This week, I will keep it short, simple, and sweet (with a side of tough-love) as I imagine you may have some last minute shopping or cooking to do. Taking time to be alone is so important. You need space to be able to think for yourself. You need time with yourself to practice gratitude and to simplify. Learning to love alone time with yourself is the key to a healthy, happy life and a wedding day of ease and bliss. Here are 5 beneficial ways to take time for yourself¬†now: 1. Wake early, before your roommate(s) or your fiance. Enjoy a cup of tea. Make time to journal. Do some light yoga or stretching. Make breakfast and prepare for your day in silence (no tv, or try soft music). Waking just 10 minutes early to enjoy some solo-solitude will have you feeling more calm and collected. How you spend your morning is very important in setting the tone for how you feel and react throughout the day. Experiment with these variations and notice how you feel when you step out the door. Smile at the new-found spring in your step. 2. Take lunch away from the desk/technology/co-workers. This is a piece of advice I give to nearly all of my clients. Mindfulness at mealtime is so important for proper digestion, weight management, and maximum absorption of nutrients. Far too often, we swallow our lunch whole, either sitting at a desk while staring at a computer, while responding to messages and social media on our phones, or while gossiping with co-workers in the lunch room. Catching up with a friend over lunch can be food for the soul, but take time to look at your meal, to taste it, smell it, and chew it. Notice your dialogue, and try to include more listening, more positivity, and more gratitude. Focus on the good, and always come back to The Golden Rule. 3. Get in nature. Take 5 minutes to look at the sky, to walk in a nearby park, or on the beach. Don't take the power of nature for granted. We become very detached to it and even I forget the serenity it brings after a day or two without exposure to it. Another way to do this is take a different way home from grocery shopping, or add in more time around your errands to sit on a bench and watch the clouds. We spend so much time and energy rushing from point A to point B without really knowing why. Take control of your place in your environment. And who knows, you may find yourself hugging a tree, or pouring your soul out to the fallen leaves. No judgment here! 4. There are more popular and obvious forms of self-care, like baths, massages, and facials. This can all be done at home to save money and time if you wish. I recommend making this a weekly or bi-weekly practice ‚Äì don't wait for the big day! Caring for your physical body is very therapeutic and increases your ability for self-love and compassion. Self-massage can be done with essential oils, (or sesame or coconut oil from your pantry) or your favorite lotion. It feels especially good on the neck and shoulders or legs and feet, depending on your day job. Facials can be done using pantry items like honey and baking soda, or oats and yogurt. And a warm bath become a luxurious ritual with soft music, candles, and Epsom salts. Make a date with yourself and schedule self-care. It is the easiest way to lower your stress levels and is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. 5. Create boundaries around your wedding. Keep secrets! Have something that will be a surprise. Allow aspects of your union to remain sacred. Share what you wish and keep the rest to yourself. When people ask why, tell them because its what you and your partner want. Feel free to be vague and not show everyone you meet pictures of the dresses you have tried on. I was surprised at how inquisitive mere acquaintances were about the details of our wedding. One day at work last year I was approached in the elevator by someone whom I didn't even know who asked what my veil was going to look like. When I responded that I wasn't wearing one she looked appalled and asked me ‚Äúwhy not?‚Äù. I told her because I didn't want to and changed the subject. It is that simple. Limit the amount of time you actually talk about your wedding ‚Äì it is an important event, not a full-time job. Keeping healthy boundaries around your wedding will also prevent the post-wedding celebration blues that sometimes show up once we return to life as is. Taking time for yourself prevents burn-out and allows you to be more present at family gatherings, holiday parties, dress fittings, and catering meetings. It allows you the space to make decisions that matter. It is necessary for a happy and healthy body, mind, and spirit. You are worth it. [hr] Jennifer Jakes is a Certified Health Coach who is on a mission to support people in living their best life. Through simple recipes, daily motivation, and 6-month programs she helps people achieve their wellness goals. J.J. loves to run, cook, bike, make homemade face masks, be in nature, laugh, play, dance, and find balance as a yogi. She is a student of the world and is always ready for the next book or adventure. Please join her at fastpacedfoodie.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.