Cramps, irregular cycles, off the wall PMT, and generally feeling blah. For many of us the menstrual cycle is something to dread each month. Since the rosy cheeked years of adolescence, pain, and period and PMT have all been buzzwords that we’ve been taught to endure. It’s widely considered a general fact of life that periods make us suffer, pain is normal, and it’s something to get on with quietly. Now, there is a lot more research into period expertise and there’s a movement to empower people with the tools and tips they need to flow alongside their cycles rather than fight against it. Here are a few ways in which you can improve your period…
Know the Flow
One of the best things you can do around understanding your body better is to get to know your flow. Tracking your period cycle – noting when it arrives, when it leaves, when you feel terrible, and when your energy levels seem to rise and fall can paint a really clear picture of what to expect. It can be eye opening to know that often on certain days of your cycle you will have a headache or a strong libido or you will just want to lie on the sofa and cry. By tracking and intimately understanding how our bodies move through the month, it can truly boost your self-compassion and helps you to help yourself.
Take a look at whatever pads and tampons you are using to soak up your flow and consider switching to a greener option if you aren’t there already. There are companies out there who use bleach and other chemicals in their manufacturing process and this can disrupt the sensitive nature of our genital tissue and even contribute to cramps and pain. By switching to menstrual cups and period pants, you may find that you don’t dry out as much down there which in turn can lead to reduced pain.
Boost Your Vitamin D Intake
For anyone who suffers with a cycle that seems to be all over the show, vitamin D could be your saving grace. It’s never a bad thing to boost your vitamin D intake as it’s one of the most important tools in our health box. While getting out in the fresh air and feeling some sun on the skin (in a safe way) is one of the best options for upping your vitamin D and your mental health, you can also top up your diet with oily fish and Portobello mushrooms.
Look to Organic Soothing Options
If you are tired of popping pills every time your period shows up you could play around with natural pain relief and anti-inflammatories. Of course, natural may not always cut it and some people with serious symptoms should stick to whatever the doctor ordered. Heat pads have been said to play a role in helping pain feel less intense. Another option could be CBD oil which is a known natural anti-inflammatory and also an amazing way to help combat anxiety and chill out the mind.
Up the Iron
If you often find yourself craving meat during your period, your iron levels could be low which will contribute to you feeling sluggish and run down. This can be a contributing factor to why we crave greasy junk food at this time and of course that only leads to bloating and feeling bleurgh. Instead of grabbing burgers on the go, you should aim to up your intake of healthy iron like kale and spinach and other leafy greens.
Dress for Dreamy Days
When we make choices that are in harmony with our body’s needs we are sure to feel more attuned with ourselves. Instead of trying to stuff all your discomfort into a pair of skinny jeans opt instead for a loose flowing dress or hip sweatpants or anything comfortable that makes you feel good. It’s not all about style but more about making choices that help our body to thrive. This applies to choosing what to eat, how you spend your time, and how you work with your period. Once you know your cycle you can make choices to sleep earlier, do less, and take the pressure off yourself during this time.
What hacks do you have for that time of the month? Share your tips in the comments.