Let’s face it – Mother Nature’s gift to women isn’t a box of chocolates. During this time of the month, you’re in pain, irritable, and feeling bloated – but there are ways to make your period better. Here are some helpful tips that can make this time of the month more relaxing, pleasant, and less painful by relieving menstrual cramps and brightening your mood.
Relieve Menstrual Cramps With Warmth
Did your grandma ever advise you to use a hot water bottle to relieve menstrual cramps? Well, grandma’s advice isn’t so outdated – heat therapy over targeted areas increases blood flow and delivers oxygen to the cells, which facilitates the stretching of the muscles, connective tissue, and adhesions. This results in reduced tension with an increase in flexibility, leading to an overall feeling of relief and comfort. Next time those cramps strike, try using a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a heated cloth to soothe those pains away.
Eat Foods That Make You Feel Better!
Unfortunately, that junk food you’re craving – sugar, salt, and caffeine – will only heighten your period symptoms and make you feel worse. Here’s why you should avoid these foods.
What goes up must come down – especially when it comes to sugar. Eating sugary foods during your period will make your blood sugar spike and when it comes down, it comes crashing down; leaving you feeling more irritable, emotionally moody, and stressed. Salty snacks increase water retention, so, if you’re already feeling bloated, it’s only going to get worse. Caffeine actually raises your estrogen levels, resulting in even crazier PMS symptoms, and we all know we don’t want that.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can eat to make you feel better! Getting plenty of fruit and vegetables and choosing low-sodium foods that are rich in calcium, zinc and healthy oils such as omega-3 may help to keep your levels of prostaglandin production in check and reduce bloating, allowing for easier periods. Here are some tips that’ll improve your mood.
Stock up on Vitamin B6!
Vitamin B6 helps the brain produce serotonin – that happy-making chemical we just can’t seem to get enough of. It also helps to reduce PMS cravings, increase your energy levels, regulate your mood swings, and even lessen bloating. Plus, it’s found in tons of tasty foods such as fish, chicken, potatoes, and bananas.
Fix that chocolate craving with cacao! Having a piece of dark chocolate will help you meet that sugary craving while giving you a healthy dose off antioxidants – known for boosting serotonin levels and improving your mood. Find more amazing excuses to chow down on chocolate.
Drink lots of H2O!
You might be think increasing your water intake is counterintuitive but, by actually drinking more water you’re helping your body release water retention – leaving you feeling less bloated and lighter. Now, what woman doesn’t want to feel less bloated during her period?
Exercise your way to well-being
As much as you may want to spend this week in bed – being a couch potato isn’t going to make you feel any better. We’re not suggesting you run a marathon, but a little workout or even stretching can make a world of a difference. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests sticking to a consistent exercise program throughout the month as a way to diminish the emotional stress and physical pain that accompany your period. When suffering from cramps, gentle exercise such as walking, cycling and running may provide some relief – as well as offering a much-needed distraction. There are even yoga poses that help to melt away cramps.
A Reason to Indulge
Although exercise can be useful, you can’t be on the move all the time. One of the best ways to make yourself feel better during a painful period is simply to allow yourself a little self-indulgence and relaxation. Warmth and pressure on your abdomen are both helpful, so it’s a good idea to treat yourself to massages, herbal teas, and even a mani/pedi session. Try sprucing up your bath ritual with some essential oils or even an effervescent tablet – the added aroma is guaranteed to lull you to relaxation. Also, it’s normal to feel more tired during this time of the month, go ahead and give in to that extra sleep.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.