She comes for 3 days or if you’re unlucky, 5. Sometimes she’s light and unnoticeable. Other times she’s like a plague ruining your life. Aunt Flow, as we like to call is a blessing and a curse many women endure. Periods are truly not a fun time. Those Playtex commercials seem like the furthest thing away from how you really feel. You’re tired, you want a Taco Bell buffet, you have cramps, and for some of us we are possessed by our own Mr. Hyde. We sympathize with you.
Here are some tips to having a better period.
According to science we have lower levels of progesterone and estrogen during our periods making us more mannish (if you will). This means that working out during your period is the optimal time especially because sweating releases endorphins to make you happy. If you’re into weight training, this is the time you’re probably the strongest. Although your energy might be down at this time, a good kickboxing session will get your energy flowing and your frustrations out. A great way to relax is yoga. It will increase your meditation and flexibility and allow you to relax if you’re experiencing a high level of stress while Aunty Flow is here.
Ditch the Fries
As hard as it is, you must refrain from those chili cheese fries from Wendy’s. Don’t cause yourself excess bloating by consuming more salts. Try eating foods with lots of magnesium and those rich with fibre and protein to decrease the bloating. Foods such as bananas, spinach, kale, oatmeal, and ginger are flavourful, filling, and provide relief from PMS symptoms. If you truly need that sugar fix, try mixing dark cocoa powder with soy milk for a healthier hot chocolate. You will get the fix you want without all the fat and sugars that come with it.
Besides Your Morning Vitamin
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a preventative measure is take vitamin E and essential fatty acids (like fish oils). These nutrients affect prostaglandin receptors that are known to affect cramps and mood symptoms. Taking supplements will allow you to restore balance in your body and reduce overall symptoms.
That morning cup – or three- of coffee that you enjoy may be making your period worse. Caffeine tends to increase your irritability during your period and make your symptoms far worse. Many of us turn to coffee to wake us up during the fatiguing 3-5 days of our period. Because it is a stimulant, it increases blood pressure, heart rate, and your senses making you extra sensitive. When you crash as well, you will feel more tired than before. If you must caffeine, try drinking some soothing oolong or green teas. The caffeine content is less and they are way better for you.
Water is important even when you’re not on your period, but during it is an absolute must. Add some lemon to your water so it acts as a diuretic. Because bloating is made mostly up of water weight, adding lemon to your water will allow you to get rid of the excess bloat. Yes that means you’ll have to pee a lot, but it’s better to feel like your normal self than like a balloon.
This sounds super obvious but a lot of the time girls don’t do it enough. Make sure you get your full 8 hours of rest. If it’s a weekend, sit down and put on a comedy film and watch it in your comfiest sweats. Laughter will help you forget about your pain. Plus feeling comfortable on your usually uncomfortable days will feel great. Light candles, lay down and just make yourself the most comfortable. If you have trouble sleeping at night due to cramps, make sure you take an ibuprofen right before you sleep. This will ensure it is effective the entire night through.
What is your favourite thing to do to alleviate period symptoms?
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