For Better Or For Worse…Some Of My Favorite Things

Getting ready for your wedding is a huge undertaking.  As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, now you are planning a wedding.  Many of you are working or in school…or BOTH.  I also know, and can relate to, most brides want to look her best on her wedding day.
Here are some personal favorite things that I have adopted in my life.  With that said…for BETTER OR FOR WORSE…there is an exception to everyone of these points.   And I am going to share those as well.  Nobody is perfect. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the journey of your engagement and wedding planning.  And GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!  Smile a lot.  Laugh a lot.  And if these thing I mention below are part of your focus right now, acknowledge that you are doing the best you can.  Even if you adopt one new behavior, if it helps you find some peace during this extraordinarily busy and sometimes stressful time, then well done to you.  It’s important for me to say that this isn’t a guilt trip nor am I trying to preach in any way!  This is me sharing my perspective and hopefully it will also make you giggle.  For me improvement lies in my own awareness.  I can’t say that I do all of these things every day to perfection, but being aware has pushed me in a better direction!
1.  Yoga – Yoga has been a big part of my life for 15 years.  I started at a gym and then 8 years ago when I could no longer stand the cold room and the clanking of the gym equipment, I made the move to a yoga studio…which I am completely obsessed with.  When I step into that studio and onto my mat, everything about my day goes away.  All of my lists and thinking disappears and I am in a sanctuary where I can BREATHE, take care of my body and let everything go for 90 minutes.  Finding something that makes you refresh your mind and body is a gift.  Whether it is a walk with a friend, meditation, a bike ride or a class at the gym.  Find time for yourself!
SHARE: Do the best you can. Don’t create unrealistic expectations. Try to etch out time to exercise but if something comes up, such is life.  There is always tomorrow!
2.  Skincare – So…I turned 40 in 2012.  GULP.  I am more than 1/2 way to 41 and I am still struggling with that a little bit.  But with the big 4-0 came a major focus on my skin.  I swear I haven’t been this obsessed since my own wedding way back in 1997!  What I can tell you is that while I am not a skincare expert in any way, shape or form, I do have some things that I have found really work.  No gimmicks, I swear!  First off, if you haven’t invested in a Clarisonic, I HIGHLY recommend!  It might just be the best money this girl has ever spent!  It takes a few weeks for your skin to purge (in my experience)…so don’t start using this 2 weeks before your wedding.  Second is another Clarisonic product called the Opal.  And while this is focused on the area around your eyes…I say it can never hurt to start taking care of this area when you are young. Within a few days, I saw an improvement that nothing else has yet to achieve.  Lastly, my most recent obsession, is hand made makeup and skincare from The All Natural Face.  The make all their products in their Framingham store but you can also order online.  These product are amazing.  All vegan, all natural, no chemicals, no additives.  And I swear the make up lasts better than anything I’ve ever used. The other products are made with good organic oils to hydrate your skin yadda yadda yadda… And when I tell you these products are reasonable, that is the understatement of the century.  It’s not a fancy place but the products are great.  It took me a year of a friend telling me to go in (thanks Shannon!) and I’ve been 3 consecutive weeks since!!!
I had the dreaded pimple on my wedding day.  I had been getting regular facials and I made the mistake of going in the day before my wedding.  My esthetician basically started picking around at my skin and wah-la. Guess what I woke up to on my wedding day.  And I am still standing.  My advise?  Go with the flow. Be gentle with yourself…and your skin!
3.  Diet – I have been a vegetarian for 20 years (YIKES).  I have been gluten free for nearly 4 years (by choice…I was recommended by a therapist to try GF to help with inflammation from a car accident).  And do my best to follow an Ayurvedic diet.  We all know that food is our fuel.  And again, I am no expert…just talking from my own experience.  What we eat can make or break us.  Healthy foods make us feel healthy, keep our weight where it should be and give us sustainable energy.
As health conscious as I am…I LOVE my sweets.  Ice cream, sour patch kids, jelly beans…you name it.  The key here is that I do my best.  Don’t deny yourself.  Everything in moderation.
4.  Pamper Yourself – With this one, I could go on and on.  I love massages (if you need an amazing massage therapist see Shannon or Larry Geoghegan at Natick Massage), pedicures, acupuncture, exercising (I know crazy, right?).   I also love jumping rope with my kids, playing with my dog, a good book, dinner with friends, hanging out with my parents and going away for a weekend alone with my hubby.
Let’s be honest when you’re in the thick of it, these things this can feel like another item on your to do list.  But I know for me, etching out time for pure enjoyment can not only be a challenge but often ridden with guilt.  But afterwards, I am always glad I did it!
5.  Smile , Laugh and Breath- Smiling can literally transform your day. Try smiling at someone.  It will change your day when they smile back at you (yes for no reason and yes to a complete stranger).  Laughter is the best medicine.  So laugh a little!  And lastly breathing slow breaths quiets the nervous system.  So take a deep breath!
Unfortunately in our society these things don’t come naturally.  The work ethic in our country, I think, has had an impact on our well being leaving many of us with fast paced, stress induced lives.  I remember at coworkers would tell me they could hear me sighing from down the hall. Good but not good.  I wasn’t breathing well (probably because of stress) and then subconsciously let out this big sigh!  Breathing is something I am focused on improving each day.