by guest blogger, Randi Ragan
For Body (B), Mind (M), and Spirit (S)
1) (B) Do yoga at least once or twice a week. Ask your instructor for poses that support back health and flexibility, as well as poses which strengthen the legs. These are two areas of your body that will receive the most stress on your wedding day from continual standing, very little sitting down, and (hopefully) several hours of dancing!
2) (S) Make time to take long walks with your Beloved. In addition to being great exercise, it is quiet, uninterrupted bonding time which will continue to lay the framework for a healthy relationship long after the actual wedding ceremony.
3) (M) Learn deep breathing and simple meditation techniques. Breathing deeply
4) (M) Work with aromatherapy to alter moods. Essential oils can be found online or in your local health food store. Dab on a cotton ball or cloth handkerchief and inhale.
Lavender is an excellent scent for calming and soothing; Geranium is for joy and uplift, Bergamot for insight and confidence, and Clary Sage for fatigue and burnout.
5) (B) Get regular facials (2 x mo), up to one week before wedding. Just as you would not jog around the block to prepare for a marathon, nor would you wait until the day before your wedding to get a facial. Preparing and nurturing your innate natural beauty with regular facials (with organic products, if possible), will have your skin glowing and in the most perfect state for all your photographs. In times of stress, and because they help release toxins from the skin, a really deep cleansing facial can cause temporary breakouts, so give your skin time to settle before the big day.
6) (B) Never let them see you sweat: natural ways to fight BO and reduce perspiration. No need to worry about ruining that beautiful wedding dress or even feeling stressed about how your stress will show up. Make it a point to use pH-balanced soaps and skincare products to maintain the protective acid mantle of your skin. Certain foods, such as meat, onions, garlic, exotic spices, and drinks such as coffee and alcohol, and smoking can lead to body odor. Cut down on dairy products and sugar - protect your gastro tract from yeast-enhancing sugar which spawns underarm bacteria and odor. One or two chlorophyll tablets or chlorophyll liquid taken with each meal may also help, as chlorophyll is a great deodorizer. In addition to your deodorant, try using a mild solution of hydrogen peroxide (3%) that can be picked up at the pharmacy. Put a teaspoonful in a glass of water and wash the underarm.
7) (S/M) Keep a journal. Write down any and all random thoughts, dreams you can remember (even fragments), conversations you’ve had, wish lists. It all has the effect of helping both your conscious mind and your inner life process the changes that are occurring in your life. There is no better therapy, and it lays the groundwork for huge insights and problem solving that help mitigate stress. And as everyone knows, stress shows up on your face.
8) (B/M): Eat smartly for beautiful skin, hair, nails, and to regulate moods. Food is fuel, and food is beauty. Conscious eating can also reduce stress. Pack protein rich small meals on the run on those days with tons of appointments and fittings: raw almonds, peanut butter and crackers, cheese sticks, or grab a smoothie instead of a soda or triple espresso. Omega 3, 6 and 9 create that healthy glow in the face and are found in salmon, flax seeds, and walnuts. Blueberries lower blood pressure and are crazy with antioxidants, kale and oranges have a high calcium content which keep hair and nails strong, carrots contain Vitamin A which eliminates ridges in the nail bed. Anything with folic acid in it will help stabilize mood swings: whole grain breads, chickpeas are the best source.
9) (B/M) Get regular therapeutic massage, especially the week before the wedding day. An obvious, but sometimes overlooked remedy for releasing pent up stress and tension. When you are in harmony with your physical being, in all ways, then the mind/body connection becomes paramount and something not to ignore. Massages can help reduce incidences of stress headaches, upset stomach, and insomnia.
10) (B) Get a hand and foot pampering treatment with a non-toxic manicure and pedicure.
Get this treatment a day or two before the wedding from a service that can give a luxurious and complete (at least 75 minutes) experience. Your hands will be immortalized forever in the ring photos, so they should look their absolute best. Your treatment should include a long soak, exfoliation, massage and really great, organic (if possible) products. The polishes should be high quality and listed as “Three-free” to assure they do not contain harmful chemicals. You can always source polishes on-line or from local health food store’s beauty department, and take with you to the salon.
Randi is the owner of GreenBliss EcoSpa, Los Angeles’ award-winning mobile spa and lifestyle company. She is a former yoga and meditation teacher, and regularly speaks, leads workshops and retreats, and writes about mindful self care for optimum health and beauty.