If there’s one day in your life where you’d like the least amount of things to go wrong, it’s probably your wedding day. Of course, nothing is perfect, and even the bride and groom aren’t invincible to falling ill—and it can be difficult to know how to avoid getting sick before your big day. Given the amount of stress and pressure you’re under, it’s no surprise if your immune systems are slightly underperforming.
“It’s so common to see brides and grooms experiencing a weakened immune system before their wedding day, which results from stress, premarital jitters, fatigue, etc.” says Dr. Dawne Kort, attending physician at CityMD. For this reason, it’s important to stay as calm and relaxed as possible and to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to keep infections at bay.
So what can you do to avoid getting sick before your big day? Here are some doctor-approved strategies.
You’ve probably heard this a million times—from everyone including your wedding planner to your in-laws—but organization helps decrease the stress and anxiety that is known to lower your immune system before the big day. Instead of letting all of the to-dos fall on your shoulders, turn to your wedding party and family members for help. You can also benefit from online support groups, like the forums on WeddingWire, to relate to other couples going through the same planning process. “Learning from others and finding inspiration can help mitigate wedding stress,” says Dr. Kort.
Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
Eating right is something you should try to do on a daily basis even when you’re not in the throes of wedding planner, but Dr. Kort says that it’s especially important when you’re under stress—and if you’re wondering how to avoid getting sick. What foods are best? She recommends getting a ton of vitamins C (citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, papaya are all great immune system boosters) as well as vitamin D (yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, tofu, etc.), which regulates the immune system and boosts the body's defense against disease. “Almonds, which are high in vitamin E, also plays a key role in immune health,” she adds. “Other key ingredients for a well-balanced diet include turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory, and green tea, a natural antioxidant.”
Add in exercise
When you’re so busy coordinating the nitty-gritty details of your big day, something as seemingly unimportant as exercise might be the first thing to cross of your plans, but Dr. Kort says this is a big mistake. In fact, exercise is one of the key ways to keep your immune system strong, especially if you’re asking how to avoid getting sick. “The oxygen and deep breathing that exercise forces you to do is part of what helps keep you healthy,” she explains. “Exercising can also aid in relieving stress and keeping mental health in check.” He recommends that brides and grooms aim to exercise at least a few times a week.
Don’t forget to rest
When your last-minute to-do list is piling sky high, it can be easy to catch up on tasks at the end of the night or early morning, but doing so can seriously cut into your sleep schedule if you’re not careful. “Sleeping rejuvenates the body and fosters immune health,” explains Dr. Kort. “Eight solid hours of uninterrupted sleep, at minimum, is recommended.” Once all of the big-ticket action items on your to-do list have been taken care of, put down your phone, close your wedding planner and let yourself doze off into a peaceful slumber.
Drinking enough water is also a key component to promoting immune health—and one of the important ways to avoid getting sick. “Most people do not drink enough water when they are well and certainly do not drink enough when they are stressed or ill!” Dr. Kort says. “Drinking water and other clear liquids flushes toxins and ensures that cells get all the oxygen they need to function.” As an added perk, keeping hydrated can keep your skin glowing!
The power of deep breathing is something you shouldn’t underestimate. “Since stress is one of the biggest threats to our health, cell regeneration is an important way that our immune system stays healthy,” Dr. Kort explains. “Cells cannot regenerate without oxygen, and breathing is the fastest and most efficient way for our bodies to intake oxygen.” Whenever you’re feeling even a tiny bit overwhelmed, take a deep breath and try to incorporate relaxing activities into your schedule such as yoga and meditation.