Feb 17, 2022
"Sshhhh... I am on my period!"
This age-old hush-hush approach is gradually evolving around us. More and more women are finally driving their shyness away and speaking up about it.
But what about the self-love and self-care women need at "that time of the month"? What kind of soothing regime can be followed to ensure stress-free, pain-free, and comforting periods?
When do you need it the most?
First and foremost, know yourself and your cycle. Your menstrual cycle has four main phases: Pre-Ovulation, when your body starts to release the eggs. Ovulation, when the eggs are released already.
Pre-Menstruation, when your body preps to shed the uterus lining. And finally, the Menstruation, when you start bleeding. Each phase has its own trait with new hormonal and emotional changes. The last two stages are the most relevant for today's discussion as this is when you need to care for yourself the most.
From constant fatigue, excruciating lower abdomen cramps, mild fever, to mood swings - a woman goes through all these discomforts in and out during her menstrual cycle. At the same time, academic and professional life don't stop.
Moreover, for most Indian women, daily household chores demand full attention despite their physical and emotional distress.
Stress-Free Period - Not a Myth Anymore
But what if I say, there are proven hacks to make periods more bearable? With just a few wellness tactics, you can outsmart these symptoms and say hello to a cramp-free period.
No, won't recommend you to fall back upon weeping into a bowl of ice cream or cower crouch back on the couch with hot bags. These outdated stereotypes are seriously clichéd. Love your hormones, and show some self-care with these simple, yet effective tips for a better "those days". Let's dig in!
1. Make Herbal Tea Intake Mandatory
Cut caffeine intake totally. Instead, switch to herbal teas during your pre-menstrual days. If you do this self-care to yourself during the prior days, expect a stress-free cycle.
Consume chamomile tea, ginger tea, green tea, fenugreek tea. You may add a pinch of cinnamon and a half teaspoon of honey to enhance the calming effect. In short, cut down the caffeine at all costs. Continue this healthy habit throughout the week and see the change in you.
2. Skip Junks, and switch to Protein, Healthy Fats
This is the time when your binges hit the most, and you constantly crave for junks, triggered by a hormonal roller-coaster. Before and during you menstruate, secretion of Serotonin (the hormone that makes you feel good) by your body decreases. And it's normal to stuff your mouth with French fries, cookies, bagels, and ice cream.
But honey, skip the excess sugar and junk at these times. As junks increase mood swings, bloating, and water retention which contribute to a messy and painful period. Give your body a diet high in anti-oxidants, green leafy veggies, fish, nuts, fruits, and plenty of water.
Also, keep an iron-rich diet handy as most Indian women suffer from iron deficiency the most.
3. Get Some Minor Exercise Daily
Yes, there's a myth that you shouldn't work out during these times. But let's bunk it. You can actually get some light exercise which will rather help your body resist the stress.
Light exercises can help ease the cramps; meditation and practicing yoga for 20-30 minutes help relax your body. Also, help in diverting your focus from the discomfort.
4. Wash. Wash. Wash.
Right washing habits go a long way. Use only clean water when you wash down there, no soaps or anything else.
Moreover, constant usage of tampons or sanitary pads leave micro-organisms that can spread urinary infection if not cleansed properly. pH balanced and paraben-free intimate washes can be used for better results.
5. Ensure You are Well Rested
Nothing works if you don't rest and sleep. To ensure a stress-free period, give yourself a break. Of course, you can't miss work, but if possible, work from your home. For school, college and university-goers, get back home on time and get rest.
This helps in regulating the hormones and also keeps the energy level high. Ensure full 8 hours of sleep with a proper diet. That's the trick to a comforting cycle!
6. Indulge in Some Self-Love
You read that correct! Make yourself the priority at this time. Take no stress- no fighting with bf or bestie, no yelling with mom, no extra worries, no emotional baggage! Pamper yourself with the utmost love and care.
Try some nail arts, a manicure-pedicure regime, read your favorite book, go for a relaxing hair spa - do everything your heart wants to. There's nothing to be ashamed of your period, rather celebrate it and be extra nice to yourself. Remember, you are doing your best, and don't try too hard!
7. Be Vigilant About Your Body
Last but not the least, be vigilant about your body and everything it goes through. This one small thing can solve a great deal of period-related issues and keep things organized for you. You are having a difficult week, so do everything that makes it less difficult.
Keep a journal handy that marks all the dates of your cycle month-wise. This will help you stay alert and start doing the things mentioned above, one week before the actual date.
Also, think of the foods that give you relief and those that add to it. Strikeout the latter ones. Take a bath with essential aromatic oils to soothe your mind and body.
Keep your intimate hygiene your priority. Occasionally have some chocolate when you feel low.
Yup, this might sound surprising referring to point #2, but yes girls, a small amount of chocolate is allowed. But yes, go for the dark ones. And finally, get cozy in your blanket, turn on that Netflix flick of yours and enjoy some healthy snacking.
It's true that every woman is different, and their period issues are unique. What works for one, may not for the other. But these simple, wholesome wellness tips can surely take your pain away and soothe your mind and body.
Periods are messy, wet, and far away from the commercials we see on the TV, but it's okay, make these few tweaks in your lifestyle and make your 'that time of the month' less of an ordeal. Happy Period Ladies! :)