Monday, June 1, 2015

Banishing the Post-Wedding Blues

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The Wedding May Be Over, But the Fun is Just Beginning

Originally published in ChicagoStyle Weddings' 2015 Spring Supplement Magazine

Have you ever heard of the post-wedding blues? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Now, as a bride-to-be myself, I sit considering the sadness that could possibly set in starting just a few days after the wedding.

As the honeymoon tan wears off and the seven orange toasters you received as gifts are returned, you start to realize that you’re living with a boy (or girl). Yes, that means a lifetime of those dirty socks sitting one foot away from the hamper. Yes, infinite empty milk jugs in the fridge. And yes, a disturbing amount of toe nail clippings that seem to have escaped the garbage can.

It’s about this time you begin to panic. Your heart rate elevates and you all but chuck your personal copy of CSW across the room in fear of those toe nails. You nearly scream when you hear your partner say, “What’s wrong, honey?” Everyone has given you advice for the big day, but no one bothered to let you know what it’s like after the wedding.

Pause. Seriously, you’re getting way ahead of yourself. But let’s be honest here – the post-wedding blues are very real and can happen to anyone. The way to make sure you don’t head down that dangerous path of frustration is to nip the fear in the bud and take charge. You can do this! We’ve got your back – and a few great ways to keep the spark burning bright after the five-alarm fire that is the day of your wedding.

Keep Calm and Carry On
Now that you know about post-wedding depression, set yourself up for success. Are you exercising three times a week before the wedding? Don’t give it up just because the big day is over! Create a plan now to maintain your beauty routines, your full eight hours of sleep and your wide-eyed excitement about your love. Don’t let anticlimactic feelings ruin the beginning of your forever. You planned for your wedding, now plan for your marriage.

Stick Together
Yes, it can be sad and weird now that the planning is over, but wait! What is that you hear? It’s relaxation calling your name! Take this time to remember why you married your spouse. Cuddle up and enjoy the fact that your phone isn’t buzzing like crazy and you have absolutely no decisions to make, at least for a while. Also, we hear couples massages are pretty great.

Digital Detox
In this fabulous day-and-age, we have the luxury of instantaneous photos at our fingertips constantly. Back in the olden days of film, you had to wait months to see proofs of your images. Now, the day after your wedding you can just hop on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and see all kinds of selfies from your big day.

Sounds amazing, right? It can be, but it can also serve as a reminder that the event is over. It might be better to follow the words of the great Billy Joel and “take the phone of the hook and disappear for a while.” Close up your laptop, put down the smartphone and walk away from the tablet. Distancing yourself from these reminders can help make the transition to every-day life a little bit easier. Plus, it will be that much more exciting when your professional photos arrive.

Get Outta Here
If you’re not taking a honeymoon just yet, try a mini-moon! Living in and around Chicago, there are plenty of amazing escapes for you and your mate to find as you drive off into the sunset. Enjoy a day at the beach in the suburbs or find a spa with a view in the city! Take your honey by the hand and pretend you are far, far away soaking in the sun of a tropical island. You’re guaranteed to feel better just by doing something out of the ordinary.

Get on Your Feet
In addition to the post-wedding blues, there’s also an unfortunate issue called newlywed weight. It occurs when you begin to use all those fancy kitchen tools you registered for months ago. The bread maker you wanted seemed so wonderful. Of course you should use it every day, right? Wrong.

Get a little physical with your partner and work out any stress weight or sadness. While joining a gym may not be your idea of fun, it’s a great opportunity to show off your new signature. If it’s nice out, hop on a bike or take a walk around your neighborhood. Grab a basketball and start a one on one game. A little playful competition never hurt anyone. Loser does the dishes.

Find a New Project
Part of the issue is going from planning at 150 miles per hour to doing nothing. How are you supposed to fill all your time now? It’s okay to start slow, but think about coordinating another event, like a charity fundraiser or your niece’s fourth birthday. No, it won’t be the same. But it will give you the same sensation of having a purpose. Better yet, you’ll be helping others while you help yourself.

Date Night Doldrums
After you’ve been with a person for a long time, having frozen pizza in front of Wheel of Fortune reruns is suddenly considered “date night.” After enough weeks of doing the same thing, anything – even the classic dinner-and-a-movie combo – can get old. Back in the early days, you both made a huge effort and went out of your way to treat your partner like a king/queen. Don’t let that feeling fade!

Make an extra vow that you and your spouse will have a real, fun date night every week. Force yourselves to get out and see what the world has to offer you two. Need an idea? Pretend to be a tourist in Chicago or visit a museum. Try a brand new food or take a cooking class. Organize a potluck game night with friends – you know you and your spouse make the best Scrabble team and the best mac-and-cheese. Skip the grocery store and go fruit picking. Strawberries and blueberries and apples, oh my!

Don’t Let Go
Remember that one Friends episode where Monica wears a wedding dress around the house while cleaning just to feel like a bride? We know that feeling, and we know you do, too. Wearing wedding finery was a big moment in your life. Embrace it. Go ahead and try it on again if you feel the need! It’s okay to hold onto those things that are important to you and make you feel good.

When you’re sad, you do something you love and it perks you back up, right? Well, if a post-nuptial depression sets in, go back to something you loved during the planning process, like arranging centerpieces. You have a table – arrange! If you loved planning your first dance, take a class at your local park district! Find ways to translate what you loved about the wedding to activities you can enjoy in everyday life.

Location, Location, Location
Possibly the best way to rekindle the feelings you had on your big day is to return to the same place where you spent it. Every once in a while, for anniversaries or special occasions, take your sweetheart back to your venue and have dinner or drinks. Top the night off with a bite of cake and the memories will come rushing back, right through your taste buds.

Revisiting your venues can bring the love full circle as you navigate your future. In a few years, renew your vows in the very same ceremony spot. Should a little bundle of joy be arriving down the road, check back with your wedding shower venue. They might just have the perfect afternoon available for a baby shower. The good vibes and memories will resonate through all the new exciting changes.

Your Better Half
Don’t forget that your spouse may be having a hard time, as well. You chose to marry each other in sickness and in health, in craziness or sanity. In becoming engaged - and then married - you promised to support each other no matter what. If you’re feeling sad, open up. Get a good cry out and start working on finding a new normal for yourself as a married individual. Fan - tasize about what your life together will look like in ten, twenty, fifty years. Create something new to look forward to together.

The important part of all this is to remember to tell your loved one how much you appreciate all the little things he or she does for you and how happy you are that you’re now bound in matrimony. Focus on your marriage, encourage one another and be present. The thing is, you’re not getting wedding-ed; you’re getting married. The wedding was a wonderful, grand party, but the marriage is what lasts forever. Toe nails and all.

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