You should always try to take some time out to look after both your physical and emotional health – but especially when you’re on your period. Your body is working really hard and your hormones are all over the place, so listening to what your body is telling you is super important.
We get it though, when you’re on your period it can be hard to know what you want to do! So, to make it easier for you, we’ve put together some of our top tips for looking after yourself during your time of the month.
|If you have the sort of discomfort and symptoms that really impact your life in a negative way – meaning cramps that last longer than a few days, cramps that feel severe or unusual in any way, or any other symptoms that make life particularly tough for you, you should talk to your GP so they can help you find some relief.|
Do some light exercise
Exercising can be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re on your period, but there’s some benefits to doing some light exercise when you’re menstruating. Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercising, it helps improve blood circulation in the pelvic area which can ease period pains and causes your body to release endorphins, which will boost your overall mood and improve the quality of your sleep.
So try a gentle exercise like walking, swimming or yoga, to see what works best for you and your body.
Schedule some self-care
You should definitely plan to treat yourself with a lot of kindness during your period. What your body goes through each month is no small feat, so it’s important to look after yourself and take some time to properly rest and let your body recover. That might look like running yourself a hot bath, bingeing a box set on the sofa or whatever you do to relax and unwind.
Respect your own feelings, your degree of comfort or discomfort, and the pace you’re comfortable with. This may mean that you carry on with life pretty much as usual, or it may mean you make a point to slow things down.
Avoid lots of caffeine or alcohol
Being on your period can often leave you feeling groggy and tired, so it’s easy to seek out caffeinated drinks to give you a boost in the morning. However, too much caffeine can be detrimental to your health – especially during your period. Not only can it make your energy levels worse, caffeine can also cause inflammation and bloating, adding to tummy pain and worsening cramping.
Alcohol has the same affect of making period symptoms worse, as it lowers blood sugar and causes dehydration. Alcohol can also adversely affect your hormone levels to leave you with mood swings and feeling irritable.
If you struggle with period symptoms, consider reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake and increase the amount of water you’re drinking .
Increase your Iron intake
Around 1mg of iron is said to be lost every day blood loss occurs, which is a significant amount of iron (6-11% of the body’s needs). With iron deficiency anemia, you might feel tired all the time, weak, dizzy or short of breath, among other signs and symptoms.
Eating foods link dark leafy greens, lentils, and fortified foods can help restore your body’s iron stores. Don’t forget to pair these foods with vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, etc.) to help with iron absorption too!
Keep track of your period
Knowing when your period is coming can help you to prepare for how you might feel and any symptoms you might experience. Being in tune with your body and understanding what menstruation looks like for you can help you navigate your monthly cycle better and have something to look back on.
Apps like Clue and Flo and help you track and understand where you are in your menstrual cycle, so you can schedule some time in advance to take it easy and look after yourself.