Believe it or not, feeling a bit down in the dumps after your big day is done is surprisingly normal. For the past year, you've put so much time, energy and effort into perfecting every little detail and have been showered with a ton of attention (literally!) from all your friends and family. Then it's like real life kicks in, the high of planning is over and you've got to get back to the daily grind with no fairytale wedding to look forward to. But what if we told you that making a few simple tweaks to your mindset, amongst other things, could totally help turn that frown upside down in no time flat? Here's how to ward off the newlywed blues and achieve your happily ever after.
1. Reframe your expectations
Many women (and men too) come into marriage with completely unrealistic expectations of what it should be like. Instead of holding yourselves to unattainable standards however, really sit down and examine those expectations and see which ones you'd like to hold onto and which ones you should drop, offers marriage coach and consultant Lesli Doares, author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage. "You then need to run those expectations past your partner to get his agreement." As Doares points out, "Unacknowledged expectations are the greatest source of unhappiness for a couple."
2. Focus on the future
Rather than dwelling on the fact that the wedding is over and feeling blue about it, marriage and family therapist Dr. Jane Greer recommends thinking of it as the beginning of your adventure as a married couple. "Focus on the excitement of all the new things that come with that, perhaps changing where you live, changing your last name or simply basking in the joy as your identity transforms from a 'me' to a 'we'."
3. Get some exercise
Activity alleviates anxiety and depression so to beat those newlywed blues, stress management expert Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, advises diving headfirst into a fun fitness routine post-wedding. "Exercise is a wholesome high, which is healthy because it's the most efficient way to move stress hormones out of the body," she explains. "When you exercise, you tend to organize your day around healthy eating, plus you'll look better and boost your confidence." You can always take up a new sport with your hubby, like joining a coed soccer league, or enroll in rock climbing classes together or something new and exciting.
4. Pour your energy into a creative project
Mandel refers to this strategy as creative compensation. "Women are enormously creative and any personal passion like cooking, starting a business, writing, gardening, composing, etc. will stoke the creative fire and fill that empty hole in your heart," she says. It also helps fill the time with something that's personally fulfilling, just as planning your wedding was.
5. Mark your calendar with smaller scale events
One of the best ways to ward off the newlywed blues is to put your planning skills to work again. "In other words, use the energy and mindset that went into planning your perfect day, and start marking your calendar with smaller scale, but just as romantic projects, to create your ideal life together," suggests relationship expert and author April Masini. "Dial up the romance and organize a Friday fondue night, or have fun painting the bathroom a brand new color together on Saturday." Been considering adopting a pet for a while? Head over to the animal shelter on Sunday and see if you meet your perfect match.