How To Stay Healthy, Happy + Sane (And Move Forward): The Wedding Series
Yesterday marked 5 glorious months of married life with my man and my oh my does time fly! As I sit down to write this final instalment in the wedding series (yep, I assure you it is the last one!), it’s time to get a little vulnerable and share some of my biggest lessons throughout this wonderfully exciting time as a newlywed. I know I keep banging on about all these lessons but it would be rude not to share, right?! I’d love to open up the juicy conversation of life post wedding because to be honest –it’s a conversation that is missing amongst the swoon worthy photos and ‘2017 Wedding Trend’ articles.
So much effort, energy and planning goes into the actual day but what happens once the honeymoon is over and life goes back to…well…normal? I know everyone is different and I can only speak from experience here but amongst that bubble of newlywed bliss, I also felt a sense of sadness start to sink in after the big day.
Thoughts such as;
“The day went so quickly. I wish we could do it all again!” and
“I can’t believe it’s over?!”…was the first wave of feelings and emotions. I know this is quite common for other’s too.
Then I totally got side swiped by comparison and perfectionism. Despite feeling elated to have married my love and the day unfolding without a hitch – I couldn’t help but start to unpack and nit-pick all the things that I could have done differently. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have changed a thing but Negative Nancy was out in full force.
As I continued to scroll through my social media feed, full to the brim of beautiful wedding related things, I started to imagine what it would be like If I had worn THAT dress, or decided on that hair style. I kept over-analysing and over-thinking all the tiny details (which now have no impact whatsoever on my day-to day life ha!).
A magical feeling would light me up when I looked through our wedding photos or watched our video but then the judgemental version of Tash would turn-around and say “But it could have been better if …” Urgh! It makes me cringe even writing that.
I know how ridiculous it may sound but post-wedding blues is a thing and it had a pretty tight grip on me. As much as I’d like to think it was harmless – continuing to scroll through other dreamy wedding pictures on social media completely fed into that negative spiral and grief too.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! One thing that has never wavered is my love, joy and complete adoration for my husband (which is uh…kinda the point of the wedding ya’ know!) I knew I needed to put things into perspective but I also needed to feel all the feelings and that’s one thing that we can deny ourselves throughout these big life transitions.
There are so many expectations that we place upon ourselves, especially surrounding how we think we ‘should’ think and feel after a big milestone. This can be just as detrimental to our wellbeing! Yes, it’s a happy time but please know that it’s ok if you feel a little sad (for whatever reason) after the wedding too.
Just when you think you’ve moved on and are ready to move forward, emotions may still feel heightened months after the wedding. The extra headspace allows us to reflect on dreams being realised, whilst simultaneously shifting our focus towards life areas that need attention or ‘improvement’. Oh and let’s not forget those common, well intentioned remarks from others asking “When are you having babies?!”. *Struggles to look after oneself let alone another human being*
With all that being said, there are things that have helped me immensely to keep my heart and mind in check and navigate all the feels throughout this new chapter as a married woman. Here are just a few:
Check yo’self and your expectations
For someone that classifies themselves as a recovering perfectionist, I know I can be pretty hard on myself and with that also comes certain expectations of how I’d like to show up and how I expect things to pan out. If your expectations have become a little skewed along the way, or if you’d like to learn how to release those expectations, this podcast by Connie Chapman really helped to put things into perspective for me. Not only did this help me to ease that pressure/expectation surrounding the wedding, but in life in general!
Acceptance + an understanding of where these expectations are coming from = healing. And most importantly, a way forward.
The Four Agreements
If there is one book that I could recommend to anyone who is experiencing big life transitions and are wanting to invite more inner peace and grace into their lives, the book ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz has been life-changing for me. Coincidently, I read it during my engagement and I honestly believe that the principles in this book helped me to stay healthy, happy and sane throughout not only planning our wedding, but also navigating a new job and moving house in that same year (#cray!). Things that would normally have thrown me off, or upset me, didn’t affect me or stress me as much because I had this self-awareness. The Four Agreements are:
- Be Impeccable with Your Word
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best.
It’s simple, but oh so worth a read.
Embrace + Lean On People That Make You Feel Safe
For someone who didn’t feel they had a ‘legitimate’ reason to feel sad (and had every reason to feel grateful!) I had to lean on people that made me feel safe to express myself and that made me feel heard. I knew that in order to move forward I had to process these feelings instead of shutting them down. Having the support from Jimmy, loved ones and even seeking out a psychologist after what has been an epic 12 months of change has helped me to acknowledge that I am human. It’s allowed me to be extra gentle with myself, and we could all do with a bit more gentleness and compassion don’t you think?
Focus On All That is Good!
Married life truly has been amazing so far. People say nothing really changes, but at the same time – it does (in a good way). It’s the little, everyday things that bring me the most joy like hearing Jimmy say, ‘How is my wife going?’ when he gets home. And the comfort in officially becoming a family, enjoying every moment of our life as it is now – just the two of us.
Focusing on all that is good and all the exciting things to come has helped me to see that the wedding is really just one part of our story, which will inevitably be filled with many up’s and downs, good times and bad throughout our marriage. The best part is being able to do it together.
I’d love to know whether you experienced some form of post wedding blues as a newlywed? What helped you to move forward and embrace a new phase? And for the bride-to-be’s out there, have you thought about life post wedding too? What do you think will best support you throughout this transition?
Thank you so very much for reading and allowing me to share this special journey with you. Whilst the wedding series has come to an end, this is just the beginning of sharing more thoughts on life, love and courageously navigating the many transitions we experience as young women.
Ps. You can find all previous posts within the Wedding Series by typing in ‘wedding’ in the search tab here. If you have engaged/newly married friends in your life, feel free to share it with them too.