Got a busy day? Period on the way? Many of us pop a pill, grit our teeth, and get on with it. However, there are steps that you can take to manage the pains of a period in a holistic way without overdoing the Advil. There are actually lots of options, and we’ve chosen seven of our favorites to help you on your all-natural way.
Feel the Heat
The sun beats down its warm rays day in and day out — but it’s harder to feel if you live somewhere where it’s cold, of course. Nevertheless, there’s nothing more natural than heat. So, before your next period, grab a heating pad and let that glorious warmth soothe your cramps. The temperature boosts circulation and causes pain to fade. Alternatively, a soak in a hot bath will help, too.
Practice Dietary Self Care
Veggies - they’re good for what ails you. A diet too high in animal fats can promote inflammatory responses, lead to constipation and generally doesn’t set your body up for menstruation success. We always advocate for eating what makes you feel good - so yes, answer the call of your cravings, but take a wider view. Consider a diet packed with anti-inflammatory foods, including blueberries, olive oil, tomatoes, wild-caught salmon, eggs and black beans.
In a pinch? A warm mug of ginger tea has the same properties and is extra-comforting, too.
Clean Out Your Cleaning Supplies
The chemicals hidden within cleaning supplies, plastic containers and even the mattress you sleep on every night can disrupt your body's natural hormonal balance. That is a kind of terrifying realization on its own, but it’s compounded by the fact that these products can affect your monthly cycle, too. A stable level of hormones can make PMS and cramps so much lighter and more manageable — *cue angels singing.* A great way to start is to whip up your own all-natural cleaning products that work just as well as the store-bought ones.
It might be the last thing you want to do right now, but exercise is especially important during PMS, when your body aches and when you may experience mood swings. A workout will boost your blood flow, which we already know is a great way to dull the pain of cramps. The feel-good endorphins released while you sweat are also helpful in restoring a balanced mood if you’re prone to emotional peaks and valleys while on your period.
Note that you don’t need to run any marathons (although the Madame Gandhi inspo is real), but some fresh air and a walk will do the trick.
Get Plenty of Rest
Never discount the need for your beauty sleep. Your body tends to feel lethargic and tired while you're on your period and catching ample Z's during this time of the month will help you fight off a lot of the emotional and physical discomfort that comes with your cycle. Plus, you'll reap the many benefits of sleep, including a sharpened memory and a decrease in inflammation. In other words, take that nap and don’t feel guilty about it.
Take Your Vitamins Every Day
If you’re looking for a long term plan, consider taking a daily multivitamin. It’s a self-care step you can take every day to get ready for your period. Check that your pill contains vitamin B and magnesium, which are particularly adept at assuaging period pains.
Prepare It All Ahead of Time
You have the tools in your hands now — it’s up to you to use them! With a few preparative steps, you can head into your next cycle with an arsenal of all-natural remedies that’ll make you feel better both physically and mentally. During a time that can wreak havoc on your body and mind, there’s no better news than that. All you have left to do now is go forth and conquer your next period… and the next one… and the next one!