Carpe Diem. Seize the day. It’s such a grand phrase, like you should be swanning about in white robes and an excellent beard, but in reality, when we’re flinging ourselves from work to school run to the gym (ha! Or not), ‘seizing the day’ seems to fade to ‘fumbling at the day with your jumper on inside out and your skirt tucked into your knickers’. Throw planning a wedding into the mix, and it’s a wonder that our brains can function at all. But seizing the day isn’t about seeing how much we can squeeze into 24 hours; it’s about doing something meaningful today that makes tomorrow a better place to be.
Weddings are beautiful occasions that mark the beginning of a wonderful new era, but for a lot of couples, the planning can feel stressful, overwhelming and as far from ‘seizing the day’ as a person can get (oh hey Covid, we see you). With so many decisions to make, feeling confident and secure about making the right choices can bring on waves of anxiety. But it’s all about taking one day at a time, focusing on what we’re doing in the here and now, and taking care of ourselves and our busy brains so that we are able to function from a place of self-assurance. So, how can we be intentional about taking action today to make our tomorrows a bit brighter?
I like to think about three things when it comes to (fanfare please) Seizing The Day.
It’s so easy to take life for granted. Often, the ordinary everyday slides past our senses. Starting from a place of gratitude, with a positive state of mind means we’re approaching the day with hope, rather than stress. Every morning, list three things you’re grateful for – speak them out. Step outside, feel the fresh air in your lungs and be thankful for a sunrise, the wind in the trees or the changing seasons – life moving. Gratitude helps us look outside ourselves at the world around us – at the people, places and things we ‘do life’ with. So, on the flip side, what are the things that aren’t so important? Can we set them down to make our tomorrows clearer and less intimidating? Look again with fresh eyes at your wedding planning – is there anything that’s really stressing you out? How can you simplify, amend or edit your plans to relieve that pressure you’re feeling?
Do one thing every day that scares you
We’ve got Baz Luhrmann’s 1990s hit, Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen), to thank for highlighting this one, but I think it’s a sure-fire way to feel a sense of achievement every day. It doesn’t have to be extreme – you don’t have to be throwing yourself from a helicopter on the daily, just a little thing you can be proud of. Have a think, compile a list and go for it! Make a phone call, go to that taekwondo class, smile at a stranger… Or have a go at something on your wedmin list that you’ve been putting off. A growing sense of achievement builds confidence in our own abilities and encourages us to be bold, with a positive outlook each day. We CAN do this!
Take a moment for you
Far from being selfish, self-care is all about looking after yourself so you have the strength to take care of others. I’m not talking about shutting yourself away for hours of ‘me-time’ – although I do wish I had time for that! Just a few minutes each day to do something YOU want to do. Step away from your planning and re-energise so you’ve got the passion to seize the day for yourself. Escape in a chapter of a book, listen to your favourite song, find a horizon and take a few deep breaths. Remember who you are and what makes you happy, rather than all the demands that are on your life. It’s crucial that we care about ourselves today so that we’re ready to tackle tomorrow.
We can and should be doing all these things every day. Daily moments to be thankful, challenge ourselves and look after our own mental strength lay a positive foundation from which we can grab life and run with all the joy and determination that lies inside us. Which is exactly what your marriage should be full of – joy, determination and, of course, love. If wedding planning gets a little too much, try and look ahead and focus on your marriage. We all feel overwhelmed at times, but be kind to yourself; stop, take a breath, then Carpe the absolute Diem out of your day.
About the author
LJ Stocks is a copywriter from Buckinghamshire and author of recipe book, ‘There’s Always Cake in my House’. She also hosts The Freelancers Club podcast, encouraging and supporting freelancers around the world. When she’s not writing you can usually find her in the muddy countryside with her boys. Or a shoe shop. Instagram @thefreelancersclub.