeling their best self on their wedding day may mean losing some unwanted weight. It’s so important to set achievable goals to set yourself up for success and keep the weight off. One of the key techniques to weight loss Rebecca talks about is simply breathing.
“A lot of people don’t know that oxygen is actually a key nutrient to speeding up your metabolism. When you breathe, you burn more energy. Think of building a fire. When you build a fire, you need wood for fuel and good air circulation. The same is true in your gut. You need food for fuel and oxygen to stoke your metabolic fire. This is one of the reasons why physical exercise is so powerful – it increases the body’s oxygen intake and teaches the body to use that oxygen to burn fat even more efficiently.”
A simple way to ensure you are breathing during your meals is to put your utensils down 3 times during your meal. Each time you put your utensils down, take a breath.
Rebecca also spoke about ‘eating mindfully’ which makes so much sense when you really think about it.
“Mindfully eating means taking the time to honour your food by choosing high quality, organic food, preparing it with care and eating it slowly and mindfully using your five senses to really enjoy it.”
How many times have you eaten lunch while working away at your desk only to find that within a few minutes it’s finished but you don’t really remember eating it? Too many!
Good sleep is vital for good health and plays a big part in helping us manage our hormones to ensure we are eating well and feeling energized. With so much going on in our daily lives and the added stress of planning a wedding, it’s no wonder we may not be able to shut off at night and get the rest our body needs. Rebecca has some good habits we can implement to ensure we are feeling more rejuvenated and energized every day. Take note for the night before your wedding too!
1. Practice regular sleep rhythms by going to bed and waking up around the same time each day
2. Create total quiet and darkness in your bedroom.
3. Avoid caffeine or reduce your intake after noon as it affects your sleep dramatically
4. Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes a day because the sunlight triggers your brain to release melatonin, which is vital for healthy sleep
5. Eat no later than two hours before you go to bed because eating a heavy meal before bedtime will impede your body’s natural overnight detoxification process
6. Write down your worried thoughts before bedtime so you can free your mind and drop into a deep and restful sleep
7. Take a hot salt or aromatherapy bath because raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep