8 Ways to Soothe Yourself During Wedding Freak Outs

03/13/2014 04:53 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2014
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Are you freaking out about your wedding? Here are 8 ways to get calmer, fast!

1. Get pampered. Research shows that massage is a great way to relieve stress. For the best stress relief, try foot reflexology. It is like a heavenly foot rub, but more importantly, says leading reflexologist Laura Norman, author of Feet First, "It targets specific areas of the feet that represent organs, and areas of the body. It helps bring healing and rejuvenation, gives you energy and relaxes you." Working on the feet has a way of grounding you and bringing you back into your body.

2. Meditate. Studies show meditation is good for you. There are many ways to include meditation in your pre-wedding self- care plans. You might choose to learn a formal meditative practice, such as TM (Transcendental Meditation) or use a popular meditation CD or video. Or just take 10 minutes a day to be quiet and still. The act of taking time out to slow down, reflect, release tension, and center yourself will do wonders to help you cope with stressful parts of wedding planning. "Meditation helps us to take a break from chaos," says meditation and ritual expert Barbara Biziou. "If a bride makes some form of meditation a regular part of her well-being routine she will find that she wastes less and less energy on worry and reactive behavior and that her capacity for coping with wedding ups and downs increases."

3. Talk to someone. Whether you have a designated listener, a support group, or a therapist, make sure you have a way to blow off steam, work out stress, communicate about fears, and complain about wedding annoyances in a safe place -- without driving friends nutty. Also make sure also you do not get stuck in a state of complaining or whining. Consider connecting with other brides. No one understands better than someone in the same "sorority." There are many websites, such as The Knot, where brides share their experiences, swap ideas, refer vendors, and commiserate about the downside of wedding planning. Or, unload your wedding woes and worries at Confessions of a Bridezilla.

4. Connect with women folk. Many cultures insist on rituals designed to pamper the bride. In some African cultures, women folk adorn the bride with native jewelry before her wedding. In the Hindu tradition, women gather for Henna decorating of the bride and each other and make sure the bride is rested for her wedding day. In China, there is an ancient custom of combing the bride's hair, where a friend or relative runs the comb through for good fortune. In Turkey, "the bride often takes a five day break from premarital stress," according to Timeless Traditions by Lisl Spangleberg. "They pamper themselves and take time relaxing with friends." Look into your own culture for ways to connect with women folk. Also important: Spend non-wedding time with friends, just to relax and unwind, whether it's sharing a meal, a drink, or a cup of tea.

5. Soak and shower. Nothing is more healing than a hot bath and nothing is more cleansing than a shower after a long day of doing "wedding stuff." Water is one of the five sacred elements, and baths and showers cleanse and purify the body. To restore electrolytes to the body, put a cup each of sea salt and Epson salts in you bath and dunk your self completely a few times. In the shower, enjoy a standing meditation and allow the water to wash away your worries and carry them down the drain. There are also aroma therapy bath oils and scented candles that can fill the bathroom with an uplifting or relaxing energy.

6. Breathe. Taking time out to literally catch your breath is something you can do anywhere, any time. "One gateway back into the body is conscious breathing," says author and sex coach, Dr. Patti Britton. "Consciously follow your breath in and out, for maybe four or five minutes. It helps anchor you back inside your skin." If you need a boost of energy, or a moment of stress reduction, breathing can bring immediate relief.

7. Journal. Writing down your deepest thoughts, and documenting your feelings during this time of transition is a great way to make it smoother. It's a chance to release what upsets you onto paper, and is also a way to write down goals and create new ones. Just taking 15 minutes a day to journal can do wonders for adjusting your attitude and enhancing feelings of confidence and hopefulness. "Journaling is a great way to help a bride reduce stress before her wedding," says Dr. Linda Olson, clinical psychologist and therapist based in New Canaan, CT. "The physical act of writing and the visual act of seeing the written word is therapeutic."

8. Pray, daydream and make wishes. It is so important to take time every day to make a wish, get lost in a day dream, or say a prayer when you need support. Don't be shy about taking time to lovingly fantasize about your big day. It will make you feel good to focus on your vision for your wedding and will bring a smile to your face. Remember, when you smile it is impossible to frown or feel stressed.

Planning a wedding can be like having another job. In general, make sure you take time off from wedding planning each week to chill.