PMS can be as exhausting and painful as your period itself (maybe even more so!).
The whole business of menstruation is Mother Nature’s miracle, but it doesn’t feel that way when you’re doubled over with cramps or struggling to stay awake throughout the day.
Thanks a lot, Mother F-ing Nature.
Rather than relying on caffeine and Midol, these natural options can benefit your body and mind. At the very least, you can find a new way to get rid of bloating, cramps, and fatigue, which is much more enjoyable than lying in the fetal position all day.
Explore Meditation with Essential Oils
Meditating during your period seems like it goes without saying, but many aren’t aware of the curative powers of meditation.
Research suggests that meditation acts as a pain reliever under many circumstances, which makes it beneficial for period pain from the get-go. You can change the way you think about and physically feel period cramps. You can also practice mindful meditation to banish bloating, water retention, and maybe even hot flashes.
To get the most out of meditation’s practice, couple it with the use of essential oils that can help with your mood, pain, and stress. Some use an oil diffuser to spread the scent of their oils throughout the air. Others prefer to mix their oils with a skin-safe base, such as coconut oil or lanolin. When you dilute essential oils and combine them with a balm or lotion, you can apply the mixture to the areas that hurt.
(Unless everywhere hurts. Then choose just a couple of areas.)
However, if you choose to incorporate essential oils into your period care routine, stick to the oils that will help you the most.
- Lavender oil to keep you calm and relax your muscles thanks to its anti-inflammatory abilities.
- To avoid period-related tummy troubles and fatigue, opt for rose essential oil.
- Clove oil eases your cramps, decreases your blood pressure, and it can stop your periods from being quite so heavy.
- If you have a hard time handling sensitive emotions and stress during your period, then ylang ylang oil is the key.
- For your brutal period headaches, you can rely on peppermint oil.
Move Your Beautiful, Productive Body
Although pushing through the pain can require a tremendous amount of effort, exercising during your period can improve your cramps and mood.
The endorphins that flood your body as you increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing act as pain relievers and mood elevators. You don’t have to train for a marathon or work out for hours at the gym, especially on the days where it’s work just to put on your workout wear.
Do any easy workout on the stationary bike or the elliptical. Go on a brisk walk around your block.
Whatever you do in the way of exercise, schedule time for yoga, as well. Yoga can centre your mind and get a handle on your emotions, alleviate aches and soreness, get rid of headaches, and generally make your entire body feel better. Delve into simple poses, such as child’s pose or savasana, which also gives you a moment to lie down and focus on your breath.
Making lying down synonymous with exercise is precisely what PMS needs.
Kitchen Eats = Period Treats
Eat your way to a less painful, more manageable period by treating yourself to foods that are high in anti-inflammatory abilities and antioxidants.
- Snack on salmon or tuna for the omega-3 fatty acids. Eat eggs for the iron, which can eliminate some of your fatigue.
- Broccoli banishes that bone-tired feeling, too!
- Citrus keeps the bloat at bay while stabilizing your mood.
- Go ahead and treat yourself to plenty of dark chocolate — it’s considered comfort food for a reason!
- To enjoy extra sweetness, pair it with plums, figs, and watermelon. They’re all vitamin-rich fruits that beat the bloat.
- As a bonus, the watermelon hydrates you, combating your cramps and balancing your mood.
During PMS and your period, there are also certain foods you need to avoid at all costs.
- High-sugar foods can end up making you feel worse. They contribute to bloating and fatigue.
- Alcohol dehydrates you, and it can affect the lower blood pressure that usually occurs during menstruation. You’ll feel more tired, and your hangovers will be worse.
- Spicy foods can give you gas which feels terrible when you’re already bloated.
Turn to Herbs and Natural Remedies
Instead of turning to Ibuprofen and Midol, experiment with a variety of natural, homeopathic remedies.
Chasteberry is a popular option for menstrual issues, both before and during your period. Also known as monk’s pepper, chasteberries come from chaste trees. The berries are full of flavonoids that have an effect on your body’s hormones, particularly progesterone and prolactin. At low doses, chasteberry can ease heavy, painful menstruation, relieve the symptoms of PMS, and improve breast tenderness.
Many women praise CBD oil and products. CBD contains no THC, which is the psychoactive part of cannabis. CBD doesn’t get you high, but it helps with inflammation and reduces pain. Your stomach and abdomen won’t be as sore, nor will your breasts. You won’t feel as anxious, antsy, or stressed, either. CBD can also balance out your hormones and your mood. From edibles to oils and balms, there are dozens of ways to use CBD for your benefit.
Self-Care, Ummm, YES.
Self-care is extra essential during your period. It can take any form as long as it relaxes you. Book a monthly massage to relax your muscles, or set aside time for a warm bath in the evenings. You may enjoy knitting or reading, or a walk around the neighbourhood might be the way you take care of yourself. No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something that will make you feel good about you.
Taking time for yourself also means you will be less likely to scream, “You just don’t GET it!” at your partner.
You know, win-win.