We are tackling the dreaded topic of “that time of the month” with period tips in this sponsored post for SheSpeaks. We’ve all experienced the life interrupting rollercoaster that is Aunt Flo, that one week a month where our bodies are overly sensitive, achy and our emotions are on high alert – often feeling out of our control.
Don’t get me wrong, our bodies are incredibly amazing and that itself is a reason we conquer the red dragon every month, but that doesn’t mean it’s not rough at times. So ladies (and the gents reading, you don’t have to skip, in fact, you might even leave here with a little more insight into what’s happening in the lives of the women around you), keep reading for a slew of period tips and advice to help you cope with (and even thrive through) that time of the month!
On that note of period tips, my team has been doing some research (ironically it all came at the “perfect time”, and we were able to test it all out ourselves!) and we’ve found some coping mechanisms that are totally worth adding to your period routine to help manage some of those symptoms.
Our Period Tips to Cope, Conquer and Thrive
First off, I’m going to hit on one practice that might not be high on your to do lists, especially not during that time of the month, but according to our research it has proven to be a beneficial one.
What is it you ask? Exercise. Adding a bit of physical activity into your daily routine can help combat the pain you are feeling in your body because it helps send oxygen to your muscles causing them to cramp less. It’s also a pretty well known fact that exercise causes our bodies to release endorphins, the great news for us is these can act as natural pain relievers (hello period pain!).
If you feel the need to rest on the first day, give yourself that, and then slowly work your way into more movement… it may sound counter-intuitive, but believe us, it works! We tested the theory and surprisingly felt better after getting our bodies moving.
I’ve recently discovered a short yoga routine that helps stretch out my muscles and open my channel, making me feel much more comfortable to take on the day and even relieving many of the aches my body feels during “that” time.
Modified Noose Pose – Opens your chest and hips and gets everything moving and helps with cramping.
The arms are wrapped around the squatting legs and the hands are clasped behind the back, forming a “noose.” Typically knees stay close together. My Period Tip: Keep the legs spread to stretch and open your muscles.
Camel Pose – Opens up your stomach and helps clear your head and relieve menstrual discomfort.
Kneel upright with your knees hip-distance apart. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, with your fingers pointing to the floor then lean back, with your chin slightly tucked toward your chest. Beginners can stay here, keeping their hands on their back pelvis.
If you are comfortable here, you can take the pose even deeper. Reach back and hold onto each heel.
Child’s Pose – Relieves lower back pain, massages the abdominal organs and relaxes the back and shoulders.
Start in a kneeling position. Drop your butt toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward. In the fully stretched position, rest your arms in a relaxed position along the floor, rest your stomach comfortably on top of your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat. My Period Tip: As a follow up, I like to open my legs extra wide and sink down low allowing for deeper movement.
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I don’t know about you, but when it comes to that time of the month I find myself craving all the junk food. And sweets, lots of sweets. But once you cave into the cravings and binge on that pizza or those McDonald’s fries you immediately feel the weight of what you’ve done. Not only are you bloated from your cycle, but now your bloated from excessive salt intake and on top of that you have the mental guilt battle that ensues.
So, needless to say, in our search for ways to care for ourselves during Aunt Flo’s visit, we found a number of foods that can combat cramping, cravings and more.
- Bananas, Spinach, Kale and Oats – All a high source of calcium, potassium and magnesium and including these in your diet could help alleviate painful menstrual cramps.
- Oranges – Full of Calcium and Vitamin C which can help with fighting PMS symptoms as well as depressive and anxious feelings.
- Protein (nuts, almond butter) – Get enough lean protein and fiber to help stabilize blood sugar and help stave off those pesky, junk-food cravings.
- Dark Chocolate (in moderation) – The yummy cramp fighter.
- Tea – If you’re a tea drinker, you’re in luck. Chamomile relieves muscle spasms and reduces tension, while ginger can help alleviate the bloated feeling.
- Coffee (don’t go overboard, you don’t want to crash!) – You may have heard to limit or cut out caffeine when when thirsting for something to keep you awake, but a recent study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests, “the current recommendations for women to reduce caffeine intake may not help prevent the development of PMS”. So, yay for coffee! When you are feeling lethargic and irritated, coffee can give you the boost you need to get up off the couch and get to step number one – get moving.
After looking over all of our findings, we made ourselves a cup of chamomile tea and toasted up oat bread layered with almond butter, bananas, coconut flakes and that yummy cramp fighter – dark chocolate shavings. Not only did it seriously hit the spot, but it staved off cravings for the day! Crazy right?
We’ve crushed the topic of exercise and food, now I think it’s only right to talk about pampering. This is the time to go all out and make yourself feel good and there are an endless number of ways to do this. You know what makes you feel your best, so here I’m just going to list a few of my favorite go-to’s:
Heat Therapy – Heat can come in the form of a hot water bottle, a heating pad or even a soak in warm bath. Just find a way to make it a little extra-special for yourself, things like reading a book or even sitting in quiet for a bit while you soak in warmth will do wonders for your body and your peace of mind.
Comfort Therapy – Once you get home for the day, strip down and go to your closet and get yourself into your comfy clothes, although one way I’ve found to pamper myself is to have a set of comfy clothes that are still feminine and pretty (it’s kind of crazy how a set of pretty pajamas can make you feel!).
Beauty Therapy – Girl, if you can, schedule yourself a manicure, pedicure or maybe even a hair appointment. This is the time to splurge and treat yourself to that beauty treatment. Often times our self-reflection and self-evaluation can be less than commendable when dealing with aunt flow. I’ve found that doing something to make you feel beautiful can help combat those negative thoughts… so if you’re already planning on a monthly beauty treatment, save it for your actual time of the month!
Spa Therapy – Ladies, I don’t know about you but I love me a mask. Face, hair, foot, hand – give me all the masks! And really, what a prime time to slather yourself in all that skincare goodness. Add on a massage – either at a spa or from the hands of a loved one, and you’ve got an evening of relaxation and peace.
Fashion Therapy – One of the best ways to make yourself feel better, is to plan a night out. I know it sounds like the opposite of everything else I’ve listed above, but just hear me out. There is something so empowering pulling from your closet an outfit that makes you feel like a goddess.
So, maybe a form-fitting dress won’t be your top choice, but a blousy top covers a multitude of bloat. Pair it with the heels that give you the confidence to own any room you walk in and you’ll begin to feel like the sexy boss babe you are. And though it might not happen on day one of period week, but I personally think that’s one of the best medicines for when you are feeling the funk.
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If you’re really needing a boost, we’ve taken a cue from Ashton Kutcher’s rom com character in No Strings Attached and put together a fun period playlist! We actually had a blast listening to all the songs Chris added to it while researching period tips and now it’s one that I’ll have Alexa play for me on the reg.