As awkward as some people make it, having a period is natural and part of half the human population’s life. So, let’s chill out and open up some discussion that might help each other out. Perhaps it’s the big sister in me, but after having my period for the past eight years, I’ve figured out a thing or two that could help other menstruating people out – especially if this is a newer experience for you. Some things just take realizing throughout the way because all of our bodies are different and react to menstruation (and menstruate) differently. Though, for some things that have worked for me along the way, keep on reading for some tips for period relief.
I love yin yoga because it involves slower, deeper breathing and stretching. This process can be soothing for muscle pains and calming for an overactive mind due to hormone fluctuations. Yin yoga flows I’ve found also tend to have a lot of poses and such that involve working with the hips and spine. These flows are great for during or around your period because they help massage out areas of the body that can tend to be tenser and sorer during that time of the month. I often feel like I leave my yoga practices feeling rejuvenated and better overall, and practicing yin on my period is no exception by any means. I think it is a great time to give your body a deep stretch and inner-tissue massage. Alongside that, other benefits of yoga might aid negative period symptoms like cramping and headaches.
Heated Blankets and Heating Pads
If you have bad cramps, (and oh, am I with you on this one), consider investing in both a heated blanket and a heating pad. If you’re cramping so bad that you’re having a hard time falling asleep at night, sandwich yourself between your blanket (perhaps beneath you) and your heating pad (which could be on your belly). You can even go so far as putting a few pillows under your legs and another over your stomach to create a big of compression as well as relieve a bit of lower-back tension. I wouldn’t mess around if you have bad cramps, invest in a good heated blanket and heating pad, and understand how to position yourself so that you are able to get the rest you certainly need.
Whether you’re an eco-advocate, a woman on the go, a little lazy, a germaphobe, etc. I’d look into menstrual cups. I’ve been using this blood-catching method for the past few years and it has become my favorite over free bleeding, tampons, pads, etc. Menstrual cups, typically made of silicone, can be inserted and left to catch period blood for up to 12 hours. I feel like this method of period blood control is my favorite because it feels cleanest to me. At the start of my period, I retrieve my menstrual cup from it’s fabric bag, then toss its bag inside-out into my laundry hamper. Then, I’ll boil my menstrual cup for about 15 minutes to sanitize it before using it. To insert, I’ll usually make it part of my shower routine in order to mitigate the mess, then insert. If you are new to using menstrual cups, it can be pretty scary to insert and remove them at first. Just know that relaxing makes it easier, and if you need to use your fingers or a mirror to help you out when you are first getting used to it, that can make it easier. After having it in for 12 hours, I’ll usually just take another shower to remove it, dump out the blood, and then re-insert it until my period is over, It’s easy peasy and doesn’t take that much consideration or maintenance. At the end of my period, I’ll boil the cup again to re-sanitize it and then put it back into its little baggie until next time. If you are a university student, maybe look into if your school provides menstrual cups to students. I got mine for free from the health promotions office at my university, and honestly, you’ll only ever really need one of these. So, practicality, affordability and sustainability-wise, this is a total top pick.
Roasted Veggies and Greens, Greens, Greens
When you are on your period, there are certain things your body wants more of because of what it is going through. Listening to your body and supporting it how you can is always a good idea, but one way to do this is eating lots of veggies and greens while you are menstruating. Roasted veggies bring the comfort feeling to a healthy, whole, and nourishing meal. Adding greens wherever you can will help boost your fiber and iron levels, which will help out with keeping your body happier and potentially in less pain throughout your period. If you tend to opt for junk foods while on your period, consider trying this out and see if you feel more energized, happier, and like you’re in less pain. If that’s the case, switching to a more whole and nourishing diet for at least while you are on your period can seriously help make it a better experience.
If you aren’t on the period panties bandwagon… why? Despite popular unresearched opinion, period panties aren’t gross or unsanitary or a recipe for leakage disaster. If you are anything like me and think that it’s not the most comfortable to sleep with a tampon or pad or even a menstrual cup sometimes, then you might love period panties. You can find packs of these panties or instead, you could spend more money and invest in a good pair or two. Period panties are also a great option for toward the beginning or end of your period if you tend to have a lighter flow but more irregularity or spotting. The cleanup is also pretty effortless for these. All you have to do once they’ve been used is toss the period panties into the wash (or your hamper) and voila! Another easy cleanup and reusable option for period maintenance. Try some from one of our favorite brands Thinx.
More Sleep, Water, + Self Care
Your body is going through a lot when it is menstruating. That’s why it is important to take good care of yourself and let your body do its thing to restore itself and run its course. Menstruating can be very unpleasant so it’s important to also take care of your mental well-being so that you can feel your best. Doing that little bit extra for yourself can really go a long way. For example, taking the extra time to take a bath instead of a shower, putting on a face mask, drinking tons of water, taking a nap, etc. These are all ways to give yourself a little more love while you’re on your period.
Anti-Inflammatory Caffeine-Free Teas
Teas can be so cozy and warm-feeling and can make us feel really nice while we’re on our period, It is important, however, to understand that some teas have extra medicinal properties that help with period symptoms. Teas like peppermint and chamomile teas are anti inflammatories and can help reduce pain from cramping and such. These are good ideas to brew up when you are feeling like adding a little extra care to your routine while on your period.
Legs Up The Wall
A lot of period cramping is housed in your lower back and in order to relieve that pain, it can be helpful to put your legs up a wall while resting on your back. This stretches and relieves your lower back and can be one of the most comfortable and helpful poses for those painful period cramps. Maybe take your TikTok scrolling sesh over to the wall and relieve that tension in your abdomen and lower back. It can be a great moment of comfort and ease, which goes a long way.
Healthy Chocolate Fixes
When it comes to my period, there is no escaping my sweet tooth and chocolate cravings. Because I would rather indulge than deprive myself and become grumpy whenever I am on my period, I’ve found some healthier alternatives to my period favorites that satisfy my cravings but aren’t skyrocketing my sugar intake. Among my favorites are chocolate chip banana bread, chocolate chip oats, chocolate protein shakes, chocolate peanut butter nice-cream, and chocolate date bites.
Detachable Showerhead + Baby Wipes
Feeling super clean can often be a struggle on your period but it shouldn’t be that way at all. In order to feel fresh even though things can get a little messy, carrying around baby wipes to take to the bathroom on your period can be helpful to clean up down there throughout the day and catch any leakage that might have occurred. Another great way to clean up while on your period is by using a detachable shower head when you take a shower. This can make sure you get everything out of everywhere and you come out feeling fresh and squeaky clean. There is nothing more depressing than being a disgusting blob on your period, so freshening up can feel fantastic, trust me.
Before you freshen up, though, consider performing a bit of light cardio. While intense workouts can be a little much for while you are menstruating, light cardio can get your heart pumping and body moving in all the right ways. Doing so can relieve some of the stress and tension caused by your period and also help your body’s systems feel awake and recharged. Keeping up with physical activity can also be immensely beneficial to your mental wellbeing, which we all know can be in the gutter during that time of the month.
Finally, try to keep an emergency kit! These can be SO lifesaving when it comes down to it. Keeping a little bag with period necessities like tampons, pads, panty liners, ibuprofen, Midol, baby wipes, etc. can really save your butt should the time come unexpectedly or you find yourself with an unexpected situation or change of plans. Some other items that might be helpful to include in a period emergency kit are as follows: a change of underwear, perfume, a stain-remover stick, hand sanitizer, and maybe even some heating patches. It’s always better to be prepared, and it can surely make you more.
Did these tips for period help you out? Which of these tips surprised you the most? Let us know in the comment section!