Mental health is finally getting the long-awaited spotlight it deserves. In our not-so-distant history, countless mental illnesses have been swept under the carpet and ignored, which is surprising considering that, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, about one in five mature in the United States is affected. That’s why it’s so important to be open and understanding when it comes to mental health, because one of your loved ones or even your spouse may be suffering in some way, shape, or form.

Taking care of mental health during marriage planning is also very important. That’s why we consulted with experts Brenna McGee, Reena B, Patel and Sam Von Reiche,

While there are a variety of factors that contribute to and worsen mental illness, stressful life events, like planning a wedding, can sometimes be the catalyst, McGee notes. “With all the outside pressures from family and friends, one of the things that can quickly cause mental health problems when planning a wedding is a loss of self-confidence,” she says. “The fear of meeting expectations — whether it’s yours or someone else’s — and the simultaneous confusion about what’s under your control and what’s not can be overwhelming and isolating.”

Body image issues associated with overwhelming pressure on your wedding day can also help worsen your mental health. “The pressure to make the bride look perfect can easily lead to pre-existing body image and eating disorders,” Von Reiche warns. “The old cliché of the bride starving to passed away before the wedding is very real and very risky.”

To top it off, your to-do list for wedding planning is probably more than you initially expected. In fact, so many brides and grooms are surprised at how comprehensive wedding planning can really be — even if they have hired an expert team of providers. “Wanting to keep control and having difficulties in the distribution of tasks can lead to a real pressure that is quite difficult to manage,” says Patel.

Taking care of your mental health during wedding planning should not only be another thing to do on your laundry list, but a healthy addition to your daily life that reduces Stress and emotional stress. Here, experts share their best-kept secrets for taking care of your mental health throughout the wedding planning process and beyond.

Building a daily mindfulness practice

Meditation brings countless benefits, including stress reduction, relief of anxiety and tension, an increased sense of down-to-earth and much more. “Daily practice has been shown to be beneficial for mental and body health, including a reduction in anxiety and get-down symptoms, a reduction in passion thoughts and negative thought cycles, as well as an increase in positive effects,” says McGee. While 30-minute guided meditations or 15-minute breathing exercises are certainly helpful, just 5-10 minutes a day to make a diary, write gratitude lists or read affirmations can offer many of the same benefits.
“Start small and make it your own—it doesn’t have to look like something specific. Just try to give yourself a little space without judging yourself,” McGee adds.

Working to let perfectionist ideas go

You are far from alone when your wedding day is something you have been dreaming about for most of your life. “Many of us know exactly what we want on our special day and we have had it in mind for years or even decades. However, perfectionism can prepare us for disappointments and many negative feelings,” says Sofia Robirosa MBA, LMFT, CAP, a certified marriage and family therapist in South Florida and author of the book The Business of Marriage. Instead, she recommends focusing on the pleasure of the process and creating a planning environment that does not burn it and in no matter leads to misfortune. “People will remember their wedding day more if they were having fun and having fun,” she adds.

Talk to someone who is not involved in wedding planning

Whether it’s a friend or a therapist, McGee recommends finding an outlet outside of wedding planning where you can let go of some of your excitement, worries, fears, and hope for an unbiased party. “Everything you feel at a given moment is valid and you should be allowed to share it with someone who is not related to your wedding day,” she says. “If you are having difficulties, find a therapist who can help you explore and reorient your own values so that you can make decisions that authentically reflect you.”

Do other Activities with Your Partner than planned

Since there are so many things to do before your wedding day, it’s no surprise that you feel that planning is all you and your partner do and talk about. According to McGee, this should not and should not be the matter. “At the heart of the excitement when planning a wedding is your connection to someone you want to build a life with,” she says. She recommends taking the time to promote the romance and bond that are so important for her future marriage. “If you’re struggling with feelings of isolation or loneliness, share them with your partner,” she says. “Let them in and allow them to support your emotional well-being.”