Imagine a happy, carefree time in your life. Maybe things are going good at work, and you feel like you finally have a shot at that promotion. Perhaps you met someone new and exciting, and you can’t stop smiling whenever you think about them. Or maybe you’ve been working on your mental health, and you’re happy simply being you, no matter what you’ve got going on.
Now imagine that an intense chronic pain suddenly takes over your abdominal and lower back area. Your appetite grows erratic, going from nauseous to famished on a moment’s notice, multiple times a day. To top it all off, even the smallest inconvenience can ruin your mood, despite all the wonderful things happening in your life. Lastly, imagine this happened every month.
If you’ve ever had a period, you’ll know that, although nightmarish, this is a genuine scenario. For many people, menstrual symptoms are debilitating to the point that it can interfere with normal day-to-day activities, and they can do nothing about it, other than wait for it to pass. Sadly, the world waits for no one – you simply can’t put your life on hold for a week each month. You can, however, make that week slightly easier for yourself following seven simple tips.
Food Is The Best Medicine
During your period, comfort is key, and craving sugary comfort foods at this time is not uncommon. While it’s true that eating the foods you enjoy can help to improve your mood significantly, it’s essential to remember that with every sugar rush comes a sugar crash. One way to avoid the sluggish feeling that comes from overeating sugar is by using dark chocolate to satisfy your cravings. It will contain a lot less sugar than other store-bought sweets and, thanks to its high antioxidant and magnesium content, it will also regulate your serotonin levels. The serotonin is a vital chemical and neurotransmitter, also known as “the happy chemical” that will help with mood swings.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Now that many of us are working from home, it’s much easier to sidestep traditional workplace dress-codes in favour of comfier outfits. But with a few smart fashion choices, you won’t need a pandemic to make comfort a reality during your period. Chances are you won’t be able to show up in a tracksuit, no matter how progressive your office policies are. You can, however, avoid articles of clothing that are constricting around the waist like tailored skirts and trousers that may need belts or jeans. Try bottoms with an elasticated waist or a smart but loose-fitting dress instead.
Hygiene Doesn’t Have To Be A Pain
There are a plethora of products designed to help you deal with the practical inconvenience of your period – tampons, pads, cups – and while variety can mean there’s something for everyone, it can also make choosing the right product for you that much harder. And currently, the choice continues to grow. In fact, in recent years a new kind of feminine hygiene item has made its debut on the market; namely, the CBD infused tampon.
CBD oil has become increasingly known for its properties as a natural remedy for pain relief, with official approval to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis in several countries. While there are no published research studies on the use of CBD products for period pain relief, there is reason to believe that when it comes to menstrual symptoms that CBD can help to alleviate the pain provoked by the uterus contractions. This means that tampons are no longer just there to keep you clean, but can offer a natural alternative to medication for those who experience painful periods, thanks to their CBD component. And since CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help with bloating and all the discomfort it causes. If that doesn’t make your choice of sanitary products easier, what will?
And it doesn’t stop there! The use of CBD oil for anxiety has been proved to have benefits with regards to stress, worry, mood changes, and other menstrual symptoms that are often overlooked but which can have a major impact on how you navigate life during your period. You can also enjoy advantages in different forms such as CBD vape cartridge for your vape pen, capsules, drinks, edibles, and more.
Drink More Water & Herbal Tea
Drinking enough water during your period cramps can help to ensure the proper functioning of the body cells, inhibit an organism from getting dehydrated and eliminate fluid retention, which in turn diminish or even prevent swelling and bloating.
There is no particular recommendation of how much water each person should drink but drinking eight to ten glasses of clean, fresh water throughout the day is common guidance.
To provide a better effect, you can try drinking a cup of herbal tea as it will eliminate the pain due to the healing properties and active content. For example, chamomile is known for its many health benefits, including assuagement of inflammation and menstrual pain. What’s more, the anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric tea has also been proved to help with painful periods as it helps to calm you down, remove spasms, and alleviate bloating.
For someone who is used to having a daily cup of joe, it might sound like a disaster. But caffeine can irritate your stomach and worsen the symptoms of PMS, giving you that achy, crampy, bloated feeling, and mood swings. It also increases your levels of anxiety and can even lead to an irregular menstrual cycle. Additionally, it is better to refrain from other beverages that cause bloating and water retention, such as alcohol, sweet, and carbonated drinks.
Have A Warm Bath
If you are already a fan of long soaking in a bath, you will know the relaxing effects of a warm bath. A warm bath is an effective method to relax both physically and mentally as well as relieve period pain. Turn on your favourite music, make yourself a tea, fill a bathtub with hot water, add a few drops of essential oils or some bath salts, and enjoy a relaxing and beneficial time! Consider choosing essential oils/bath salts with lavender, cinnamon, rose, or ylang-ylang, which naturally reduce pain and unwind your body.
Alternatively, you can just take a shower for quite a long time or put a heating pad or a hot water bottle on your belly. Heat improves blood flow and eases the pain to help get rid of period cramps.
Pay Attention To Your Body & Soul
With all the ways you can get comfortable physically covered, it’s time to focus on giving your mind a break, too. The physical distress that comes with each period can sometimes be so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget to take proper care of your mental health. That is why the last piece of advice on this list concerns precisely that!
Due to the hormonal shifts that appear during your period, you may experience severe mood swings, irritability and anxiety. The first step towards dealing with these is to understand that they are normal, and it is most definitely not your fault you feel this way. You wouldn’t be upset with a friend for experiencing the same thing, so why not extend the same kindness to yourself?
Instead of forcing yourself to be at the top of your game and getting even more frustrated once you realise it may not be possible right now, try engaging in less strenuous activities that you enjoy, where possible. Maybe you can spend the day reading a good book or re-watching your favourite romantic comedy (while snacking on some dark chocolate). Rest assured the items on your to-do list aren’t going anywhere. If there was ever a time to be nice to yourself, the time of the month when you’re expected to lose up to 100ml of blood is probably it!