Tip of the Day #77: How to Handle Post-Wedding Depression
Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most amazing nights of your life. You spend months, sometimes even years, preparing and planning for a lavish one-day party that serves as a public display of your unyielding love for your significant other. I have heard from many clients and friends alike that one of the hardest things to cope with is post-wedding depression, namely the feeling of anxiety and sadness that the wedding planning and celebration has come and gone.
My friend Faye perfectly describes the post-wedding crash as a “life hangover.” She reflects that after weeks of keeping track of painstaking details, playing keeper of family dynamics, watching budgets and experiencing an endless emotional rollercoaster ride, she was so grateful to have her new husband step in and take on the immediate post-wedding brunt to allow her to hibernate (and sleep!) after her wedding.
As reported by ABC News, psychologist Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, and author of “When Depression Hurts Your Relationship,” states that post-wedding depression is, in fact, real. Couples should focus on a wedding as “just the beginning of your life together, not the climax.” With that said, here are our top tips for navigating post-wedding depression and enjoying a life full of wedded bliss.
Wait to Plan Your Honeymoon
Planning a lavish honeymoon can be just as fun as planning a wedding. Many couples that leave for their honeymoons the morning after their weddings cite the experience as hectic and stressful. Vacations take time and effort to plan and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend their post-wedding glow sitting in the United Airlines lounge watching Netflix due to a weather delay.
Take time to research destinations, activities, restaurants and sights with each other. If you received a significant amount of cash from guests and are comfortable spending the money, treat yourselves to a few luxurious travel amenities like massages or high-end restaurants. Make a concerted effort to disconnect from the outside world while traveling and focus on your exciting new life with your main squeeze.
There is one caveat to a delayed honeymoon! The key to a postponed honeymoon is to set aside time to make the planning process a priority. Don’t let your busy schedules take over – make sure the honeymoon happens within six weeks of your wedding to keep the excitement going.
Plan Your Life Past the Wedding
Pull out your calendar and plan fun road trips to visit friends, look at your local town’s event calendar or pick a hobby to develop skills in. One of our newlywed clients decided to take up French and start a personal blog as a positive activity to fill the time and develop her partnership with her husband. C’est magnifique! Focus on the exciting adventures that lay ahead of you rather than dwelling on the past.
My dear friend and newlywed, Taylor, said that after her wedding she and her husband took time to clean out their apartment and donate goods from each of their past apartments to Goodwill and then used some of their monetary wedding gifts to thoughtfully pick out and buy items together to furnish their joint abode. Take time to inventory your wedding gifts, return duplicate or unwanted items and start fresh on decorating your love nest.
Re-Connect with Friends and Family
Many brides cite feeling frustrated about how little time they got to spend with friends and family on their big day. Make the extra effort to plan for holiday get togethers with family to create a feeling of cohesiveness for your newly blended families.
Start New Traditions
Whether you have a favorite road trip spot or both love a good ol’ fashioned Sunday afternoon bacon, egg and cheese from the restaurant up the street, create new traditions to look forward to sharing with your beau.
Keep Dating Exciting
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to act like an old boring couple. Taylor and her husband, Jake, have started a beautiful new tradition. They got married on August 16, 2014 and now have started going out for a special dinner on the 16th of every month since their wedding day. They also picked up a date jar that contains 52 date tips for each week of the year to keep their date nights fresh and exciting.
Throw A Party
Now that you have learned the in’s and out’s of party planning, put your party planning skills to the test and plan a theme party or host a group date night each month. You’ll have a chance to catch up with friends, show off your aptitude for event design, flex your cooking muscles and put all of your gorgeous new flatware and platters on display.
Show Your Gratitude
Take time to write thoughtful thank you cards and visit with your guests, particularly out-of-towners or those who went out of their way to help make your day extra special. I am self-admittedly paper obsessed and have a love affair with snail mail. Obsession aside, I cannot stress enough how important it is to mail out thank you cards within three months of your wedding. You should really aim to send out cards 4-6 weeks after your wedding so that the emotions and memories are fresh in your mind and to show guests how much you truly care and appreciate them being a part of your big day. There is absolutely nothing more embarrassing than receiving a call from your mom inquiring about the missing thank you card your childhood neighbor keeps inquiring about because you got too busy to send out cards. Make the extra effort and your guests will be sure to appreciate the gesture.