So, I had my wedding this weekend!

Phew. That was amazing, perfect, beautiful… and stressful. The planning, the pretreating, the details. So. many. details. More on the wedding to come as I’m still decompressing. There will be a full recap soon!

Health and wellness are so much more than just eating healthy. Sure, it’s the foundation of health, but it’s not everything. Our overall emotional health is crucial to staying well, and clearly stress is a huge threat to our emotional health. Stressful moments are just part of life, and how we handle them play such a huge role in our overall wellness.

People were pretty shocked when I told them I didn’t have a wedding planner. What with working a full-time job, consulting on the side, writing this blog, never eating out and home cooking every single meal for both Daniel and I while following a strict rotation AIP/Paleo diet, and going back to school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I’ve been a bit busy. However, I was so incredibly blessed to have amazing parents on both sides who helped greatly with planning my wedding. My in-laws are creative geniuses and it’ll show when I share pictures soon. Still, I had a good amount of stress for the whole thing too that really was a potential threat to my health.

Not to say that my wedding was totally paleo as I wasn’t interested in planning all of that as well, but my eats were definitely paleo, gluten free and grain free for myself and a few more celiac guests. So, throw “make a small grain free wedding cake” on top of everything else, and man… it was just a lot.

Yet, here I sit, still pretty exhausted, but out on the other side alive!

                                                    Here’s how I handled stress during my wedding planning….

1. I practiced mindfulness.

Just taking time to breathe, asses how you’re feeling, and really thinking through situations makes  such a huge difference. In the craziness of it all, the only way I found time to de-stress was waking up early and taking time to meditate, pray, and be mindful on what I had to accomplish for the day.

2. I took advantage of the freezer.

    Meal prep was the last thing that I wanted to do. But, I follow a strict rotation diet so it’s totally necessary. I mean, really, I do actually like to meal prep. It makes me feel so accomplished and really helps clear up my week when I prep ahead of time, but I just literally did not have the time or the stamina every week. That’s where the freezer came in handy.

I would buy things like 5 lbs of fresh brussels sprouts at a time, chop them all up, cook about 1/4th of them and then freeze the rest raw in portions. That way, when I was ready for more later in the week, I would just dump them onto a baking sheet, pour on some bacon fat and I was good to go.

The same went for things like chicken. I would buy a whole chicken, bake it on a Saturday night, eat some during the week, and then freeze the rest. Not to mention I also made and froze lots of bone broth!

It was also helpful to portion out meals, and freeze them all ready to go. That way I could just pull them out of the freezer the night before and I was good!

3. Yoga was my friend.

Anyone who is a fairly active person can tell you that exercise makes them feel energized and refreshed. Now, I do CrossFit and it requires a lot of intensity. Honestly, I just wasn’t feeling very intense. So I got a Groupon for a yoga studio close by and it was a life saver! I was still able to get my heart rate up, while not draining anymore energy. Not to say I’m done with CrossFit, but it just wasn’t what my body wanted.

The studio that I started attending, Balancing Energy, was nothing short of great. I’ll be incorporating much more yoga into my routine after I get back from my honeymoon.

4. So were baths. 

Because who doesn’t love relaxing with a bath?

5. I took more time to pray

I am seriously hashtag-blessed to work at a ministry where we devote 30 minutes to prayer a day, and I really embraced this time as well as more during my wedding planning. Spending time with prayer and with God was so calming, and put everything into perspective.

So, now that it’s all said and done, I’m a bit sad. I loved being a bride and seeing my family, but next up is the honeymoon! I’m leaving this Friday and won’t be back until November so things will be a little bit quiet here, but I can’t wait to share more when I return!

We’re going to Florence, Italy, so lots of fun pictures to come.

How do you stay calm and handle stress during stressful times in life?