Surviving the post-wedding blues

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The fuss of the wedding is over and you've returned to earth with a big bump. We take a look at how to avoid suffering from the dreaded post-wedding blues.

Surviving the post-wedding blues
The honeymoon glow has faded, the fancy frock is under wraps, the wedding album's looking well-thumbed and you've just finished paying off the caterers... suddenly, you've hit the ground with a big old bump and it feels like the party's over. Hey, girlfriend! Fret ye not - it can sure be a shock to the system, but you haven't fallen out of love with your one-and-only; you've just got a touch of those not-so-newly-wed blues.

Think about it... ever since the proposal, it's been one long round of plans, preparations, gearing up and anticipation - however grand or modest your nuptials were. Yep, there's nothing like a wedding on the horizon to galvanise you both, and planning that magical day gives you a reason to be excited like no other. (OK, of course we know these things can be horribly stressful, too; but even when things get complicated, you're still busily focussed on making your big day the best it can be.)

The point is, when it's all over, it might feel as if there's nothing on the horizon to look forward to. Well, apart from, of course, the rest of your life together... First off, remember to keep things in perspective; you may well feel a certain amount of anti-climax after the romantic whirlwind has died down and you're not the centre of attention any more. But hang on; you couldn't sustain that high if you wanted to - life would be pretty surreal if that was the norm.

Kate, 34, felt pretty down after the heady heights of her dreamy day. "Three days after we came back from our fantastic honeymoon in Thailand, I felt shattered and a bit listless. Mark went back to work before I did and suddenly it was if I'd dreamt the whole wedding - I started to wonder what had been the point of it all. I felt tired and emotional."

If, like Kate, you feel exhausted after the adrenaline and buzz has disappeared, allow yourself a bit of rest and relaxation. Once things have settled down a bit, you can easily find ways to launch yourself into married life with zest and vigour.

Here are a few tips for once the dust has settled to help keep the spirit of your wedding day alive as you take your first steps together as Mr and Mrs...

Set aside special time each month or so where you choose to focus on each other. You could take it in turns to arrange a treat - a favourite restaurant, the theatre or the cinema, hot-air ballooning or a city break. Be inventive - you could even try a high-octane activity together, like sky-diving or paragliding, if you're feeling a bit racy! Seeing all your friends supporting you on your big day can be a wonderful reminder of how much support, care and love you have in your life. So, why not make time for those cherished people: you know, those ones that you always say you should see more of, but never get round to arranging anything with. Invite them over for dinner or plan a weekend away to visit them. Create your next holiday! Even if it's 12 months off, you can still have fun poring over brochures, surfing the net and deciding on a dream destination together. You could pull the stops out and vow to make each holiday like another honeymoon, whatever your budget. And where would you like to be for your first anniversary? Now that you're feeling truly secure with one another, your love life can move up an extra gear.

To up the ante; try arranging to meet each other in a bar - but chat each other up as strangers. You get the thrill of knowing that you do really fancy each other and the excitement of a bit of role-play thrown in. You'll have endless fun pretending to eye each other up, knowing ultimately that you'll be leaving the bar together. (Oh, and don't forget to wear those saucy/tasteful/cheeky wedding undies to keep those home-fires burning once you do get back to that rose-petal-strewn bed.)

Give yourself a treat now and again. It may feel indulgent to have facials and massages and manicures, but why should brides-to-be get all the pampering? You know you're worth it, and - however shallow it may seem - a sassy haircut and glowing skin can instantly lift your self-esteem when you're feeling a bit blue. Finally, don't forget, although your mates and family might not be so keen on reliving your wedding day, you two can reminisce as much as you like! Make time to watch the wedding video, look over the photos and have another slice of that wedding cake tier you saved just for you two!

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