Ugh… such a dreaded time a month. There aren’t many ways to avoid it, every girl at some point deals with it, and yet so many of us even after years still can’t seem to crack the code to combatting symptoms. Periods, though they will always suck there are ways to make it a little less miserable. Here I have complied a list of ways, things, tricks, and products that I have found that make my week of misery a little more tolerable. Although every tip and trick may not work best for you hopefully you can find something to help you out! I have broken it down by common symptoms: Cramps (obviously), Migraines (Ugh the worst), Bloating (Ew! I feel gross), and Break Outs (Cool! …Not!). So let us begin, shall we?
Cramps are probably the worst symptom I deal with. I want to curl up in a ball, I am miserable no matter what position I lay in and there is no escaping it… or is there!
First thing is first, Ibuprofen or any other anti-inflammatory. They are not only an overall pain reliever but also aiding in inflammation helps reduce the contractions of the uterus, alleviating painful sharp cramps.
Next is my number one go-to a Heating Pad. I like to apply it to my lower stomach, most of the time I just tuck it against my waistband of the sweats or leggings I am living in during my hell week. Applying heat helps to relax the contracting muscles that are “helping to aid” in the shedding of the lining of your uterus which causes so much pain. By soothing those muscles cramps fade away.
Number three to beating cramps, essential oils!!! I absolutely love Dragon Time by Young Living. Essential oils are always helpful applied on my lower tummy and massaged in to soothe muscle discomfort and of course for great absorption, your skin is life a sponge and letting it soak in all the goodness of naturally found oils is a great way to relieve pain!
Laying in a dark room usually the day before I start my period, with a pounding head and pressure in my head that almost feels like my brain is too big for my skull. Yup it must be that time of the month because I have a precursor migraine. As I have gotten older I have also started getting them randomly through out hell week which is such a treat (sarcasm)! I have tried almost everything to try and help my hormonal migraines and after a lot of trial and error here are my top ways to aid in migraines.
Increasing Magnesium, when the bodies natural estrogen levels drop from menstruating, Magnesium has been proven to prevent migraines. It helps the body regulate muscle and nerve function, which can be the cause in migraines. My favorite way to increase my magnesium intake is a smoothie with avocado and banana, which are both very rich in magnesium. I use frozen bananas for texture and so I don’t have to use ice and I will add peanut butter for some protein if I need it!
My next tip for battling migraines is a simple one, an Ice Pack. Sometimes the best way to help soothe an awful migraine is as simple as an ice pack on your forehead, or even a jelly eye mask you can put into the freezer. The cold compress relieves built up tension we carry in our face and heads. Relaxing those tense muscles in our heads helps majorly with migraines. I got this cute jelly eye mask on Amazon for super cheap and it goes right in the freezer until I need a chilly relief from an awful migraine
Next is taking a hot bath, not only is relaxing a great way to get rid of a migraine but also adding epsom salt my favorite being Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt is high in magnesium which I just ranted about being huge for helping migraines also! I put a few cups into a hot bath let it fully dissolve and I light a candle just for enough light so I’m not in a dark bathroom and I lay back and relax. For an extra strength bath feel free to add in a chilled eye mask also!
Although it seems easy to avoid, bloating is one of the most annoying period symptoms. That uncomfortable balloon like stretch you feel in your stomach that not only feels awful but looks terrible too! Here are a few ways to tackle that bloated tummy.
Sounds simple but is a total nightmare, avoiding sodium! Salty snacks and cravings can be hard to resist but if you have trouble with bloating, you have to try and consume less sodium. Salt actually makes your body hold on to excess water which essentially makes you swell like a balloon. By reducing your sodium intake you can help that bloat stay away!
Green tea! Oh my gosh is green tea incredible. I love decaffeinated green tea, and I buy mine from Trader Joes, hot or cold tea is a great way to lose excess water your body may be holding on to. Green Tea is super helpful in bloating because it is a natural diuretic, which just simply means it helps draw out excess water with out being too extreme or dehydrating the body.
My last anti-bloating tip is exercise. The last thing I want to do when I am on my period is get up and do anything, however getting your body moving and increasing circulation is one of the best ways to reduce bloating. My go-to hell week exercise typically is a hot yoga class or a light jog followed by a long sauna session. Basically any way I can lightly exercise and sweat as much as possible is my favorite way to help with bloating.
Okay as if cramps and bloating didn’t have you feeling gross enough…now you are breaking out! Ugh so beyond annoying, feeling hormonal and not your best is even harder when you also don’t look your best! Hormonal changes can cause some of the worst break outs and while this isn’t the post for a daily skincare routine there are many ways to prevent and help stop crazy break outs during the hardest week of your month.
Toner, using a toner to help balance your faces natural oils is key in stopping and preventing break outs. During my period I noticed my face produced way more oil then it usually does and the best way I have found to rebalance my face is with toner. My favorite toner is Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent, it is an alcohol base to it is drying, however it isn’t so much that it makes my skin feel awful. By drawing the oil out it really helps my face from breaking out more.
Change your pillow case!!! I can not recommend this enough. I change my pillow case every couple days like clock work, but I especially make sure to change my pillow case when I have started to break out. You sleep on your pillow case and for hours it absorbs all the oils coming off of your face, so by swapping it for a clean one you eliminate those oils being introduced back onto your face the next night. This vicious cycle can cause a break out you may already stopped continue to get worse.
Last but not least…diet! What you put inside your body will always be reflected on the outside! Which means that chocolate you crave and binge on your period is not helping your skin girl! By eating healthy and personally avoiding caffeine I have seen a huge improvement in how badly I break out during my period. By substituting fruit for that sweet you are craving you can not only health your body feel amazing but you will help your skin!
By far one of my favorite supplements when I am on my period is Moody Bird by Hum. I typically order it from amazon, since I love not having to leave home! But for real this daily supplement is amazing for helping stabilize my mood when my hormones are going wild, and they also help with my overall energy. Kicking fatigue and mood swings in one is a huge win! Make sure to pick up a bottle for only 25 bucks!
Okay now this has recently become a huge topic of concern in woman everywhere. We use them, they are so efficient in tackling the mess of it all but no one knows what is in them or what they are made out of… TAMPONS! Big name brands have been attacked recently for not disclosing what is in there products and after a few amazing woman looked into them, it turns out there are hundreds of harmful chemicals in our tampons. Harmful chemicals which our bodies absorb for hours on end when we use them! I just recently switched over to these Organic Cotton Tampons which I buy at Target. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about the healthier cleaner choice and I will buy the best and safest product for my body but if I’m out and forget to bring a tampon with me, I will 100% use whatever any girl has on them before I ruin another pair of underwear AND pants!
Final tid bit of advice…cry. If you feel sad, if your hormones are crazy, that is okay! Our bodies border line self destruct every single month, and its okay to cry because you don’t feel like yourself. That weird alone sad feeling you get billions of girls feel too. There is nothing wrong with feeling down, just know in the moment even if you feel terrible chances are you’ll wake up the next day and just start your period! hahaha You weren’t falling apart it was just your hormones going ballistic! Stay strong and get through it and breathe a sigh of relief because you aren’t pregnant…you’re just half a day late to bleed for a whole week! Whahoo!
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