If you’ve got a wedding in the works, chances are you’re pretty worked up right now. Even if you’re not facing the possibility (or reality) of having to postpone the day you’ve spent months or years planning for, this is a rough time for everyone.
Because a lot of us are struggling with anxiety right now, last week we brought amazing psychotherapist Pam Custers into our Brides Club to talk us through navigating the Coronavirus crisis as an engaged couple. She and I went live on Facebook and talked about why the current situation is so frightening and what we can do to stay calm. Pam’s generous advice was so helpful I didn’t want to limit it to just our Brides Club members, so I’m sharing her plan of action in this post.
Read on for an action plan from Pam.
1. Accept That Life Throws You Curveballs
The harsh reality this pandemic is awakening some of us to, according to Pam, is that life throws us curveballs. How we manage them is a benchmark for how we manage life.
The current moment is a real test for us to find out how flexible we can be, and how we can manage, at a time when our lives are so deeply disrupted. Times of uncertainty make us feel incredibly disempowered – and that’s now how anyone wants to feel.
Under normal circumstances, being a bride- or groom-to-be is often a very empowering experience – we get to make plans to create the day of our dreams, and while all that choice can be overwhelming, it’s also exhilarating.
2. Shift Your Perspective to Gain Control
Now, the situation has been flipped on its head. It feels like everything’s been taken out of our control as we’re forced to radically reimagine what our weddings might look like. Adding insult to injury, a lot of us are also facing financial struggles we’d never have imagined even two weeks ago.
But Pam truly believes we can regain a sense of control and empowerment in our lives – and our weddings. It will take a shift in perspective, but coming to terms with what we can and cannot control at this time is in itself an act of empowerment.
3. Talk Things Through with Your Partner
Sit down with your partner and start looking at the facts surrounding your wedding. Figure out what’s in your control and what isn’t – and let go of what isn’t. Of the things you can control, work out decisions need to be made, financially, logistically, and emotionally. The best thing you can do right now is to empower yourselves with knowledge of the shifting situation, so that you can revisit your planning decisions in a calm, thoughtful way.
4. Find the Silver Lining
The silver lining in all of this? Life’s not going to stop throwing those curveballs, and dealing with them as a team is a skill you’ll need to have in your toolbox throughout your life together as a couple. Learning to work together with our partners to get through a crisis sooner rather than later can only set your marriage up for success.
5. Keep an Attitude of Gratitude
One last point from Pam – practicing gratitude is vital! Yes, even when it feels like the world is falling apart. Gratitude allows us to maintain perspective – it really lets us step back and see things that are happening now in the context of an entire lifetime.
If you’re still feeling anxious, Pam’s got some more resources available on her blog.
Stay strong, STG family! We’re all in this together.
About Pam Custers
Pam heads The Relationship Practice, where she and her associates help clients achieve healthy relationships – because a good relationship can make the difference between thriving and surviving. Her practice also offers online therapy – just the thing for self-quarantine!