If you’re planning a wedding, you know that amidst all of the checklists, luncheons, flights, hotels, and table arrangements to organize, staying on top of your physical and emotional health ahead of the big day can easily fall by the wayside. But feeling great on your wedding day is equally as important as making sure you don’t sit your aunt next to the cousin she never got along with.
Prepping your body, mind, skin, and hair so that you feel radiant on your special day isn’t just for the photos; it’s also a great way to pause and take some time for self-care during an otherwise hectic (but fun!) season of life.
We’re rounding up 7 healthy habits to implement into your life so that you look great on the outside, feel good on the inside, and head into your special day with confidence galore.
7 Healthy Habits for Your Wedding Countdown
1. Start Taking Vitamins
If you’re aiming for that “glowing from the inside out” look on your wedding day, then occasionally remembering to take a multivitamin likely isn’t going to cut it! Though beauty supplements can often get a rap for being marketing ploys, most of them are effective because they’re actually just vitamins containing hefty doses of ingredients targeted to enhance the vitality of your skin, hair, and nails.
We recommend starting with a daily fish oil supplement, which is packed with omega-3’s that help strengthen and give shine to dull, dry hair. For skin that gives off a dewy, healthy glow, take a combination of vitamin A (which encourages skin cell production), B-complex (also known as niacinamide, which helps build keratin within the skin, minimizes redness, fights off acne, treats hyperpigmentation, and boasts a whole lot of other benefits for your skin), and zinc, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps to calm acne and reduce the appearance of scars over time.
If buying each of these separately is just going to add to your long wedding to-do list, opt for an all-in-one beauty supplement, which usually packs all of the mentioned ingredients into one handy vitamin.
2. Up Your Water Intake
Wonder just how much water you should really be drinking every day? It’s a simple question that’s often met with a lot of different answers. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the adequate amount of water you should intake each day is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
Another way to find out how much water you should be drinking on the daily is by calculating how much water you need based on your weight. The basic equation is by dividing the amount of your body weight in half and then drinking that much water in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to drink about 75 ounces of water each day. If you’re working out, under lots of stress, and generally feel like your health could be improved upon, feel free to up the number of ounces your body requires to function in top form.
When you’re drinking the right amount of water, virtually every aspect of the inner and outer workings of your body can benefit. After all, our bodies are made up of 60% water. Some of these benefits from adequate water intake include better metabolization of carbohydrates and proteins within our bodies, encourages skin cell turnover and reproduction, and helps to flush waste out of our system and aid in digestion, which in turn helps the appearance of skin, hair, and nails to look stronger, firmer, and healthier.
3. Bring in the Superfoods
Superfoods are groups of mostly plant-based foods that include high levels of nutrients like antioxidants, contain healthy fats and fiber, pack higher punches of minerals and vitamins within our bodies, aren’t inherently inflammatory, and help neutralize free radicals within the body. In short, they’re foods that aren’t going to bloat you, fatigue you, or risk making your skin break out or look sallow and dull.
If you don’t already, consider introducing these foods into your diet a few months ahead of the wedding so that you can reap all their benefits ahead of the big day. Here are some of the best superfoods out there:
Kale & other leafy greens like spinach and arugula
4. Kick out the Carbs
Sometimes, in the thick of wedding planning, all you want to do after a day of phone calls and decisions is to sit back and enjoy a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. We think taking time to unwind and indulge in moderation can sometimes be the only thing that can get you through hectic seasons like wedding planning, but cutting down on carbs at least a couple of months in advance of your special day can really do wonders for that inner and outer glow we keep mentioning. Ditching bread, pasta, rice, and other grains may help you avoid bloating and other digestion issues before your wedding day. Similarly, an overload of carbs can fatigue you, and won’t produce any of the natural energy you can get from eating more lean proteins and vegetables.
As a side note, we don’t recommend any form of crash dieting in the lead up to your day. Instead, try implementing more plant-based foods into your diet, and saying no to foods with high sugar content. You'll want to remember to keep some protein on hand for the day-of, so you don't risk faltering in between the ceremony and photos. Have your trusted MOH, best man, or wedding planner pack some healthy snacks, like these Grandma's Lemon Square mini protein bars, to distribute during times of low fuel.
5. Get Your Body Moving
Maybe you don’t have a gym membership and you’re not one to clock in a few miles on a nightly run. Even if “working out” isn’t really your thing, getting your body moving on a regular basis in the month or two leading up to your wedding day is a great way to de-stress, helps give you energy and invigoration, and can act as a welcome distraction as things start to get busy.
Taking a nightly walk, dancing around the house, trying pilates, and even doing core exercises on the floor at home are all great ways to get your blood pumping and help to tighten, tone, and calm your body before your wedding day.
6. Try Meditating or Creating a list of Gratitudes
Meditating doesn’t mean you have to light a bunch of candles in your house, turn on soft new age music, and try and tap into your higher self every morning. Meditating can simply mean sitting in silence for five minutes, focusing on your breath and your body and giving yourself time to pause all of the busy-ness that wedding planning brings. Try downloading an app like Headspace, which will guide you through short and easy meditations meant to calm the mind and body.
If meditating just really isn’t going to happen, try instead to write down a few things you’re grateful for every morning. These don’t have to be wedding-related! Perhaps things are going well at work or a new friend has come into your life whom you’ve enjoyed spending time with. It can even be as something as simple as being thankful for your health. Whatever your gratitudes are each day, writing them down helps to put things in perspective during a time that can feel stressful and chaotic.
7. Get More Sleep
Are we crazy for suggesting that? We know it might seem like a lofty idea, given most of your nights will probably be spent moving through your wedding to-do list, but sleeping between 7-8 hours every night can help decrease levels of stress, fight inflammation, release higher amounts of cytokines (or compounds that protect your immune system, which you’ll want in mint condition before the big day), and—a big bonus here—7-8 hours a night can help to manage your appetite, because when you’re sleep deprived, your body releases chemicals that signal hunger.
If getting more sleep has always been more difficult for you, try starting an evening self-care routine that sees you getting ready for bed in a calm and enjoyable way. Maybe that’s brewing chamomile tea each night, reading a few pages of a book, and taking a handful of deep breaths or stretching before getting into bed every night. Creating a routine that encourages calm can help you relax and fall asleep faster each night, giving you more time for resting and less time for thinking about what color napkins will go best with the tablecloths at the reception!
Emma Trevino is a freelance writer who splits her time between Los Angeles and Wimberley, a small town situated on the Blanco River just outside of Austin. She's combined her passion for wellness and beauty with her knack for telling stories to help brands communicate their narrative in an honest way. When she's not writing, you can find her swimming in the river, growing veggies in her garden, finding tasty natural wines, and reading on her porch.