Period pains are something every woman goes through, but just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to just grin and bear it.
There are many medications out there today that help manage pain, but there are also many other ways that will help you feel better, both physically and emotionally, during that time of the month—and they don’t cost a lot, or involve prescription meds. We’ve come up with five that we some ways to feel better on your period that are particularly easy to manage.
5 ways to feel better on your period
1. Get more sleep
By now you should know just how important sleep is for pretty much every aspect of your life. Not only does it help your brain function better and improve your emotions, but it can also decrease inflammation and improve immune function.
However, most women know just how hard it can be to get a good night’s rest when their abdomens are bothering them. Luckily, melatonin can offer a sound night of sleep and even have a big impact on menstruation, improving ovulation and fertility and treating chronic pelvic pain from endometriosis.
2. Eat small, frequent meals
Eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than two to three large ones can actually help manage mood swings as a result of hormone fluctuations before and during your period.
Large, less frequent meals, particularly ones high in carbohydrates, can lead to overeating and cause blood sugar spikes, which could worsen PMS and its symptoms. Grazing throughout the day can help you manage your intake and your mood.
3. Do some light exercise
While it may sound counterproductive to exercise while you’re in pain instead of resting, doing some light exercise can help manage period pains. Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, and they are your body’s natural pain killers. Plus, they trigger a positive feeling in the mind and body.
But when we say exercise, we don’t necessarily mean going to the gym or doing typical workouts. You can do anything you enjoy that involves physical activity, whether that’s going for a walk, doing yoga, or dancing.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sweets
While caffeine, alcohol, and sweets might be energizing and comforting for you, it’s probably best to stay away from them.
“Alcohol can increase the production of both estrogen and testosterone in the body,” says Kate Schkodzik, an obstetrician-gynecologist. “Too much of either can exacerbate PMS symptoms, especially mood swings and irritability. It also impacts the balance of prostaglandins, which can worsen cramps.”
Coffee and sweets should also be avoided, as too much of either can cause inflammation which leads to worse cramps.
5. Take herbs and supplements for specific problems
There are many herbal teas and supplements out there that have been used for centuries to heal abdominal pains. Chamomile tea has been shown to help with menstrual cramps, and it’s been found that it increases urinary levels of glycine, which helps relieve muscle spasms and acts as a nerve relaxant.
Apple cider vinegar, ginger, and cinnamon are also great to include in your diet, with studies showing that they could provide pain relief and decrease nausea and vomiting.
Final note on ways to feel better on your period
You period can make you feel less yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to endure that feeling when it sneaks up on you every month. There are so many ways you can take care of yourself and make yourself feel better outside of over-the-counter painkillers.
By attending to both your mental and physical wellness, you’d be surprised just how much your life on your period can improve.
No one feels at the top of their game during that time of month, but we’ve found five simple and natural ways to feel better on your period.