Wedding countdown: My bridal toolkit and self-reminders

As my wedding approaches – now a week away – I make plans. I make a list of things I might need with me on the day. I look at my schedule for the week, and each day gets busier. I write in breaks for myself. As my stress level goes up, I notice that I become more sensitive to tactile stimuli once again. I remind myself to breathe, drink water, eat, and to rest as much as I can. I start doing my sensory brushing routine more consistently, and I’ve been doing yoga daily. I’m storing and reserving energy for the upcoming event whenever I can.

My bridal toolkit, things to have with me or nearby in case of need:

  • Water
  • Straws
  • Weighted blanket
  • Weighted lap pad
  • Wrist weights
  • Fidgets (soft fabric, koosh ball, etc)
  • Wilbarger brush
  • Makeup wipes and cotton
  • Lipstick
  • Chapstick
  • Ibuprofen
  • Bandaids
  • Dental floss
  • Lint brush
  • Bobby pins
  • Pen and markers
  • Ginger chews
  • Ginger ale
  • Altoids
  • Extra pair of shoes for reception (just in case)
  • Pashmina (in case it’s cooler)
  • Peanut butter crackers (keep my blood sugar up)
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Toothpicks, Dental Floss
  • Emory board or manicure kit
  • Soothing supplements (as needed)
  • Rescue Remedy lozenges
  • Sunscreen

As the date gets closer, I realize I can plan and anticipate up to a certain point. I can cope ahead, and I also can’t anticipate everything that will unfold. I have self-soothing and sensory skills and tools. It’s comforting to know that I’ll have them, and that my mom will be there to provide direct support, and that I’ll have other support as well. If or when I get overstimulated, I can advocate for myself and I’ll also appoint others to check in with me and run interference when needed. I know it will be a lot, and it may be overwhelming at times, and I will likely need time to recover afterwards. And all of this is okay.

I also want to remind myself: I love ceremonies and rituals, and taking part in them. I enjoy standing in that kind of energy. I’ll be outside in nature, and I’ll be able to easily look up to the sky, out the mountains, down to the valley. I’ll be able to touch a tree and connect, visualizing myself feeling rooted. I can look into my love’s eyes, hold his hand, and take comfort in him, in us, as we deepen our commitment.

While the idea of a reception may be challenging for me with its consistent social aspects, I remind myself I will know almost everyone who is coming. There are coming to love and support us, to celebrate with us. I give myself permission to sit down, take breaks, to dance to move energy, to give myself what I need throughout the process. There may not be many events in my life where the spotlight will focus on me in quite this way. In the end, I want to be present, I want to take it all in. I want to give myself permission to allow myself to be with where I am and how I feel without judgment. I want to savor, enjoy, and experience it for what it is.

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