I don’t think I have to remind you that periods can be super uncomfortable. To be honest, when is bleeding throughout the course of a week ever considered an enjoyable experience?
If you have a uterus and ovaries, your period’s coming at you once a month every month and there’s little you can control about it. It’s a hormonal and occasionally painful time. Fortunately, I have not had it as bad as some of my friends, but bloating to the point of making your clothes suddenly fit strange is awful. Spontaneous cramps, pimples, and randomly crying to boot? Can’t I just bleed in peace?
I’m not a fan of using over the counter medication all of the time. Everyone’s solution to me is to take an Advil and move along, but sometimes that doesn’t quite cut it. Thankfully, since your period is a naturally occurring thing, there are natural remedies to help you through it.
Here are 10 easy, natural tips on how to get rid of period pain:
Drink A Lot Of WaterYou're bloating due to water retention. You can't tell your body to stop retaining water, but you can help it retain less. I love nothing more than a giant plate of french fries when I'm on my period, so this is a bummer. But eating less salty food and drinking more water will bring your body back to a semi-normal balance and make you feel more comfortable. At least it might get your jeans to fit the way they usually do the other three weeks of the month. Source: iStock
Use A Heating PadApplied heat will relax your muscles that are giving you cramps. Grab a heating pad at the drug store or make your own. They even make ones that stick to the inside of your underwear if you're on the go. You can also jump in the tub and throw in some essential oils to help you keep calm and relax. Source: iStock
Avoid CoffeeA moment of silence for the coffee drinkers. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which can make your cramps worse. Basically, caffeine takes whatever's going on with you right now and turns it on turbo mode. So, it can particularly make your mood swings worse. Being extra irritable and anxious on top of being in pain? No thanks. Source: iStock
Stay Away From Carbonated DrinksThey make you gassy. If you're already bloated and uncomfortable, you don't need that extra pressure down there. The extra sugars added in soda also won't help with your water retention and you'll wind up more bloated instead of more comfortable. Source: iStock
Drink Ginger TeaGinger is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help you get rid of cramps and other muscle soreness. It also calms your belly for those of us who get light headed and dizzy when we're on our periods. Truthfully, any number of herbal teas help: chamomile, peppermint, cinnamon, but I find ginger works the best. Source: iStock
Drink Apple Cider VinegarOne teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar in one cup of heated distilled water is known to help regulate clotting. Reducing the blood lost in your period means you lose less iron and feel less dizzy. If the blood flow feels like it's become too much, make yourself a cup and relax. Source: iStock
Eat A BananaFull of potassium and Vitamin B6, bananas are gonna help you get rid of bloating by helping your body get rid of excess water retention. Potassium also helps your muscles recover after working out, so why not help your muscles recover when they're working overtime on your period? Having too little potassium leads to more muscle cramping. Source: iStock
ExerciseSometimes period pain can be so bad that we literally can not move from the couch. Only push yourself to go as far as you feel OK with, but get your body going! Your runners high is full of endorphins. Exercise increases blood flow, which is good for your muscles and alleviating headaches. Source: iStock
Do YogaConcentrate on poses that stretch your hips and lower back. The muscles around your uterus can also cramp up during your period, so lean into that and give those muscles some love. Make sure you breathe and take it slow. Thankfully, you can do yoga in the privacy of your own home if you're shy about public yoga while menstruating. Source: iStock
Take A NapGetting up to change a pad/tampon/cup in the middle of the night is not going to make you feel well rested. I have friends who can't sleep sometimes because their periods are so bad. There's no way your hormones are going to be balanced if you're not getting your recommended hours of sleep. Make sure your body has enough time to rest and replenish itself. Source: iStock
Which of these tips have you tried? What did we forget to include? What are your tips? Tell us in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.