The subject of periods is often taboo, and while we’re all about period positivity, let’s just say it – periods are not fun! And the effects of this monthly treat can have a huge impact on your physical and emotional well-being, so it’s important to take extra care of yourself at that ‘time of the month’.
And no, there aren’t any magic tricks that will turn your period into a holiday, but there are some ways you can support yourself through the side effects so it all feels a bit easier.
The pain that is your period…
Dysmenorrhoea is the technical word for period pain which comes from the ancient Greeks and means ‘difficult monthly flow’—suggesting that it really has been bothering women for centuries!
About 80% of women may experience this horrible cramp feeling at some point during their life, and it can differ from mild discomfort to severe pain that affects their everyday life. Often period pain is also linked with premenstrual symptoms like mood swings, bloating and tiredness. Lucky us!
But we’re not being flippant—the struggle is real, and lots of us find that period pain interferes with our day-to-day life. So here are a few ways the pain can be eased and can be made less severe to help get you through your time of the month:
1. Cuddle up with a hot water bottle
The warmth can help your muscles relax, so holding a hot water bottle against your lower abdomen can relieve some of the menstrual cramps, as well as being cosy and comforting.
So get in your pyjamas and curl up with a hot water bottle on the sofa and watch When Harry Met Sally for the thousandth time…
2. Soak in a bubble bath
It’s the same principle as the hot water bottle, but more luxurious, and a hot bath can really help you to unwind. A hot bath can really help to relax the muscles in your uterus and ease the pain as blood flow is increased, leaving you feeling more comfortable and able to cope with those awful cramps.
Choose a soothing bubble bath, read a good book or listen to a podcast, and soak your troubles away by the soft glow of candlelight.
3. Do some gentle exercise
We know—the last thing on your mind when you’re faced with period pain is the thought of exercise. And if you’re experiencing cramps in your, breast tenderness or fatigue, it’s understandable to want to just lie on the sofa!
But a small number of gentle exercises such as a walk or a swim can help to reduce the pain of cramps and reduce bloating. Doing exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which can ease your body’s perception of pain and improves your overall mood, causing you to have more energy and feel better in general.
4. Stock up on fruit and vegetables
Stereotypically, all things sugar and carb-related are encouraged when your time of the month approaches. You may stock up on chocolate bars, and biscuits or plan a takeaway for the week of your period to help make it more bearable…
Of course, when you’re feeling low it’s important to treat yourself, but specific foods can actually be more helpful in the lead-up and the time of your period. In the build-up to your period, try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to make sure your body is getting the nutrients and vitamins it needs ready to take on this discomfort it will go through later in the month.
Sugary snacks can actually make you feel worse and increase period pain, so it’s best to avoid too much sugar if you can! During your period make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and avoid drinking too much alcohol as this has the opposite effect on your body.
Basically, try and keep to a healthy and balanced diet, as this will have many positive effects on your body and help you to keep your body feeling strong.
5. Look after your hormonal emotions
The hormones in our bodies change during the month and when they increase, you may find yourself feeling more sensitive, emotional, anxious, irritable, sad and tired, as your hormone changes affect your serotonin levels.
And while these feelings are very common, there are some steps you can take to try and cope with your emotions better. You could start by tracking your period on an app. That way, you’re logging how you feel at certain times and you may begin to notice a pattern, making it easier to deal with next month as you expect what may occur.
Try to be extra mindful at this time of the month, by doing whatever it is that helps you to feel more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet can also help give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain blood sugar levels, preventing further energy drops.
6. Wear comfortable period pants!
Tight, restringing clothing when dealing with your period can often make you rubbish. It’s normal for our bodies to change, become bloated and feel different when it’s the time of the month, so the comfier clothes, the better!
That’s why our entire Conturve collection is designed with comfort in mind. Because control pants aren’t just for those occasions where you’re wearing a slinky dress—they’re ideal for that time of the month, too. And we all know that bigger pants are better when it comes to what you wear on your period!
Conturve’s high waistlines can help you feel more controlled and comfortable when you’re battling the bloat, and the light compression can actually help to minimise the pain, too. And when you feel better in your own body, you also boost your mood and feel more capable to tackle the day. So even when you’re on your period, you’ve got this!
Check out the Conturve collection and find your perfect period pants today.
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