How To Make ‘That Time Of The Month’ A More Comfortable One (Part 1)
For most women, one week in every month isn’t quite as enjoyable as others. Menstruation. Periods. Menses. ‘That time of the month’. The average woman will experience approximately 350 of these weeks in her lifetime. From cramping to raging hormones, headaches, bloating, back and/or breast pain – the list goes on! Firstly, let me just say that just because these symptoms are common, it does not necessarily mean they are ‘normal’. Thankfully, there are some very easy things we can do, or be mindful of, to make this sacred time of the month a more comfortable one!
1. Eat real food.
What we eat effects our hormones. If you suffer from painful periods, it would be highly advantageous for you to eat as many fresh and whole foods as possible. The pain we encounter during our period is due to inflammation, so it makes sense for us to avoid the foods that create an inflammatory response. Processed foods, caffeine, sugar and refined carbs should be avoided, while foods with anti-inflammatory properties such as green leafy vegies, turmeric, pineapple and ginger should be enjoyed.
2. Catch your Z’s.
Some women find it more difficult to get a restful night sleep during their period, however it is vital to ensure you are getting your 7-9 hours per night to give your body a chance to heal and rejuvenate. It does a very clever job while you are sleeping!
3. Drink up.
Water of course! During your period you will most likely retain fluid – AKA bloating! Although it sounds counterproductive to add more fluid to your body, the more dehydrated you are, the more your body will hang on to fluid leaving you feel ‘ick’. Stay hydrated beautiful!
4. It’s getting hot in here.
How amazing does a heat pack (I love the ones with rice in them) or water bottle feel on your tummy when you aren’t feeling well? The heat soothes and relaxes your muscles. If you don’t have a heat pack, hop in a nice warm bath.
5. Relieve Stress.
Just like certain foods can have a toxic effect on our bodies causing our hormones to be out of whack, so can stress! Right now, you might have multiple ‘daily stressors’ – work, relationships, motherhood, finances, etc. When we are stressed, cortisol and adrenalin are released, and if we don’t make time to relieve ourselves from those stresses our hormones stay in a heightened state depleting our adrenal reserves and causing fatigue. Throw a menstrual cycle into the mix, with your body already doing it’s very best to juggle all these hormones and you can very quickly be heading for burn out. It is essential to unwind and relieve stress on a regular basis – meditation, journaling and breathing are all simple, can be done just about anywhere, and cost nothing.