That time of the month isn’t pleasant for anybody but, it helps to remember that your body is performing an incredible and necessary process. Your period is a sign that your body is working well even though you may not feel that way. You can very easily feel under the weather during this time so here are some ways to make sure your body receives the pampering and TLC it needs!
1. Take It Slow
If you’re someone who is constantly on the go, jumping from one project to the next, you’ll probably find it hard to keep this going during the first few days of your period. That’s okay because your body is signaling you to slow it down. Don’t feel guilty about getting some quiet time to yourself. Use this time to rest up. Catch up on your reading, or write.
2. Drink Tea
Tea can be your best friend during this time of the month. Especially herbal teas. The warm water will help soothe the muscle cramps from the inside. If you’re suffering from bad cramps, try fennel tea. It’s been proven to help reduce menstrual cramping and even shorten the duration of your period.1 Simply boil a tablespoon of fennel seeds in a cup of water and sip slowly. Alternatively, try chamomile tea to soothe cramps. It raises the levels of a substance called glycine which calms muscle spasms.2
3. Eat Clean
It’s important to eat clean and light during your period. You will already be bloated and struggling with bowel movements, so greasy, heavy food will not help. That being said, try to eat lots of iron-rich foods like spinach, kale, and swiss chard. Healthy fats like avocado, walnuts, and fish like salmon provide omega-3 fatty acids. The omega 3 helps relax your muscles and reduces stress and anxiety.3 4 Get lots of calcium and magnesium in your diet with the help of yogurt and whole grain foods. A few squares of dark chocolate will also help boost your serotonin levels and help you feel a little happier.
We know the last thing you want to do is move but after the first day of your period, try and do some light yoga or warm-ups. Studies show that women who engage in a physical activity seem to notice their pain much less than sedentary women.5 It may vary from woman to woman so try it out and if exercise doesn’t seem to alleviate your pain then you can crawl back into bed with your hot water bag.
5. Take A Warm Bath
A warm bath can be just what you need. A long soak will help you relax, perhaps even meditate and recharge. If you’re taking a bath before bed, add some Epsom salts to your bath. This will help you absorb some highly needed magnesium. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant so it can reduce cramping and help you go to sleep easier as well.6
6. Go Organic
When it comes to period products we have a wide choice. If you use pads or tampons, try to go for ones that use organic cotton. Commercially produced non-organic cotton can have toxins in it which can be absorbed through your skin. 7
7. Wear Comfortable Clothes
You should probably save your tight white skinny jeans for another time of the month. Try to wear pants or skirts with a non-constricting waistband. Keep your tops, blouses, and dresses loose and drapey. When on your period, your average body temperature tends to rise a little so carry a jacket or scarf since you might feel cold easily.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Mood swings and irritability are already at a high. Not getting enough sleep can make you even more cranky. Sleep is your body’s time to recuperate and you need this more than ever during your period. Try to get at least a good 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
All this being said, don’t feel guilty about that one slice of chocolate cake or that rich, gooey macaroni and cheese that you just absolutely had to have. If there’s any time to indulge a little, it’s now. Just be sure to keep it in check and use this free pass only in case of an emergency.
|↑1||Ghodsi, Zahra, and Maryam Asltoghiri. “The effect of fennel on pain quality, symptoms, and menstrual duration in primary dysmenorrhea.” Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 27, no. 5 (2014): 283-286.|
|↑2||Ravikumar, Chandini. “Review on herbal teas.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 6, no. 5 (2014): 236-238.|
|↑3||Rahbar, Nahid, Neda Asgharzadeh, and Raheb Ghorbani. “Effect of omega‐3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 117, no. 1 (2012): 45-47.|
|↑4||Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K., Martha A. Belury, Rebecca Andridge, William B. Malarkey, and Ronald Glaser. “Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial.” Brain, behavior, and immunity 25, no. 8 (2011): 1725-1734.|
|↑5||Hightower, Mindy. “Effects of exercise participation on menstrual pain and symptoms.” Women & health 26, no. 4 (1998): 15-27.|
|↑6||Okamoto, T. “Effects of magnesium and calcium on muscle contractility and neuromuscular blockade produced by muscle relaxants and aminoglycoside.” Masui. The Japanese journal of anesthesiology 41, no. 12 (1992): 1910-1922.|
|↑7||Reusable vs. disposable pads? Columbia University|