How To Manage Depression Leading Up To Your Wedding

If you experience the mental illness that is depression, you worry about how it’s going to affect your everyday life. And in times of great stress, or when lots of people are relying on you to keep your mental health in check, it gets even harder. That’s why the time leading up to your wedding is such a hard time. Sure, it can be fun to think about bridesmaid dresses and your favorite band playing at your reception, but there are many people to think about and decisions to make. What if two people next to each other cause drama? And what if it’s too much pressure, and you’re doubting your commitment in the first place?

The fact is, it’s going to be a challenge. Everything is when you’re struggling with depression. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to manage it best–and here’s how.

Understand your stressors

The first thing anyone with depression or anxiety issues needs to understand is what sets them off. For example, if your mother’s criticisms always stress you out, set up some boundaries with her. For example, don’t answer the phone unless someone else is in the room with you for emotional support, and have someone else handle the emails she sends you. Otherwise, you might end up falling into a spiral that’s one you’ve been falling into since you were a teenager, which might freak out your future spouse or cause your maid of honor to call you a Bridezilla.

If you haven’t identified your stressors already, it’s a good idea to sit down with your future husband or wife and talk about what they may be. What causes you to reach for a glass of wine or sit in your room in the dark for six hours? Tackle these early on, and if you need a therapist to learn what they are, it’s worth putting in the time. In 2016, 21 percent of women had a mental illness, and that’s only women. That goes to show that even if we don’t talk about it, these are still real issues that affect a huge number of Americans.

Have one “no wedding talk” day a week

Sometimes, the easiest way to get away from your stressors is by finding other activities to replace them. If the wedding is stressing you the way a logo designer gets stressed before a big deadline, then it’s smart to reserve one day a week when you don’t talk about the wedding at all. Don’t answer calls or emails related to it, and don’t schedule any dress fittings or cake tastings that day. Give yourself that day to catch up on your normal life admin. Get home and act like you did before, whether that’s going to the gym or watching some Netflix.

In this same vein, it’s smart to plan a special day that’s just for you. Give yourself one day a week (on the weekend, preferably) to do what you love. Go for a hike, or go to a spa. Considering that, in 2016, the spa industry was worth $16.8 billion, you’ll find the right thing to relax you and make you feel like you’re back to normal.

All of this being said, we know that however well you’re treating yourself, you’re always going to have hard days when you’re depressed. Even if you think you’re doing all you can, if you’ve been prescribed medication or a certain number of hours of therapy a week, keep doing that. It’s essential for your health.

Don’t rely on alcohol

It’s also easy during this busy time to drink too much. Or rely on other habits that aren’t healthy for you. However tempting it may be, you’re only going to wake up more depressed (and probably hungover). You’re not alone, of course: many people have drinking problems, and it’s proven by statistics like the fact that fetal alcohol disorders are up to ten times more common than believed.

The last thing you want in the months leading up to your wedding is developing an unhealthy addiction. It’s empty calories and will worsen your depression, which will also have unwanted physical effects. If you think now that you’re super-stressed your drinking habits are getting even worse, bring this up with a professional to find healthy solutions for dealing with stress.

You may never find the perfect balance between your depression and these busy times in your life, but by using these strategies, you’ll be doing the best you can, and the people you love will understand. They know that what matters most is your happiness on your big day, and they’ll support you during this time no matter what.

What other strategies will work for managing your depression in the months leading up to your wedding?